Monday, January 10, 2011

Did I Say My Mood Was Good? Hmmm . . .

When I posted the other day, I stated that my mood was generally good. I have to say, though, that I have had a couple of days (today and last Thursday) when I felt out of sorts.

Both days, it was because I was tired and hadn't slept well the night before. I tend to kick myself when I don't because I see it as my fault when I can't sleep. I gotta stop punishing myself, right? So, I need to change some habits - like not eat sugar or have more than one diet pepsi each day and also to do qigong. Make all of that habit so that I can sleep better.

I also think I'm a little discouraged with this treatment regimen. The side effects are getting worse - more neuropathy in my fingers and also I had blisters on my feet from not having good shoes. My face has been breaking out - from a Chinese medical perspective, it means I have "toxic heat", which means a build up of nasty chemicals from the chemo. I've also been noticing that I have dark urine more often, particularly in the days after treatment. That means my kidneys are working extra hard to get these chemicals out of my system. I also deal with this cycle of constipation and diarrhea with a few days of normalcy after each treatment. The wound also has a distinct smell these days - which may be caused by the cancerous tissue and/or dying tissue.

And, then to top it off, I don't know if the treatment is working. It worked for two months on Abraxane and then it stopped working. I just started Herceptin about ten days ago. But Herceptin takes longer to work, my doctor says. So, I'm suffering from these side effects from chemo with no guarantee that it's working. Kinda makes a person want to refuse treatment.

I need to bear with the treatment a little longer, though, and see what happens. I think I am seeing some small signs in the wound that something's happening. The red lesion (a mini Mount Herminator) has white tissue at its tip and today, when I took the dressing off, it started bleeding - more than a drop or two. I see the wound care nurse tomorrow and the surgeon on Wednesday and will report that to them and see what they think. Also a couple of the satellite lesions toward my back seem to be getting softer and the skin around it is darker, which may mean that it's dying tissue. Soooo, I may be seeing some positive results of treatment, but I don't know for sure.

In the end, I'm diagnosing myself with treatment fatigue. I'm tired of being tired. I'm tired of the constipation/diarrhea/normal cycle. I'm tired of the neuropathy and the face breaking out.

Because of the fatigue, I have half a mind to refuse Abraxane for the next cycle. I'll go ahead with the HA (Herceptin and Abraxane) this week, but I may see if I can skip it for month 5. It obviously stopped working on its own. Herceptin alone may be doing the trick. And, if they opt for surgery, I may go off Abraxane anyway.

So, yes, I do get fussy and out of sorts. Today was one of those days. I'm fatigued and I'm tired of all the treatment side effects. But when I remember to live in the moment, I am still in a good mood. I also just have to remember all those people out there who are rooting for me, praying for me, sending me blessings and good positive energy, and I smile. So, thank you. It helps more than you know. : )


Joanna said...

I know it's hard. You are always so upbeat that sometimes it is easy to forget about how much you go through. I wish there was something I could do to make all it better.

I hope you get some substantial help from the wound specialist and from the surgeon. You need the right combination of drugs and treatment. I have Herceptin on Wednesday and I will be thinking of you.

j said...

Dashing out the door and trying to think of something I could say that might ease your mind but I'm coming up short. Please know that I'm thinking of you, Dee. I know that doesn't amount to a hill of beans but I am. If you want to channel some of your fatigue and discomfort and less-than-stellar feelings over to me, I can carry them for you for awhile. xo jeanne

Dee said...

Joanna, I wish you could make it better, too, somehow, like make the whole damn cancer thing go away! On the other hand, even your wish to make it better for me helps tremendously! I'll see what the surgeon says tomorrow. The wound care specialist just makes sure everything is okay - she helps me monitor the progress of the wound and if it's healing or not. I'll be thinking of you tomorrow, when you have Herceptin.

@Jeanne, well, I really appreciate the offer and I did, in fact, channel some of the discomfort and less-than-stellar feelings your way. And, I felt better. I also talked about it with my therapist today and it helped. I think I need to get to the point where I accept the frustration as much as the happy. It helped to know that someone healthy was willing to shoulder some of the burden for me.