Lazy

Boy I should have named this blog the lazy breast cancer blog. It’s been so long since I have written anything. In my home we always say excuses are for losers. But I really think it’s the pain pills I am still on for the pain that never went away. I think the Norco makes me not feel like doing much. I was in an accident back in 1986 that has left me with some arthritis. But the pain I talked about last time that was going on during chemo has never really gone away. Its not as bad as during the treatments but it is bad enough that over the counter pain killers don’t touch it and I can’t function without some pain relief . It is still the long bones and joints that the pain still affects. The more people I talk to the more I find I am not alone. Some cancer survivors feel great when all treatment is over, but some of us are not so lucky. The cancer is gone but the pain remains. I live in Michigan so the cold doesn’t help. I know this because I went to Florida over Christmas break and I felt good being in the warm climate and was more active. I rode a bike a lot on vacation and I felt so much better. I will be doing that more at home when the weather gets warmer up here in the mitten! The date of me posting this is April 12, 2018 and we still are getting snow here. Hopefully by May it will get warmer! So what to do about the pain 4 and a half years post chemo besides pain pills? Yoga seems to help. Working out like I use to is too painful and Yoga is so calming, and does help. I really can’t wait to ride my bike though. I felt so much better then and took less pain meds then. So we will see if that works again when it gets warmer here. If it works then I will be getting a stationary bike for the days riding outside is not doable. I will keep you posted! I am still looking for ways to get off the opioids. I did for a short time try CBD oil. It helps with the arthritis but not with the bone pain in my legs or the neuropathy in my feet. Yes neuropathy is another side effect of chemo therapy. I take Cymbalta for that and it works real well. Cymbalta is more commonly used for depression and anxiety but has been found to also help with fibromyalgia, chronic muscle or bone pain and peripheral neuropathy.

Once I start bike riding I will let you know how it goes!

OH THE PAIN!!!

Earlier I mentioned the pain. The pain was deep bone pain.

Sometimes in the joints and sometimes in the long bones, like

the femur (the thigh bone) and the humerus bone (the upper arm

Bone). When it was the joints it was all of them. My Docs were great at giving me

medication that helps the pain. But chasing the pain was not fun at all. One thing

No one told me was that if the first drug doesn’t help the pain call your doctors office

And let them know its not working that you need to try something else. I would wait

until my next doctor appointment until I told him the pain meds aren’t working

And would suffer through it until then. DON’T DO THAT!! After one day if what

they give you doesn’t touch the pain get on the phone call the docs office and get

something else.

Thanks to the Opioid epidemic the doctors can’t just call in a script for you.

You have to drive back to the office pick up a hand written script then take it to

your pharmacy and give your drivers license. Oh and before your doc gives you

the prescription, you will sign a paper saying you will not abuse or sell the drug in question.

Once you get the pain manageable you get a new problem. Now your constipated.

Like you need any new problems! It was not until the constipation got so bad I couldn’t

take it anymore, And tried everything over the counter, that I called the nurse at the

doctors office to ask what I could do. That’s when I learned a valuable remedy for the

problem at hand! This is very valuable information and you can use it for any kind

of constipation. Mix in a glass equal parts Milk Of Magnesia ( the cherry one for me, the Mint one made me gag.)

Prune juice , and coffee. Swallow it down , it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.

This is were there is no other way to explain what happened next but to say, My butt exploded!

I was surprised i didn’t crack the toilet bowl. I know its not very lady like to talk about what one

does in the bathroom but this is valuable information that should be shared. Now there is a drug

that is a prescription for Opioid induced constipation. REALLY? I am taking enough drugs dealing

with cancer, a little home remedy that fixes the problem in no time, I would prefer that, THANK

YOU VERY MUCH!

    • The Truth about fake boobs

      What got me through chemo and the double mastectomy was that I was going to get bigger boobs.  I would joke about getting stripper boobs and my insurance was going to pay for them.  Well the truth is they are cold all the time.  I mean break out the heating pad cold! And one would think that since chemo has put one into menopause that the hot flashes would heat up the cold boobs. Well no such luck.  I am not sure but I think that is because all my breast tissue is gone that that is why they don’t warm up. But my chest muscle is over top of them.  Who knows?  I just know that when it starts to get cold out side a heated bra would be a great invention. Something else no one talks about is nipples.  For a lot of women when you have a mastectomy they take your nipple or nipples if you have a double.  When you have reconstructive surgery they make new ones.  The ones I saw pictures of from plastic surgeons looked like when you tie a balloon after blowing it up. Now that’s attractive. And then after that the color is gone, so they tattoo the color on. Yeah that looks natural.  Yes that is all sarcasm!  I would look at these pictures and my dream of stripper boobs was a bust! ( no pun intended, but I do hope you are laughing cuz I sure was.) As it turned out I would get to keep my nipples. Some breast surgeons do what is called a nipple sparing mastectomy.  So I am thinking this is going to be great, back to dreams of stripper boobs.  Well again what no one tells you is your nipples don’t work.  Your thinking….What do you mean they don’t work?  Well they look like you are cold all the time and it’s not because your implants are always cold. They just plain old stay erect all the time. They look naturally cold all the time. ( It dose come in handy when your husband thinks you are getting turned on by him but you are really thinking of the laundry you have waiting for you.)  They also have no feeling. Well they kind of do. You know when you sit on your foot for a long time and yourfoot goes to sleep and it hurts a bit to touch it? Yup that’s the feeling.  So for my friends the next time you see me you will naturally be looking at my boobs to see if my nipples are poking out of my top.  They won’t be. I found the greatest product. They are silicone discs that stick to your boobs and make those pointy nipples look flat!  Some days I don’t even wear a bra because these girls stand up all on their own!  I hope this is helpful for anyone going through breast cancer.  

      Just a note:  Both my surgical Onoclogist and my Plastic surgeon were women.  I think that makes a difference when you want to look as normal as possible.  But also remember if you don’t look as good as you would like. The key is to be cancer free!

      What they don’t tell you!

      No one told me and I didn’t fine any information on what to expect.  I knew i would lose my hair at some point. But, my hair started to fall out after my first chemo treatment. My periods stopped and never returned. Ok timeout…… So you may be thinking that’s a good thing, no more periods,  well when you go into menopause the sex life goes down the crapper.  I for one like being intimate with my husband and didn’t expect to have to work at it.  Next the pain is terrible.  I don’t consider myself a hard core, I can take any thing you can throw at me, but I am not a whimp either.  The pain from the shot that keeps your white blood cells up so you don’t get sick from something else kicked my butt!  And what really made me mad was if I heard one more story of how someone knew someone or a story on the intranet that someone had cancer and never missed one day of work and it barely changed their life at all and you never would have guessed they had cancer, I was going to SCREEM!  It’s painful, It’s draining, It’s depressing!  

      Treatment : So I have my team. We have a plan. Now the fun starts. (Just kidding) After my first chemo treatment my hair starts falling out, my period is never to return. I got some really good advice from a friend, to go to a good wig person before you lose your hair to try on wigs and order it. That way you can try and match your wig to your hair color and pick a style that’s right for you. When you do it before you lose your hair the stylist can help you look your best. And help you keep looking like you. Unless of course you don’t want to keep looking like you.

      Diagnosis

      My mom found her lump while we were on vacation at Disney World.  She kept it to herself, she didn’t want to ruin our trip that we were all so excited for.  I found my lump three days before we were leaving for a big trip to Disney World.  I kept it to myself also I didn’t want to ruin our family trip.   My kids were so excited I couldn’t even tell my husband.  What are the odds?  Is it the stress of planning a big trip?  I don’t think so, my husband planned the whole thing. It was a great trip, both times.  On the return home I went to the doctor and the process began.  The biopsy, then the decisions to be made.  I was overwhelmed with information. Then surprised that I had to decide how I was going to treat my cancer.  That was not what I expected.  I was expecting the doctor to tell my what was going to happen.  Everyone I told that I had breast cancer said I needed to go to Dr. Gold. That she is the absolute best and they were right.  Dr. Gold referred me to a medical Onoclogist in my area.  He is really good too.  My husband did want a second opinion and Dr.Gold said she understands and sent all the records to the university hospital that I was going to with out a problem.  That was quite the experience. You make an appointment and be prepared for a 12 hour day at the university.  You see different doctors. You see the surgeon then the medical Onoclogist then a representative from the American Cancer society and a social worker, (this is done with a group of people that are in the same boat as you.) Then they run some tests. I remember thinking why did Dr.Gold bother sending my test results if they are going to run the same test?  Next was the Plastic surgeon. I remember looking at his brochure and thinking wouldn’t you put pictures of the best reconstructions you have done, cuz these boobs don’t look too good.  I hadn’t met with the plastic surgeon that Dr. Gold partners with yet but I would bet anything that her boob reconstructions are better.  The doc at the university was very nice but by now I am thinking I want Dr. Gold and the other docs she puts together as your team and be close to home.  I waited to see when the university was going to start the ball rolling on my treatment. And the only decision I had to make about my treatment was if I was going to have a lump ectomy, a mastectomy or a double mastectomy.  Their tests would determine what drugs I would get and they were doing the surgery first then chemotherapy and radiation. After all that would come the bad boob job.  

      Before diagnosis

      My mom died of breast cancer when I was 20.  That was a long time ago and so much has changed since then.  I never thought I would get cancer. I ate better than my mom, I worked out.  My mom smoked and took birth control at the sametime and that was what she thought caused it.  This was long before the BRCA gene.