Yesterday was a banner day for me as I looked forward to two events that were important to me. The first event was getting the results of my bone scan, which I will share in just a moment. The last event of the day was far less important but something that I had been looking forward to for a whole year. It was a wonderful experience to get my chemo curls removed. I went from a mass of curls to a real hair style for the first time in more than a year. During the past twelve months, I was completely bald for at least six months, so it was wonderful just to have hair again. But lately I found myself looking more like a woolly lamb as my longer hair was threatening to turn into ringlets. I am so thankful for my friend Shauna, who took the time to cut and shape my post chemo hair. My husband said that the cut was “terrific.” That is a first for me in such a long time. Thanks Shaun
The first event that happened to me yesterday was something that I had been eagerly awaiting. In February of 2014, I had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer from a bone scan that showed the cancer had spread to my spine. My internist said that it had been verified by two tests so it was sure, however, my surgeon took issue with this diagnosis saying that it could be something other than cancer.
I had my second visit with the community health care nurses on Thursday. The nurse that was looking after me carefully took off my dressing and she found an odd looking thing protruding out of my incision. She tried to clean it off thinking it might be a soft piece of tissue, but it was not. It wouldn’t budge, so she called in her supervisor to have a look. The supervising nurse said it was a bleb. …
I have meant to create this updated post for a couple of weeks, but I was in the midst of a heavy deadline in getting our latest magazine completed, so everything else was set aside. I praise God that I am gaining strength daily and am able to get into a work schedule again even though it is a modified one. I no longer have a need to nap during the day unless I don’t sleep well at night. If is so wonderful to feel strength coming back. Richard is taking me for walks up the mountain and even though I feel like I am going to die, pressing myself on to complete a goal has been very good for getting some muscle back. I still have nerve damage in my legs, so walking to gain muscle back is very important.
My brain still has a ways to go to get out from the fog leftover from chemotherapy. The lingering fog could last as along as a year, or sometimes longer, but I trust that my short term memory loss and my inability to remember words in conversation will continue to come back. One major change that I have noticed is that I can multi-task again which is something that was pretty much impossible during my six months of treatments. My hair is starting to grow back and I am pleased that I am getting some added warmth back to my head! My hair hasn’t grown very much yet, but it is getting thick as more hairs are coming in daily. I am not totally sure what colour it will be when it is grown out, and for now it is mostly light brown. Where did the red go that is my question! I do know that often hair can change drastically after chemo and the colour, texture or curl can be a big change when it grows back. I am waiting to see what colour it will finally be when I have a few inches of growth back.
My finger nails are growing back quite nicely after they all fell out from the chemo. It might not be too long before I can pick small things up or scratch myself. I never knew how much I would miss my finger nails! The toe nails are another matter. All ten of them also fell out but they are really slow at coming back. I am so thankful that I have no pain as I heard that losing one’s toe nails could be very painful.
The best news
I knew that this whole cancer journey was a roller coaster ride, but the last corner and last loop of this ride surprised and really blessed me. We are going for the cure again! Here is what happened…
I had my surgery yesterday, February 11, 2014, and by God’s grace I had no pain! My anesthesiologist offered me a needle on the side of my spine that was designed to block the nerves on my chest and give me pain relief for a minimum of 12 hours. I declined as I didn’t want my spine touched or my nerves affected. I was also offered morphine in the recovery room, but one a scale of 0-10, my pain was only a 2 so I received 3 regular Tylenol and that is all I needed for pain. Since then I have been completely pain free! Praise the Lord for the prayer that has gone up on my behalf. It was a major surgery and to have no pain is amazing. I am feeling tiredness, but that is to be expected.
Last Wednesday, my husband and I made a trip to the closest cancer hospital to see an oncologist about the next step in my treatment. The doctor that we were booked to see had taken ill that day, so we were rescheduled to see another oncologist who is now taking over my treatments. We also learned that the former oncologist had planned radiation before surgery as the next step after my current chemotherapy treatment. The reasoning is that the doctors want to make sure that there is a clear margin of cancer-free skin for the surgeon to work with. The main issue is that the aggressive cancer that was growing in me had already spread to the skin. …