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Friday, May 4, 2012

Too Much Information?

Today I asked my children if they had ever looked at my blog -- one hemmed and hawed (i.e. no) and the other said yes but it felt like all I did was to harp on the less than helpful things they were doing to support me.... I guess that was TMI for all of us. I don't mean to complain in this blog -- it is supposed to help me (and others who follow in my path) as reflection and guidance. Thanks for reading, and thanks for your thoughts and support.


May 4, 2012.

Triply at risk for Depression

I have been finding lately, especially since the abrupt termination of my chemotherapy (which is now mimicking hormonal withdrawal) that I cannot stop crying. The littlest thing can set it off (from a child refusing to hurry to breakfast so we are not late for school) to a perceived slight from a friend (emphasis on perceived) or family member, and I find that I am so lonely I can cry for hours and hours until I dehydrate myself. I was just doing some reading on some of the various physiological and emotional reactions to breast cancer treatment, particularly when mastectomy is involved, and found that over the next year or so (and I should expect the recovery to take that long after radiation which has not even started) and I am at triple-risk for severe depression. I am going to have to be very strong to combat this, which is not going to be made easier with the half-emptying of my own nest this fall. I will plan to spend more and more time with my puppy, even though I continue to feel so exhausted that walking a block is overwhelming. I have to ask for more physical and emotional help, as humiliatingly hard as that can be for me. Miss Independent. What is likely to make it worse is the inception of tamoxifen, which I am likely to have to take orally for five years to prevent recurrence after radiation ends at some point this summer. I just hope I avoid the burns and broken skin where it is so delicate at the cancer site, and further hope that my heart muscle will not be damaged by the gamma rays.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Happy May Day (and Lei Day) 2012

I just got back from the Dr. and we are going to do blood work in two weeks and then meet again, and meet with the radiologist. As far as my case goes, the chemotherapy is over, as the risks of organ failure etc, are about 4-5% whereas the benefits from the Taxol (chemo part II) are only worth at most 1%. He thought the previous chemo should be moving out of my system in the next 2-4 weeks and I should start to feel less lethargic and groggy. It is too early now to say whether or not I will use Tamoxifen, so we'll just have to wait and see. The blood results should guide the next course of action. So overall my prognosis is "excellent", although I will have to keep on staying safe and away from crowds, no dirt/germs, no eating out, etc. 

Isobel and her film team are getting a special award in Sacramento on Friday night -- so I will go to that but wear a mask.

Thanks to all for your wishes of wellness and for your offers of help -- as soon as I can I will appreciate any offers of company, especially during the summer as Cannon goes off to Football Camp all day and Isobel packs off for school.... first order of business is to outfit her dorm room with sheets etc. that coordinate with her roommate (unless she gets a single). I hope to set up a Skype base. I am currently on a 6 month 'disability" leave of absence but it is more likely that it will be a year as it seems to take most women at least a year to recover from what I have been going through.

xoxoxo Love, Anne