Wednesday, March 30, 2011

On the up swing

What a beautiful day we had today! Finally feel like Spring might come till you here the weather report of snow tomorrow :( I had a typical "after chemo weekend" leg pain and fatigue but no other problems. It was great to have my son Christopher and Lori visit and cook us dinner Saturday night. The leg pain is now over and I am getting more energy each day. John took me out for coffee Tuesday as I was getting cabin fever. Today I went for coffee with my sister Joan. Tomorrow we are going to visit my brother Brian and Dorothy and see their Maple Syrup operation. What a great family week I am having! Thanks for looking in.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

One more to go

Everything went very well yesterday. We got up at 5 (had taken my 5 star pills at 11 Monday night and took the second 5 at 5am) and were on the road by 6 If you don't get to Kingston by 8 or 8:30 at the latest you just don't find a parking spot. We have a pass for free parking but the spaces are very limited. We stopped for a snack on the way and a coffee for John and were there by 8:15 so parking was not a problem. It is a long walk from the parking to the clinic but it is indoors in the hospital. My appointment wasn't until 10 so we had a long wait but I filled out my EASE (the how do you feel today? form) on the computer and printed it out and I checked in with the chemo room and my appointment was for 10:30 and they marked me as being in the hospital. They had 2 small baskets of wool and some knitting needles in the waiting room with a sign that they wanted 8" squares that they will put together for afghans for patients so I started one of them. Lorne the student nurse came and got me about 9:30 and I was weighed and have lost 2 lbs. I did not have to do more blood work as they were happy with the report on the blood work sent from Campbellford on Monday. after Lorne asked all her questions I asked her how long she had to go and she said she was finished at the end of this week until she writes her RN exam in June. We wished her all the best and good luck in finding a job. We then met Dr. Wong who is interning with Dr. Biagi. She was very nice and asked lots of questions and then did a short physical exam and said all looked good. We had a short wait and then Dr. Biagi came in with Dr. Wong and he went over some of the problems from the last session (constipation so I won't go into details!). He gave me some good advice and said we could have the last Chemo on April 12 (as long as blood work is still OK) which is great. By now it was 10:30 so we went back to the chemo room and told them I was available and after a very short wait I was called in. This time I went to a different room it was a small room with one bed and two chairs. I was afraid it would be very dull with not much going on to pass the time I was wrong. The nurse was Nancy and she had only this room to look after so we had wonderful care and no delays. She hooked me up right away in my left hand with no problems I had been drinking lots of water so that helped. We did not have long to wait for my cocktail so that was good too. She wanted me to take the bed but I didn't like that idea so she let me have one of the chairs. 4 other people came and went while I was there. The first lady only got an injection in her bottom but we had a nice chat with her husband and her while she was there. Then a man called Thomas came and he was very entertaining. He had rectal cancer and had had chemo and radiation before they removed the tumor (to shrink it)and was now on preventative chemo and this was his last session so he was happy about that. He was there for a couple of hours. We very seldom had 3 patients in the room at the same time. The bed was used briefly for a man to consult with his doctor as he was in a great deal of pain and while that was happening, the was a 70 year old lady in the other chair who was on her 3rd bout with cancer, I think her name was Gwen, her Nancy and I talked about family and I showed them the pictures of my grandchildren. After the sick man left (we never saw him as the bed was the first thing in the room and the curtain was pulled around it) there was just the 2 of us in the chairs until another lady came in for a short treatment with her husband and we had another chat about knitting and things. I had finished the square and was almost finished a pair of slippers that my boss Fr. Reynolds had asked me to do for the altar servers. We were done by 4:45 the earliest yet and we took my daughter Sharon's advice and went to Belleville for supper which we had at Denny's which has a great seniors menu. We were home about 7:30 tired but happy it was over.
Today I am feeling fine it is usually Thursday when the joint pain starts so we will see what happens. It does get less painful each time.
Thank you for all your kind thoughts, prayers and wishes. If you wish to comment on this Blog I would like to hear from you. Hit the comments at the bottom right and do your thing then hit the arrow on the right of comment as (crosstown Google) and a list will appear highlight OpenID or Anonymous and then post comment and that should work. Thanks for taking the time to read this!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Feeling Good

I have been feeling good since last Friday and have gone back to work as my replacement is on 3 weeks holiday. Next week is iffy as if all goes well my 3rd treatment will be on March 22.
This week on Monday I had blood work in Campbellford and in the afternoon had a fun trip to Peterborough with by good friend Carole. We went to Gerry's Crafts and got lots of goodies for the grandkids and then to Value Village where I got a yellow hat and 10 books.
John & I might have another trip to Peterborough after lunch on Friday. Got to do things while I am feeling good and what feels better than spending money!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Now I know what they mean by fatigue! I had to take a rest after my shower! I should have been more active yesterday and am paying the price. I went to work at 10:00 and stayed till 1:45, which included lunch at the Burger Hut. I actually walked there and back ( across the street!) which was a strain but what I needed. I am still wobbly but feel better. I did not recover this time as quickly as I did the last time, but each day is a bit better so I hope we are starting up hill again.
I can't thank everyone enough for all the support, prayers and good wishes I have received. Everyday I get a card or letter or phone call or email or John sees someone downtown who sends their best wishes. I am truly blest.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Side effects and pills

As this is my second time around after a treatment it will be interesting to see if the side effects are the same. So far I have been very lucky and have had no problem with vomiting or nausea. My biggest problem has been joint pain mainly in my knees and feet. This started on the Thursday after my treatment and was very bad on the Friday and Saturday and down to a dull roar on the Sunday and Monday. These 5 days seem to be what I call my "bad days" I feel basically OK but know that everything is not right. I describe it as feeling wobbly.This time the knees started bothering me around suppertime yesterday (Thursday). What a day for pills! After breakfast I took two stars (they are done now till night before next treatment) and a football, a stool softener, a multi vitamin and vitamin D, after lunch Calcium and B12 after supper, another football (only one left now) and stool softener. At 8:30 I took a percocet (oxycocet) for the pain and at 10:30 an Advil nighttime, and two Senokot (for constipation) a total of 16 pills! 10 different kinds. This is the worst day for that. By Saturday I should be back to my normal routine of just vitamins and calcium. The knee pain has been a lot less than last time so hopefully it will be easier this time around. I expect to be feeling normal by Tuesday and I better as I am going to work now and then for the next 3 weeks as Barbara my replacement had this time booked for holidays.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Pictues of Chemo Hats

What actually happened yesterday March 1, 2011

Every thing goes smoothly till you get to the hospital at 8 am. It is a long walk to the waiting room. After registering and having blood work and filling out the form you wait. You get weighed and talk to Lorne the nursing student then you wait. You talk to Lou the nurse then you wait. You talk to Dr Biagi I asked him about the leg pain and we discussed options and I asked about my CT scan and he said he would get the results and come to the chemo room to give them to me. Then register at the chemo room and wait. My chemo nurse was Patti I had my footballs and then she had an awful time getting my IV hooked up after two tries on the left hand I ended up with it in a very awkward spot under my baby finger on my right hand. She started the saline but my treatment cocktail did not arrive till 11am my appointment was for 10:30. Got started and through the 2 15 min ones no problem and Patti went for lunch and Janet took over for her. I went to the bathroom, which is very awkward with the IV in your right hand, and you have to navigate between chairs nurses and med carts in the very crowded temporary chemo room where the big easy chairs they use are almost touching each other and people like John have to sit in front of them. The new room opens in June and I hope I never have to use it.When I got back Janet tried to start the Paclitaxel and it wouldn't flow properly. After checking here and there for about 20 min she discovered the needle had a kink in it so she straitened it out and re taped it and it started to work blood pressure very high here! I managed to do some knitting but after about an hour an a half and another bathroom trip every time I moved my right hand everything got messed up and the flow was interrupted and would start to beep so I gave up on the knitting and did a bit of reading. The nurses have more than one patient so there is often time when nothing is happening between bags. They started the last bag at 3:30 and we were finished at about 4:45 as they do a saline flush at the end. We went to Smittys and had a great supper and were home at 7:30 pm. Dr. Biagii never showed but he called to apologize before we got home and then called at 8:30 Wednesday morning to say that the CT scan was clear hurray!

Went for my second treatment in Kingston here is the routine

On the day before a treatment I have blood tests in Campbellford if every thing is OK I start my pill routine at 11 pm with 5 small white pills taken with a snack called Dexamethasone (an anti nausea pill). I will call them stars.
On the treatment day at 5 am I take 5 more stars with breakfast. have my shower and pack a lunch and my knitting and leave for Kingston at 6 am. If you don't get there by 8 you can't find a place to park.
I register and get the forms for more blood work which is done in a small room off the waiting room. Also get a card which tells you how to fill out and print an ESAE form on the computer in the waiting room. This is a "How do you feel today" quick rate with 0-10 answers to about 10 questions eg fatige level depression, pain anxiety etc. anxiety was my highest at 4 as I suffer from "white coat syndrum". Then a nurseing student gets you and they take your weight and she asks some general questions and looks at the ESAE. Then the Oncologist nurse Lou comes and asks more detailed questions. Then you see the Oncologist Dr. Biagi who reports on the blood tests (all good) and answers questions and adviseds on treatment of side effects. Then there is usually time after checking in at the chemo room for a quick coffee break (I have a bananna and a drink John has coffee) before your chemo nurse comes to get you.
She gives you two Ondansecton pills (anti nausea) which are small ovel light brown pills the nurses call footballs. She then hooks up an IV of saline solution and then a 15 min bag of Prochlorperazine (more anti nausea drugs) then a 15 min bag of Benadryl to prevent alergic reaction then the big one a 3 hour bag of Paclitaxel cancer drug and lastly a one hour bag of Carboplatin another cancer drug. During this treatment they take your blood preasure about once an hour and I am all over the place from 147 to 190! I knit if I can

February 2011

February 1st I met Dr. Biagi who recomended 4 chemotherapy treatments as preventative measures. The surgery gave me a 70% cancer free statis. The Dr. did an internal exam and said everything looked clean and good. If I take the recomended treatments of Chemotherapy and Radiation this will give me a 90% chance of staying Cancer free. Treatments will start on February 8 and I will see the Radiologist then too. Got my hair cut in anticipation of it falling out and started to knit hats!

February 8 I saw Dr. Biagi again and he said if my blood tests are good between treatments we can shorten the time to 3 weeks. I met and saw Dr. Shenfield the radiologist whose intern did an internal which he also said looked good. Dr. S ordered a CT scan which will be done in Campbellford to check and see if there are any hot spots where lymph nodes are swollen. He recomended 25 external radiation treatments which will be done on a Monday to Friday scedule but not on holidays then a one week internal treatment on Monday Wedneasday and Friday. treatments will start about a month after Chemo is done. I have taken a medical leave from work which goes to October 4. I then had my first 5 hour chemo treatment. It was a very long day.

February 14 had the CT Scan in Campbellford and results will be sent to Kingston

February 22 Went to Campbellford for blood work. Which is also sent to Kingston

February 28 Went to campbellford for blood work also sent to Kingston

January 2011

Got the reports back from Kingston and have my first appointment to see the Oncologist on February 1

My Medical Journey July 2010 to December 2011

It all started in late July with periodic heavy vaginal bleeding.
August 2010 -Saw my GP
September 2010 -saw the Gynaecologist
October 2010 -D & C found Uterin Cancer
November 2010 -Complete Historectomy
December 2010 - get results and cancer penetrated 70% of uterin lining Results being sent to a panel of Doctors in Kingston for recomendations
December 2010 over Christmas my lright arm muscels in the upper arm and shoulder froze up and I couldn't move the arm This lasted two weeks and was fixed with over the counter meds