... Living on chemo will change your life ... A few simple solutions will help keep life more normal and less stressed...

2012-2013 Journey Begins...
2014 ER, ER...
2015 Heart Dilemma..
2016 Make Some Changes...
2017 Chasing Cancer...

My Chemotheropy Time Line

ER2 Summer 2014

I was feeling extremely week one day. I set up an appointment to see the doctor. They took my blood pressure and it was 60 over 40. I was having difficulty breathing and speaking. The next thing I know I was put on a drip and rushed off the hospital for further evaluation. When I got to the ER they took me off the drip and spent the entire day giving me every test they could think of.  The doctor would come in after each test and say well we could not find anything wrong. You passed the test with flying colors. I wished I could have passed my high school test as well as my medical tests. At the end of the day approximately 8 hours later, I was starving of thirst and food. I wanted to go home. I waited for my discharged papers which concluded that I had an anxiety attack. That’s a new one, anxiety attack with 60 over 40 blood pressure. . I guess because so many of my symptoms were that of a heart attack the next best explanation was anxiety.  I went home and Google my symptoms and found a common denominator. It was dehydration. I watered myself up and on my next appointment ask for extra drip with my chemo. The only reason I did not go into a coma that day was because the drip they put on me at the oncology center that day put enough liquid in my system to keep me going. Today I check myself and watch for the symptoms. Even though I drink a lot my body has a hard time keeping it when I’m on chemo. It will go right through me.

Fall 2014

Once again with the holiday on the way I start to feel pain. The same pain that I had in the live only this time it was in upper right side of my body. The pain continued and consistently got worse.

My doctor had me go through several test and tried different medications considering pleurisy or a sprain of some sort. We spent months with no results and it just got worse by the day.

The pain gets worse.

Help…Help… Heeellllllp as pain increases through my upper body leaving me paralyzed until someone gets an oxi to dissolve the ripping pain from my body. From different directions my children pile into my room to my bed side for assistance. What a strange twist of fate, all the years I was their champion to the rescue to relieve that colic, Scarlet fever, bump, bruises and panes as the list could go on and on. Now, here I am, totally helpless. And here they are “What do we do mom?” “She needs oxi and water.” Five minutes later I’m strong enough to get up.

Thank god and thank my children. One of the most important things in living with disease is a good support system. Not everyone has children nor do they have family close by. I have been very fortunate. Both my father and mother have been there when I need them to and from my doc apt. Sometimes I have as many as four appointments a week.  It’s like a full time job. Constantly repeating my horrid situation to complete strangers, who do not have a clue how they may make my situation any better than it is.

My condition continued and become continually uncontrollable. I spent a week in the hospital on a drug monitor while they tried every opium drug to get the pain under control. Nothing was really working.  I was ready to go home so I continued with the drugs which added many uncomfortable side effect. There was constant constipation. I was gaining weight due to constipation and ended with nausea keeping me from putting any kind of nutrients back into my system. The water weight increased and difficulty in breathing worsened which was in part adding to my heart failure issue. I was physically drained of strength. I felt like I was dying. I needed to get off the drugs. I started talking about getting a nerve block for the 1st 2nd and 3rd thorax on the right side of my body which would be administered in my spine.

One night I felt as though I may be able to completely stop all medications except my daily chemo (Xeloda is used to treat breast and colorectal cancers).  I had a few days after that where I needed something for the breakthrough pain. I continued on Gabapentin which affects chemicals and nerves in the body that are involved in the cause of seizures and some types of pain, but it is not good for the heart nor the liver. We had started the Herceptin and Zometa chemotherapy back up because the heart function was up to 50%. In the meantime the approval for the nerve block went through but prior confirmation date I started to feel less and less pain.  Weeks after the second chemo infusions the pain in the right chest and arm was gone. I also stopped the Gabapentin.

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