Monthly Archives: April 2016

Health Update

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I wanted to be open and honest with all of you, as I have been.  I do not know how much longer I can keep up with this blog.  Typing has become challenging with only one hand, and now that it shakes and is weak, typing is hard for me.

My health is declining.  I am still awaiting to have another MRI to see if the whole brain radiation worked or not.  The MRI should be within the next 2-3 weeks.  Part of me knows it didn’t work.  I have bad neuropathy in my toes which is only a side effect of the brain tumors;  My right eye is closed more than my left which it never was, and it hinders my vision when I am reading; my head feels full and heavy and I get sharp pains frequently in the areas that I know tumors are. I have a lot of weakness in my legs and walking is difficult.  My balance is off and my legs are shaky. My right arm has become even more  numb with a big increase of pins and needles in my hand and fingers.

I am unable to do much anymore.  My days are spent on the couch since I can no longer drive, and walking for any distance isn’t a reality. I am not telling you this for pity.  I tell you this because part of my journey when starting this blog last year, was to be honest about my life with breast cancer, and what I would be going through.

I don’t eat much anymore because I either have no appetite, or I am nauseated too much to eat.  The nausea meds don’t work anymore.  The fatigue is debilitating.  I fall asleep constantly and  feel tired all the time.  I feel like jelly inside, and dead.

Emotionally I have good days and bad days.  I’m afraid although my faith is keeping me strong.  My worries are for my three girls and my husband. I don’t want to leave them.  My youngest who is just 14, is especially sensitive and is constantly telling me to not leave her, and how she can’t lose me.  It kills me.  What do I say?  How do you answer that? I think she’s beginning to accept that I am not going to see 80, because the other night she asked me to always be with her even after I die. I told her I’d find a way to be with her always until she was an old lady and ready to come see me in heaven. Things like this leave me empty and in tears, but then I pray and I am comforted and my strength is renewed.

OK so there will be some changes on the blog I want to make everyone aware of.  I am no longer going to do book reviews other than possibly a book I read.  I may not post as much as it depends on the shaking in my hand. I will let you know as long as I can.

If the tumors have not responded to the radiation, there is nothing left to do.  I don’t know what the effects or what the progression will be. I have been told I could have seizures, strokes, confusion, loss of hearing, and loss of speach.  If I reach the point that I can no longer type or communicate,  My oldest daughter will keep you update on what is happening and will let you know when I pass.

I ask for your prayers.  I remain hopeful there will be a iracle and I go into remission for a long time. Thank you for your support and kind words. xo

New Season, New Theme

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With Spring in bloom and the warmer weather on the way I thought I’d change my blog to a more colorful, fun theme.  I love nature, and the last theme I had I loved, but it reminded me of autumn and the cold so onto warmer colors!

It’s going to be warm here today.  We painted our dining room a beautiful charcoal gray on top and there will be bright white panels and trim on bottom and all around.  It looks gorgeous and once this is finished, we only have a few more little things to finish inside and then things turn to out side. I will post a picture of the finished dining room when it is done. Until then, enjoy your week and find things to be thankful for! xo

Bright, Sunshiney Day!

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The weather here the past few days has been gorgeous, and I am slowly beginning to feel better.  I am going to focus on the strong moments and less on the weakness and fatigue as I move forward.

Good weather really affects my mood and attitude.  Does anyone else experience this?  Today is warm and sunny with temps getting into the 70’s tomorrow and Monday.  This type of weather makes me feel uplifted and hopeful.  I love the sun shining on my face and the feeling of warmth that radiates through my body. I love hearing the birds sing and seeing all the migratory breeds return to my bird feeder. I love the blossoms on my Cleveland Pear tree and Japanese cherry tree;  the pink blossoms on my heather bushes, and the heady scent of the purple hyacinth.  Next will be my ultimate favorite: The Lilac bushes. I have a huge purple lilac that grows on the side of my front porch.  I can sit there and breathe in the aroma while reading or just relaxing for hours.  Lilac is my favorite scent of all the spring flowers.  It evokes memories of my childhood that make me smile.  Growing up we had a large bush that had a cave under the branches where my sister and I would play.  My mom would cut flowers and we would give them to our teachers, and she would bring them inside and fill vases with them so we could enjoy the short lived season the most.

Spring’s newness is always filled with hope and promise.  Trees and plants that were dead for the past 6 months, resurrect to become beautiful living things.  We can learn from the seasons and celebrate our lives as the gifts they truly are.  I have learned much the past 5 and a half years and the most important thing is how precious each day is.  Live everyday as if it were your last.  I mean it.  Tell the people you love that you love them.  Smile at strangers; you may be the best part of their day and it cost you nothing. Notice the little things like the clouds, or how the sun reflects off something. Most importantly, thank God for all the good in your life. Laugh everyday.  Hug someone everyday. Eat your favorite sweet every week ( I’d say everyday if it’s a small piece of candy but if it’s cheesecake you’ll be in trouble!).

In conclusion, just get out there, take a deep breath and feel the sunshine on your face and smile. Life doesn’t get much better than that. XO

 

Good Friends Make All The Difference

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Today I had breakfast with a dear friend and her daughter, whom I am also friends with.  Friends come in all ages and although this woman is my mom’s age, over the past 10 years we have become friends. So over I went at 9 am, to a feast fit for 20 rather than 3, but Cheryl is an amazing cook, so I gladly ate some of everything.

Food aside, the best part was being out of the house and the conversation.  Since I am no longer able to drive, I have at times felt housebound.  Being sick for a few weeks didn’t help the situation, but now that I am better, I miss driving.  It was nice walking up the street to her house and feel the air on my face and hear the birds singing.  Cheryl told me all about her cruise to Italy, which she hated, and it was so healing to laugh, and be able to focus on something other than my fatigue and side effects.

Walking home, the sun was shining and it felt great to be out.  I had more energy, and felt my spirits lifted.  My mind was clearer, and it felt good to take in some nice big breaths of springtime air.  I realized that this is what I needed all along.  Cheryl, Danielle, and I made plans to restart our book club, play cards, and have movie nights in order to get me out more, as well as give Cheryl company which she loves.  I think this will help me so much because I cannot just stay cooped up in the house waiting to feel better.  I have to be more proactive in my recovery, and getting out more is just thing to do.

When you are going through cancer treatments it’s sometimes hard to gather the strength it physically and emotionally takes to get out and socialize.  The temporary way you look can make you want to hide, and fatigue can make you just want to sleep.  Remember that these are temporary side effects.  The fatigue will fade even though it may take some time.  Exercise such as going for a short walk, or doing some light housekeeping can actually help your energy level, and build stamina. Socializing and keeping in touch with friends is important.  Not only will your friends make you feel beautiful, they can make you laugh, and take your mind off your problems.  This is so important during treatment because its a reminder that you are still you, just stronger. XO

Pushing Through A Tough Week

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This week has not been fun at all. Still reeling from this chest cold that has kicked my ass has made me yearn for how I felt before.  I can honestly say I have never been this sick. You find a new respect for Oxygen when you cannot breathe. Every move I make or step I take leaves me winded and sucking for air.  Lung x-rays are clear, but Doctor hears wheezing. The Albuterol helps keep airways open, but the side effects of shaking, even in your legs, weakness, and racing pulse are not too fun. Then for a while I feel fine, but then the ,chest tightness moves in and I realize that not coughing for hours isn’t good because as soon as those airways are operational, the coughing jags start and the wheezing comes forward.  I cant even sleep because the weird sounds of the wheezing upon exhale, wake me up!

I think the hardest part of this  entire experience since the implant rupture in December, has been keeping my spirits up and my faith unwavering.  It’s been really hard for me to deal with the roller coaster of emotions and health problems all together.  I get bad news, then I get great news and just as I am feeling happy and safe, bam! I get hit with something bad again. It wears me down and then the mental stress makes my body weak immune wise which is likely how I got this damn chest cold.

I am now on a very strong antibiotic which is slowly working.  Each day I am a tiny bit better, but the weakness  in my legs is going to take a while to build back up. I will continue to push through this as I start my Herceptin and Perjeta for the cancer next Wednesday and want to be healthy enough to start treatment.

Pleases keep me in your prayers, positive thoughts, healing white light, whatever you believe in.  I could use all the good health vibes I can get!

Much love,

Barb xo