2 more weeks

Ok so lumpectomies are finally scheduled.  I get to spend Thanksgiving in the hospital!  yay me!  Well,really not that big of a deal.  We were not planning on having the whole family together for the holiday anyway.

I hope we can stay down there the night before as for right now I have to be checked in at 6 a.m. Wednesday, Nov.21st in Madison.  This would beat leaving at 3:45 from home anyway.

They will place wires around the tumors – good news is that they do not see tumor where the biopsy was originally taken.  But it was still excruciating having them look for it all last week.  I still hurt!

Then after they wire me then I go back to OR to get sedated. They tell me no gas and no intabation so they better not be lying or it will take me hours to wake up after it all.  They tell me I may need a drain tube on the left side as the area they remove will fill up with fluid.  Bodies way of trying to heal after this.

I will stay over night and leave on thanksgiving if all goes well.

The plan is to have Charley take Adam to school that day and take care of him til we get home the next day.  Thankfully she will be on a fall break from school.  I’d like to have an adult just check in with them if someone can to be sure all is ok.

Then I wait til the next week for the results of the pathology of the tumors to be sure they got clear margins and hopefully no lymph they remove will show positive.

The blue die they inject to see the flow of fluid through the lymph will make me pee blue/green for a day. Neat huh?  Just another fun fact.

If all is good then I am scheduled for a reduction on December 7th and will stay overnight and will most likely have drains to deal with again.  Not sure what time that surgery will be yet.

So I will be out of commission from 21st until after Christmas.  Not that i won’t be helping people with oils when I can just won’t be teaching classes or be out and about much during this time.  Don’t worry you can still find me on facebook.

I will have Tim diffusing onguard while in the hospital and hopefully pre and post op too.  You know the germs that hang around the hospitals lol.

Neoropathy is better but still there all the time.  It is hard to open jars and get a grip on things sometimes.

Hair is finally stopped shedding and just a few strands here and there.  However, I still can only wash it 2x a week in cool water for next month or so yet to be sure I don’t lose more.  At least I am able to cover up the thin spots and look pretty normal.  Ha, normal, not really sure what that is anymore lol.

Madison is really trying to get me connected with help with travel as well as a social worker who can help with other things too.  Makes me feel a little more at ease.

Still feel guilty if I am not working or doing something productive.  I know I shouldn’t but I do.  Sadly I see some other women post in our cancer group that their family tells them to stop the pity party all the time cause it’s not that bad.  Just deal with it.  How can people be so cruel.  It’s not like this is an ingrown toe nail or something.  Although those are painful for some people it is usually not to life threatening.

Linkin our pitbull follows me all over the place and is like a witches black cat with me.  It is nice to have him hang out sometimes but not so great when I trip over his big feet because he’s right underneath me.  lol.

So things are hopefully looking up and after Christmas will be weeks of radiation.  Won’t know how long until pathology comes back.  The part that bothers me about this is when I met with the natural doctor this week (finally) she was trying to tell me radiation does not affect immune system.  I find that hard to believe as it is radiation – something that can cause cancer and other damage to the body.  But since she had no study she believed it doesn’t harm the immune system as she tried to tell me no taking anti-oxidant supplements during radiation as it can reduce the effectiveness.  I told her that was old school thinking with chemo as they used to say that.  She said that they now have study proving otherwise but don’t have that with radiation.  I can’t imagine what it does to the body and then they tell you don’t supplement at all.  hmmmmmmm.  I lost a little faith in her when she said that.

So we’ll see what happens after Christmas.

Wish me luck and I forbid Tim or anyone else to video me after I am sedated for surgery so NO you will not see anything on social media, and if you do…..you may see an obituary for my husband cause he will be the guilty one.  Just sayin.  Just kidding, I’d only plot his death!

AND ONE MORE THING… if you did not get a chance to see the video that my friend Maria did for me please watch it and share her page Maria Tamayo Portrait.  She did a fantastic job and she offered it all to me for free because I am going through cancer!  Hope my link works.

My video

Night.

Jeanne

So much to say and not enough time to say it….

Hi everyone.  A LOT has happened since the 19th.

On the 22nd I had a breast MRI done to compare it to the original one done back in april.  When I went into the oncologist for blood work (numbers were all recovered from chemo and looked great by the way) they were an hour late getting me in.  So I had about 10 minutes to talk to her and then we had to leave to pick up Adam and do his IEP with his school team.  In this short amount of time she tells me “we recommend mastectomy because tumor did not shrink as much as we would have liked it too.  Of course I am devestated and begin to cry and of course they say “when was the last time you saw your counselor?”  Ugh that pisses me off so much!  Like these dr’s think we are never supposed to get mad or cry when they tell us these life changing things.  Are you kidding me???  Of course I was upset.  The surgeon had just told me a week before that we could do a lumpectomy and reconstruction!  How am I supposed to feel?  All warm and fuzzy?

So the next day I tell oncologist I want a 2nd opinion for surgery.  I tell her Madison because American Cancer society recommended them as being a great cancer research center.  I am set for Nov 1st in Madison at 8 a.m.

I see the surgeon up here on thursday that week on 25th.  She again tells me that although she would recommend mastectomy she agrees with me that lumpectomy can be done and that a lot of tissue will have to be removed.  I tell her I am getting a second opinion and she has no problem with that.  I am really getting pissed off about all of the inconsistency with all of this.  One dr says no it has to be this while another says no we can do this instead.

I am appalled by the inconsistencies across all of the cancer centers in this country.  I am a member of some cancer facebook groups with women all over the world and there are doctors out there who say the following to their patients:

Don’t drink wine or alcohol
Drinking alcohol in moderation even during treatment is ok
Don’t take any supplements what so ever
Supplements are fine and we recommend them
Avoid all sugar
Don’t worry about your diet right now eat what you can
You need a mastectomy with tumor over 5cm
No a lumpectomy is fine for a tumor over 5 cm

And I could go on and on with all of the extreme opposite information being given by oncologists out there. And then they wonder why I don’t just openly trust them!

The next day I wake up with my right hand nearly numb and my right arm hurting and throbbing.  I assume it is neuropathy and after 2 hours and it will not go away like it had before I call my dr.  She sends me to the ER to have a CT scan of my head (yes there is a brain there) to make sure I am not having a stroke which blood clots are common with chemotherapy – another fun fact.  No clots and it’s just neuropathy and they give me some help with arm pain and I hear yet again –

“sorry nothing we can do.  This is just a side effect of chemo.  Not sure how long it will last” I still have it all the time now. some times worse than others.

So I go to Madison and guess what?

I GET TOTALLY OPPOSITE RECOMMENDATIONS!

Oncology surgeon says she sees no reason why we cannot do a lumpectomy with my 5.9 cm tumor and the 1.1 cm tumor in the other side.  They do it all the time.  In fact, they follow all their patients and after 10 years and more there is no higher risk of recurrence than if they had a mastectomy.  That is the same thing thedacare told me up here about recurrence.

However, she then tells me that where the tumors are will not be that noticeable when she removes them at all.  Plastic surgeon can then go in and do a reduction.  I said “I was told it would be a much smaller cup size” and she said “no not that much at all”  I am shocked the difference in information I am getting.  The nurse navigator came in and went through all the details with me and answered all my questions and they will be scheduling surgery within the next 2 weeks.  (they need to do surgery withing 6 weeks after last chemo which was on Oct 8th.)

I tell her the issues I have had with shortness of breath and pounding heart beat and that resting heart rate is always between 90-105 and that my oncologist was not worried about it but she though I should do an EKG to check my heart as again chemo can cause heart damage.

I had an excruciating painful set of mammograms and then an ultrasound and radiology is having a problem getting a clear picture that they need so they can place wires through the breasts to mark where edges of tumors are for the surgeon on the day of surgery.  I will have to get general anesthetic the day of surgery and do a sit down mammogram for them to place the wires – I pray it will not be painful.  Then I go back to OR and they give me a nerve block that will last about 7-8 hours that will numb the entire chest area.  Then they will knock me out for lumpectomy.  And hopefully I will be able to wake up better after surgery but I am not counting on it.  It is an out patient but I am hoping we can stay in hotel down there or they can keep me overnight vs driving all the way home after all that.

After pathology looks at area removed and hopefully says there is clear margins then I will go back in for reduction within in 2 weeks time.  This surgeon too was confident that this type of surgery is very successful in removing all cancer area as well as removing just the lymph that the area drains to from the tumor area.  He then assured me as well that cup size will not be all that much less than it is right now and has agreed to keep me overnight in case I do not react well to anesthesia.  Luckily Jasmyne was there to help convince him that I needed this.  I am so grateful her and my son in law took their day off to help me get through the day.

Finally after 4 pm we are finished and can leave.

The next day madison calls me to say EKG was abnormal and I need to go to ER for an immediate chest CT.  This time looking for clots in lungs or heart.  Thankfully they find none and blood tests come back normal. I need an electrocardiogram to compare it to the original one I had before chemo began and of course my insurance says I need to wait for preauthorization so now I wait.  But they said they are scheduling surgery without the test so I don’t have to wait for that.  I think I will glow in the dark soon from all the radioactive things I have been put through.  Meanwhile I sit and wonder why EKG is abnormal and why dr up here did not look at this a month ago when I stated my symptoms had worsened.  And again, they wonder why I don’t just blindly trust them.

I am hoping I do not have to cancel the next 2 classes I have coming up but it will all depend on the surgery dates.  Hopefully I will have the dates by tomorrow.

The last 2 weeks I have been just a bundle of mood swings.  Angry, sad, happy, disappointed, and repeat.  Not sure to many people want to be around me right now.  So sick of hospitals and clinics.  So tired of this being the “norm” every day.  So tired of hearing “sorry we can’t do anything for you, its just a side effect or we don’t have a lot of options for you financially”  And then they wonder why I cry when I am there.

I begged the Lord for guidance and just to let me know if I was doing the right things, going the right way.  What do I do?  Can you hear me?

The next day I left my counseling appt and was very upset because I had not met with madison yet and I was sad over closing my office and our finances being tapped to next to nothing.  I waited for the nurse navigator to get me to go over filling out a grant form that I wasn’t’ sure I had done right.  I sat wiping tears and blowing my nose.  Out of the corner of my eye I see someone push  someone in a wheel chair and sit near by.  I look away to try and hide my red puffy eyes and then this woman who was pushing the wheelchair is suddenly next to me and she says “I don’t know where you are spiritually but is it ok if I pray for you?”  I just sobbed and was so grateful because I knew right then that God was telling me “I heard you.  I love you”  That woman hugged me and said “I just felt like I needed to come over here to you.”

Just when you think you are alone and wonder if God has heard you suddenly you are reminded.  Thank you for praying for me and for my family.  Every challenge is received differently by each person.  We all react differently and for some a challenge may come easier than the same challenge comes for another.  For one it may be devastating and for another it may be just a small bump in the road.  So please don’t expect all of your friends or family who go through breast cancer to react the same way.  Everyones journey is different even when faced with the same demons.

Hugs.

PS – thank you to my 3 children for taking me to see Bohemian Rhapsody yesterday.  It was such a good movie and again reminds me that everyone has their own demons to try and overcome.  Thank you for spending time with me and playing a board game with me.  It was a much needed break from all the other garbage going on.

Jeanne

 

 

 

As I look forward to surgery

I continue to use my oils and supplements because there are still two tumors in my body that can begin to grow again before they remove them with a lumpectomy.

Lumpectomy means they will take out just the tumor and a large area around it in the hopes of removing all tissue that contains cancer cells.  I have chosen this vs. a mastectomy because mastectomy, where they remove ALL breast tissue, has the same rate of recurrence that the lumpectomy does.  So I figured why do a more evasive surgery with higher risk of infection when I don’t need to?

Of course because the triple negative tumor (or non hormone responsive) was 7cm when we began there may be a large amount of tissue taken out with the tumor.  This will make the breast look very deformed.  You see from what I understand, breast cancer can either be hormone responsive – hormones cause it to grow – being Estrogen, Progesterone or a protein Her2 – human epidermal growth factor receptor 2   

Or it can be negative and unresponsive to all of these three and then is called TRIPLE NEGATIVE Breast Cancer.  This type is more aggressive but does respond to many chemotherapy drugs.

The hormone responsive cancer, which one of mine is Estrogen positive, Progesterone positive and her2 negative does not respond well to chemotherapy and is usually treated with hormone blockers for decades depending on the woman’s age.

Luckily my E/P+ did shrink a little during my chemo treatments (maybe it was the oils?)  And I will find out Monday after my MRI just how much the triple negative one has shrunk.  From ultrasound it shows considerable shrinkage (makes me think of George on Seinfeld bahahaha) but they need MRI to tell just by how much.

The surgeon can then decide when to schedule surgery and estimate how long it may take.

When I did a PET scan (radioactive sugar) back in April there was no lymph node involvement showing up.  Surgeon finds this hard to believe as most women do have at least 1 or 2 that show positive so she is assuming that she will find some when she goes in for surgery.  I believe the supplements have helped it not to spread but what do I know?  Anyway they will inject a blue dye into the lymph and if any are showing signs of cancer they will turn blue.  She will only remove these.  My hope is not a lot of them as then it effects lymph drainage from your arm on that side for the rest of your life.  As in no blood pressure cuffing, no blood drawings and lymphodemia  may occur – fluid build up in the arm requiring a pressure sleeve to be worn.  Yuck.

I have started to be more aggressive with ingesting oils especially frank in hopes to stop any more growth while I await surgery.  I put 3 drops each of Frankincense, Turmeric, & Copaiba oils in a veggie cap and ingest 5 times a day.  All of these oils have shown to stop cancer growth or slow it in studies.  And it can’t hurt so I am going for it.  I still apply Frankincense topically on the areas morning and evening.  I add 34 drops to a 10ml roller of carrier oil.  This is an oil high in anti-inflammatory properties which cancer or any type of disease is caused by inflammation.

I will share more next week after I get MRI results and I see my oncologist on Monday to do a blood test to check  blood counts and liver/kidney function as I cannot schedule surgery until those are all at normal levels yet I am not worried because those levels have been fabulous the entire treatment.  Only once did my blood counts lower a little.  This was normal due to the chemo but it was not so bad they had to discontinue treatments.  So I am pretty confident that the numbers will be good and I will be on the phone with my surgeon by the end of the day.

After the surgery is complete and pathology gives us the all clear (which means that surgeon took out enough tissue to test negative for any cancer) then I will see a plastic surgeon to basically push remaining tissue together like a snowball to form it into what hopefully will look like breasts and then sew it back up and send me home to heal.  I will be a smaller size obviously but that I am not worried about.  Hopefully I will have all the feeling left in the area and it will look somewhat like normal.  And hopefully I can do all of this with little complications.

I’ll continue to share my oily regime with you all as time goes on.

If you have questions please ask.  I want to try and shed light on this journey so others understand just how things are.  There are many things I didn’t know and assumed many wrong things along the way when I had friends go through this.

For some mastectomy is not a big deal and they are ok with it.  For other’s like myself, this is devastating and not something that you just “get over”.  Because you know what?  Breast cancer looks a certain way under a microscope and even if you have no breast tissue they can still find this exact cancer in your lungs, your liver, your bones or even your brain.  No it’s not brain cancer it is breast cancer in your brain tissues.  There is no easy or obvious answer and you can say that you would do this or that if you were diagnosed but you know what??  You have no idea what to say or how you will feel when they say those words to you.  Suddenly you will second guess every thing you have ever done or are doing and what you will do in the future.  Even tho it seems like I have breezed through this it has been NO CAKE WALK.  I try to stay positive by not dwelling on the negative and kept most of my side effects to myself and my husband.  I didn’t want pity but I also didn’t want that to be my focus all the time either as it will only make you feel worse.  Women deserve better than the way prevention, diagnosis and treatment are currently.  When I think of what my mother went through I just shed tears of the torture that she must have suffered through.  And for many women it is still torture and ugliness no matter how pretty they try and make it with pink ribbons and little bells to ring.  Maybe this is why I have been handed this in my lifes journey, I don’t know but I do know more women need to share their stories and more people need to realize that breast cancer is just as serious as colon cancer or brain cancer.  It is just as much a battle and it takes so much from you.  Even if you try not to let it, it robs you of so much and it’s hard not to feel hopeless and helpless sometimes.  I am so thankful I found Jesus so many years ago and have deep faith as I don’t know where I would be without him.  He has saved me from total devastation through all of this.  And all the prayers you all have sent for me – which remind me – a dear friend in my doterra group went to a recent benefit to raise funds for breast cancer.  Each woman/girl got a pretty pink length of hair to put in their own hair for awareness and then they took a picture holding a plaque stating who thy were supporting and she put ME on her plaque!  My heart was so overflowing with emotions when she showed me that picture.  To know people are doing these things with me in mind makes me so thankful for all of you.  Help me change the world of breast cancer for the better.  1 in 8 women is a disgusting statistic that needs to be changed.  We all deserve better and that includes the husbands, fathers, sons, uncles and brothers out there.

Well I’ve gone on long enough.  See you next week!

 

Jeanne

 

My Journey – with my supplements

Hey there!  This will be one of many posts.

I was asked to do a speaking engagement at a doterra product training last week and go over my cancer journey with my doterra products and many people enjoyed learning how to help their families and loved ones with cancer journey’s of their own.

I enjoyed it so much and was asked if I would share more in depth what I used over the last 7 months and continue to use now.  So here is the beginning.

My plan was to do this earlier this week but Chemo decided to rear it’s ugly head on Monday and not cooperate with me very well.  I had what I call a chemo hangover for 4 days and had such a headache i could barley function as well as being really sick to my stomach.  Now that I am finally feeling better with the hope I will continue to improve because I should not need anymore chemo from now on.  I just have to continue to flush it out of my system.  I could not see any clients this week so paying rent the next few weeks will be rather difficult as I have other bills to pay too.  Tim has been very supportive and we are struggling to make ends meet right now.  But I just keep praying and HE just keeps helping us little by little to get us by.  My fear is going to be a huge co-payment we will owe at the end of all this.  I see the surgeon next monday to see what type of surgery is recommended and to see which one I can live with.  It will most likely take place in November sometime and I may end up having to take off a month or more depending on the surgery I have.  Not sure how that will go but it is what it is.

I had a terrific visit on my last chemo with my friend of over 24 years.  She took the day off work so she could spend the whole time with me.  It meant so much to me.  Her heart is so big and I hope I can be more like her as my future goes along.  The nurses nearly made me cry by signing a certificate for me and clapping when I rang the bell.  They do so much more than just administer drugs and help you with cold capping.

Do you know that it was 2 days before Charley’s graduation party and I realized during chemo I had forgotten to order a cake.  I began to cry and I was so mad at this whole cancer crap for robbing me of my memory even more.  This was something I should have remembered!  How could I forget???  I told the nurse when she saw me crying that it was probably to late to get a cake now and she asked me where I would go for the cake so I told her and she said maybe we can call and see if they can do the order over the phone.  She then took her time and actually called the store and when she returned she said “it’s all ok, they put you down as ordering a cake for saturday and all you need to do is call them or stop in and tell them what color and size you want and they said you can email them a picture if you like for it.”  She didn’t have to do that but she did.  She cared that much.  I cried harder because I was just so thankful.  So if you know the chemo nurses please tell them how important they are.  They go way above and beyond.  I will never forget that.  And yes we got the cake and it looked terrific and tasted awesome!

And my husband, oh where do I start…..

He goes out of his way to let me have my time for rest and makes me meals when I don’t feel like making any food and when most of it just nausiates me anyway.  He even ran to hardees for me on the last chemo day because the food they had from the deli just smelled awful to me.  He doesn’t treat me like I am some kind of burden even though I feel like one often just because that is how I am. I never wanted to have people take care of me but I am now learning how to do that.  I guess it is a lesson I need to learn.

Here is the first oil blend I used after this whole thing started back in April when they had me put a port in.  This is done because chemo is very hard on the veins and can actually collapse them and it can be very painful to put any liquid in them after awhile.  So this is a small triangle mesh and silicone device that you put the iv needle into and it has a small tube that runs to a main blood vessel in my neck.  This works handy for any iv not just the chemo.  Below is a picture of what it looks like in a cup (this was someone else’s that was removed) My hope is that mine will be removed in the net month or so. It is not painful but is just uncomfortable and pulls on muscle tissue.  Creeps me out.

The next picture is a collage of the day I had the port put in surgically and the next one is a pic of 6 days later after I had put the Immortelle blend of oils on the site 3-4 times per day.  This blend can help to reduce scarring and wrinkles as well as help to repair skin.  The last picture is what it looks like today – you can barely see the two entry points. It’s a bit red from a bandaid from the fluids I had Wednesday.   I applied this right on the incisions and it didn’t’ hurt at all when I did so.  No burning or stinging either.  It does come in a roller so if you do use this then you may not want to be sharing it with others or using it on your face.  Just purchase another one to do that.  Yes the oils are hard to source so the blend is a bit more pricey but is affordable for how much is in the 10ml roller.  The roller will last 6-8 weeks applying this way.  So it is well worth it.  When you see the results you will understand just how valuable this blend is.

Keep an eye out for more updates on some products you just may enjoy or be able to pass it along to someone who needs it too!

Port

 Day 1 & Day 6

 

Today

 

You asked for it so here it comes….

Recently I shared my journey at an event where I spoke about supplements I have used to support me during this time.

Many of these I had begun a few years before I was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer and Hormone Positive Breast Cancer on March 23rd, 2018.

I have added more in to my daily/weekly/monthly regiment to further support me during my Chemotherapy Treatments.

There is much “old school” or inaccurate and out dated information when it comes to treating cancer and some of the medical community is still stuck in this area when it comes to whole body wellness when going through any medial issues.

I am here to share with you what I have done naturally to support my whole body and how my basic tests for Liver and kidney function have stayed healthy during the entire treatment even while taking the supplements.  As well as my the tumor they were most concerned about has been shrinking and the doctors are very happy with my progress.

I will be highlighting the supplements here over the next few posts so you can get an idea of how you or someone you care about can have better health during cancer.  My goal is also to begin sharing this with the local medical community.

Stay tuned for more info coming!

 

So much has happened!

Wow! I am so sorry I have not been writing so much lately.

Here is a bit of what has happened.

I was scheduled for my 3rd dose dense chemo treatment (15th total) on the Thursday before the doterra convention which was September 13th.  However, the week before i ended up in the hospital with extreme abdominal pain.  Actually felt like labor – but I know that is not happening!  I believe it was a kidney stone but they found no such thing when they did a scan.  So they wrote it off as a side effect of the chemo.  I was not happy when they could not give me a reason for why this all happened and was very worried it would happen while I was out of state at the convention.  I did not want to miss convention as I had achieved a new level with doterra and was going to be recognized during the convention twice.  I was very excited and very worried at the same time.

I managed to convince my dr to postpone my treatment until I came back from convention.  So we drove back and arrived home Sunday September 23rd.  The next morning I went in for my 3rd dose dense (#15) and I slept during the entire visit.  Woke up just long enough to give them my name rank and serial number before injection, ok, I’m kidding but you do have to give them your name and birthdate in order for them to give you the meds.

My best bud came and sat with me the whole time and even took off work to be there.  I was so happy.  Of course she was rather bored because all she did was watch me sleep. lol.  Tim had to work and could not change his schedule so I really appreciated her being there.

I had to shift my work schedule around a bit as I wasn’t feeling to great the next 2 days so I slept alot.

I have also begun to shed alot after my 2nd dose dense as was expected.  I am hoping it will not be too much more after I am done with my final chemo on October 8th.  Yes #16 will be done then.  Not excited about it as you can expect but it is what it is.  Send positive vibes that my hair will hang in there.  I won’t stop shedding until about 2-3 weeks after the 8th.  And I have to continue to baby my hair with cool water washes and only 2x a week of shampooing very gently.  Still debating if I will bite the big one and just let my hair go grey or if I will color it again later.

I see the surgeon on October 18th to discuss what type of surgery I will be having.  It could be lumpectomy or it could be mastectomy.  Not sure and it will depend on how the chemo did as far as shrinking the tumor.  Plus I still have the hormone positive tumor to deal with too.  Yes I have 2.  One is triple negative or non-hormone responsive and more aggressive and the other is estrogen and progesterone positive.  Have you seen the commercials for the drugs for hormone positive cancer?  Those may be the drugs I will be faced with for years to come.  ugh.

On a brighter note I will be speaking about my cancer journey and sharing with a large group tomorrow evening how I have used doterra oils and products during it to help support my health.  It has been a great journey.  I am also giving away some of those oils to everyone who opens a wholesale account with doterra this month.  You can use the oils yourself or you can share it with someone you care about and help their journey.  I am so excited to share tomorrow!

And I get to share at the 8th annual Pink Event in New London on October 23rd.  It will be at the AmericINN and many survivors will be speaking about their journey’s and giving insight and help to others who are enduring the journey.    Lots of prizes and items to win as well as free gifts.  Can’t wait to share.

A local photographer offered a free glam session for me to celebrate the end of my chemo journey too!  I am so excited and can’t wait for the session later this month.  It’s been awhile since I have had pictures taken and I am hoping it will make me feel better after all this junk I’ve been through.

I had a terrific time in Utah during the convention and met some great people.  I loved the recognition and walking across a stage in front of over 30,000 people.  All cheering me on even if they didn’t know me.  doterra donated 5 million to women’s cancer research.  On top of that they announced the plans to build 5 more of the already 2 existing natural healing clinics.  These will be build outside of Utah and I can’t wait to see where they will go.  The doctors will be trained in using essential oils for medicinal purposes for their patients and will offer other natural treatments such as chiropractic care, massage therapy, acupuncture, energy healing, reflexology and more!  All while combining these with western medicine to help the patient support the whole body and find the root cause to their health issues.  I have hoped and prayed for this type of healing clinic for years and am so glad I get to experience it becoming main stream.

But for some reason – I am sure it is the HOLY SPIRIT – I am feeling ok with all of this.  I am not worried as much and I feel at ease during all of this.  I am not terrified of the future – at least not very often.  lol.  I use more oils now for grounding and relaxation as well as doing more energy work on myself.  The Lord knows what I need and I just need to keep my eyes and ears open to be sure I am doing what I need.

Thank you again for all the positive thoughts and prayers.  I do feel them ALL the time!

 

What a week!!

Ok so had my 2nd AC Treatment on Aug 30th.  Was not expecting what I got!  Came home Thursday after a rough 2 days of emotions -just feeling down and sad.  Went to bed at 10 pm and didn’t wake up til the next day (friday) at noon!  And still felt tired.  Thank heavens Tim was here to make me some meals as I didn’t even feel like cooking or even making a sandwich!  Ugh!  I got up for a couple of hours, ate and then went back to bed.  Slept for another 6 hours and then up for an hour and back to bed again for the night.  From Thurs. night til Monday morning I think I was awake maybe 8 hours!  I had no energy at all.  It was hard to even breathe and and eat.  I’ve had a lot of mashed potatoes lol as my stomach is not happy at all with the chemo drugs this time.  Even with all the meds they gave me I was still pretty nauseous.

Fun fact it can take up to 7 days after your treatment to wipe out most or all of your white blood cell count.  Leaving you with no immunity what so ever.  So please if you are sick stay away from anyone who is going through chemo.  If one runs a fever of over 100 then it may require a trip to the ER as an infection could run rampant.  I had a fever Saturday of 99.1 but it went down by morning and I took some onguard soft gels just in case I was exposed to anything.  They help to kill off bacteria and viruses.

I finally replenished my coffee this morning so here is a happy pic – and yes I STILL HAVE HAIR – I just put it up in a pony tail cause it was all over the place this morning.   But I have COFFEE!!!

Anyway I feel a bit more normal today and could even drive to the store for my coffee.  I am hoping that the next treatment will be the same or better as I will be leaving for Utah the Tuesday after!  My fellow drivers will need me to drive and be awake for the trip so think positive thoughts.

I have 2 more treatments to go.  Then they tell me I will see the surgeon and must wait til at least 4 weeks for all of my numbers to recover so no surgery until at least November.  Then I may need radiation afterward.  Had no idea this would be like a year long venture when I signed up.

Here I am looking like a dork again lol

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2 more pics like this.  They say hair starts to really shed after the 2 weeks mark with AC chemo.  Well today is day 18 and so far just a few strands have made the leap.  So I am praying the shed will not happen.  I don’t think I would look to attractive being bald or with peach fuzz.  At least I don’t have to deal with coloring my hair for the last 4 months lol.

BTW this chair I am in?  It has vibrators and a heater in it!  Real nice when your head is down to 35 degrees.  And it reclines so you can be somewhat comfy.  I have to be my own entertainment tho as no music or tv.  Hard to put ear plugs in and the liquid benedryl makes me sleep for most of the time there.  So my husband and SIL have a chat while they are there for me.  It’s nice cause when I wake up I am never alone and they ask me if I need a warm blanket or a drink.  I’m just not much company – although they probably like the quiet.  lol.

The fair went well and I met some new people and met up with some old friends.  Sadly I met 4 people who had or have had cancer too.  Sigh.  But I had some great visits with many people and I love that part of having a fair booth.  Which reminds me I need to check emails and do my reply’s.

I hope to get a message out next week.  Sometimes the good days get away on me too.  More fluids tomorrow and Thursday too.  Hopefully it will help me keep my immunity strong too.

Talk soon.

Jeanne

 

The Incredible Shrinking Tumor….

Had an ultrasound this last week to check my progress.  I will have a total of 16 chemo treatments.   (I am on number 14 next week)

The first ultrasound was at #6 and this last one was at #12.

The ultrasound on Tuesday, June 26th showed a tumor size of 16 x 11 x 20 mm.

The ultrasound on Tuesday, August 14th showed a tumor size of 14 x 8 x 20mm

Not a huge amount of shrinkage in 7 weeks but I will take it!  I don’t think the dr is looking for total disappearance of the tumor by the end of September but it should be much smaller.  Considering it started out 5 cm longer to begin with.

The first AC was a bit nerve wracking but there were no huge issues.  I felt very drained for 3 days after it though.  Had to get a driver for my fluid appointment (ha ha like I’m getting my windshield wiper fluid checked) and for my oils class we had.  So glad I didn’t have to miss either of these due to two great friends who offered to drive!

The neulesta shot hurt really bad!  Other ladies tell me to have them inject it slower and it won’t hurt as much.  So far the bone pain is very slight so hopefully it will not get any worse than this, as they tell me I have to have a shot after each of the next 3 chemo treatments.  Ugh!

I see the doctor thursday the 23rd to check my blood numbers and hope for the best.  Soon I will be meeting with the surgeon again to discuss options after we get a final MRI of chemo results.

I am nervous about the Utah trip for doterra convention.  I got my ticket months ago and plan it every year but this has thrown a wrench into my plans.  I will be leaving between the 15th and 16th treatments.  So not sure how I will be feeling and hoping for a smooth drive to Utah.  The nausea has been a bit worse with these drugs vs the taxol combo but am able to control it with meds, acupressure (yes I got to see the theda care natural doc) and eating small meals every few hours.  So far no vomiting which is a plus!  I have had some muscle type issues with my colon and not sure what is causing it but for you ladies who have had a baby, do you remember the pressure you felt in that area when you were giving birth?  yeah, that kinda describes it pretty well except there is no definite end to the pain.  Had to take some pain killers to get to sleep with it.  Hoping it will not come back again as this was the second time.

But back to the natural doc.  It was soooooo nice to be informed that I am doing a lot of the things she recommends already!  Even though I didn’t’ need them she gave me some reflexology points to help with nausea, hot flashes and neuropathy.  Imagine that huh?  Also she recommended the ginger oil and other supplements I am using too.  Made me feel good to have a doctor who knew what I was talking about and was recommending it all too!

My chiropractor is helping with the hip and leg pain I have had and it is tolerable now.  Just not going for jogs or long walks any time soon.

Fair should be fun.  If it’s not fun in the booth I can always go home so if I miss you there just fill out a “sorry I missed you” slip and put it into the cute box Charley made for us and I will get back to you after the fair.  I will not be there tomorrow as we take Charley to school for move in.  Summer went so fast and now off she goes to dorm life.  I am nervous but hope all will go well for her.  Still trying to remember everything we need and probably will forget something important.  Too bad she can’t take Fawn with her.  But no animals allowed.  Darn.

If you see me don’t be alarmed as I “look” tired.  And I am tired.  If you want you can offer me a place to take a nap lol.  But I don’t think I will look rested for the next two months of this as it’s hard to sleep with hot flashes and bone pain so if it’s 3pm and you can’t reach me then you can probably expect that I am napping.  And it may not be planned.  lol.

On a sad note our beloved barn kitty, Cupcakes or “Cakes” as he was lovingly called got very ill and passed away this week.  It was so hard to see him sick and we tried everything we could to help him but it just didn’t work.  He had the prettiest blue eyes and was the last of our Siamese kitty line.  I will miss him but I know he is in a happier place.  I was a crying mess just like a kid losing a pet and even tear up now thinking about it.  Don’t worry though Garfield is still visiting our deck and is trying hard to take Cakes place by rolling on his back and looking all cute and cuddly.

But it just shows us again how life is short sometimes and we shouldn’t take it for granted as it can end quickly before we want it too.  I am not in control nor is any other person here on earth.  So I try hard to tell myself not to worry about the future because I am not in control of it.  God has my plan and it will happen whether I want to follow it or not.  Whether I like it or not.  But that’s why he brought me a couple of really good counselors to help me get through all this.  🙂

Have a great day and I will let you know what the numbers are on thursday sometime this next week.  Sometimes I get behind a bit.  Can’t imagine why.

#13 coming up….

Very nervous this last week because the dose dense stuff starts tomorrow.  Heavy duty strength so that’s why they do them every other week.  2 different drugs so I have no idea how I will react to them.  Just another reminder that God is in control.

Last week was a very emotional and ugly week for me.  I was very sad and very angry all at once.  But a good friend invited me to tool around on a pontoon Sunday and man was that just what I needed.  It was so relaxing and part of the day Adam was at respite so we didn’t have to worry about him.  Then Tim took me out for awhile and we talked for like 5 hours.  So needed that!

Part of the reason I felt so sad was that I worked so hard last year to lose 50 pounds and due to the steroids and all this cancer crap I have gained 20 lbs in twelve weeks!!!    On top of that most women have a hard time getting rid of this after treatments are over!  ugh!  I feel so bloated and just huge.  So I am trying to stay below 25 carbs a day…..this is really really hard to do!  Wow.  Have to watch every label and look up every veggie for the carb info.  But it takes my mind off of the chemo so I guess thats a plus.

So my face is a bit more chubby but look at all that grey hair growing in!  Yes the cold capping is working along with the supplements and the essential oils.  I think i have about a 1-1/2″ growth going on now.  Of course I have no idea how hair will react with new drugs.  Hopefully I will not lose any hair as a result.   I just can’t wait until October when I can wash my hair more than 2x a week and actually use warm/hot water when I do!  This cold water stuff is for the birds!

I feel fairly good but have my bad moments but the side effects have not been as bad as others have had it.  Last week after the 12th taxol I had a lot of leg and hip pain.  Common side effect called neuropathy but it is not constant so that is a good thing.  Trying not to rely on ibuprofen to help with it as I want to keep my liver as healthy as possible during all the other junk they are throwing at me.

Another part of the sadness is that my business in Hortonville is only 2 years old and my time with doterra is at 6 years now and both were just starting to take off more then all of this happened.   I am down to working only 2 days a week on both and it is so hard for me to do.  Many clients are not available for just a tues or wed but I have until oct to finish the chemo and then depending on surgery will depend on how long I will be out of order for that.  I so want to put more time into both but my body is just not cooperating with me and it makes me feel like I have failed in many ways.  I know it’s just Satan whispering in my ear but it can get overwhelming sometimes.

Tomorrow the dose dense protocol has the tendency to wipe out your white blood cells and lower all blood counts so they automatically want to give you nuelesta injection after.  This drug pushes your bone marrow to produce more blood cells and that in turn can cause excruciating bone pain.  I am hoping to talk my dr out of it and waiting to see how the first treatment goes.  FUN FACT – this drug costs about $10,000 for each injection.  There are 4 doses of chemo left so do the math.  Thankfully my insurance will cover this but I just don’t want to do it because of the possible side effects.

Again, thank you all for the prayers and positive vibes.  It is keeping me from a deep depression through this and helping me to stay positive.  Also…….I went in for another ultrasound for the left tumor (it is more aggressive than the right one so they are watching it closer) and they will compare it to the one I had in June.  But the technician was having a hard time finding the tumor and was constantly referring to the last scan to be sure she had the right area.  They do mark it with a small titanium clip when they biopsy it so they can have a marker for surgery but because it has shrunk so much it was hard for her to get a definite area.  I was really hoping she wouldn’t find anything but I will take this.  The radiologist who looked the images over told her “I don’t need to look again, it’s doing what it is supposed to do”.  So I take that as it is shrinking.   I should have some exact measurements when I go in tomorrow to compare to June so I can’t wait for that.

Right now I am in my office diffusing the Anchor Yoga blend and it is heavenly.  Helping to ground me so my thoughts don’t drive me crazy before treatment tomorrow.

We are slowly figuring out how to help Adam best and met with his home team and now will need to schedule an IEP within the next few weeks in order to help him best at school.  I can’t believe school starts in 20 days!  And in 35 days two of my friends (and business partners) and I leave for Utah for the Global Convention.  I can’t wait and pray I am feeling well enough to travel well.  It only takes 22 hours to drive there lol.  So look for Dash on my facebook page as he will be traveling with us.  Al may come along too.  I have to see how much room I have.  There is some kind of secret and fabulous guest speaker on Saturday afternoon that week and they won’t tell us who it is til that day. Also some new products and oils will be released too.   I can’t wait!   So watch my Dreams of Jeanne Facebook page and the SpOILer Group if you are a wholesale member for updates and pictures of mountains and Dash’s adventures from Sept. 18-23.

Also I will be at the Waupaca County Fair next week (as much as my body allows) from 22-26th but I will not be there the 22nd as that is move in day for Charley at MKE Art Institute and I will not be there on Sunday the 26th until it is time to pack up and go.  So if you see that I am at the fair the other days stop in the new commercial building and say Hi.  I would love to see how many of my friends stop in – I’ll be counting.  lol

Talk soon!

Jeanne

 

 

Still learning….

Well this week has not been so bad.  Made it through Saturday for the party.  Was really tired by the end of the day but I made it.  I have been having some digestive woes and the dr told me this could happen and can be normal but because it has gone on for a week now they want to test me for Cdifficile or Cdiff which is a bacterial infection.

Not a very nice one either.  It can be very hard to get rid of.  They didn’t tell me that chemo kills off a large portion of your good gut bacteria – good thing I’ve been using some probiotics this whole time as they never recommended it to me.  Hadn’t even thought that the chemo can kill off this too.  I will find out after tomorrow if this is the case.  I pray it isn’t cause I just can’t deal with one more thing with this.  Getting sick and tired of being sick and tired from all this.

I also found out that even if they remove ALL of your breast tissue that doesn’t mean you will never get breast cancer again.  Apparently the breast cancer can move to other places of the body and begin to grow there.  Likely the lungs, liver, bones and brain.  Nice to know huh?  So for everyone who thinks they are safe from it after a mastectomy you really are not.  This is one of the reasons why I may just insist on lumpectomy and not the very invasive mastectomy surgery.

Did fluids twice this week as it seems to help with the exhaustion I feel and they decreased the steroids (which help with nausea) so I am not so hungry ALL the time but now I have more nausea at home so the fluids seem to help with that too so I don’t have to take so many pills for it at home.  I feel like a walking pharmacy sometimes.

On the plus side tho I think I have about an inch of new hair growth (in grey of course) on my head.  I am very thankful that the cold capping is working. It is hard only being able to wash my hair twice a week with shampoo.  And I can only use very luke warm water.  Brrrrr in the shower but it’s easier than trying to do it in the sink.  I am having better results than most women have with the cold capping so I feel so blessed for that.  But the dose dense drugs are coming on august 16th bi-weekly so I am not sure how the hair will react to that.  These are two different drugs than what I have been given the first 12 weeks. I believe one they refer to as the “red devil” as it is colored red.  I wonder if it’s the bags I see others have that are covered in a protective opaque bag? There are so many other people getting treatment when I am there and many have different regiments depending on their diagnosis.  Sometimes there are up to 20 other people having chemo at the same time.  We will see.  I just hope for the best.  Please keep in mind one of these two drugs has a small percentage of a chance to cause cancer of the blood or leukemia and to damage heart muscle.  This is what worries me the most but I don’t have much of a choice right now.

I will have another ultrasound of the left tumor on the 14th to compare to the others to see how much it is shrinking.  Looking forward to that.

It is nice however to not have to worry about stray hairs on my face or having to shave at all so that all saves me time lol.  Still have some eyebrows and lashes so yippee.  Yet I keep having dreams they are all gone and that I have a mullet hair cut and the hair behind my ears is falling out.  I guess my sub conscience is really worried about this. lol  Not sure where the mullet part came from but it didn’t look good in my dream.  I do miss the nose hairs tho cause my nose just decides to run whenever it feels like it with no warning.  So I get to carry around extra kleenex with me wherever I go.  I imagine I am so stuffy all the time because there is nothing to filter out dust and other pollutants from going right to my sinuses now.  And my house is a dust bunny heaven!

I am still able to work Tuesday and Wednesdays so that I am thankful for.  Gotta pay the rent and not have people forget who I am!  Still running the sale until end of august but I may only be doing 2 days a week throughout september depending on how the new chemo is going this month.  Plus I will hopefully be driving out to Utah for Doterra’s global convention on sept 18th. (7 weeks from now!)  So I will be closed that week.  Wish me luck that I am well enough to make the trip.  It will really take my mind off of all this other negative stuff for sure.

I will be at the waupaca county fair in a booth here and there from aug 23-25th.  Luckily I have two other great ladies who are doing wed and sunday so stop by and see us.  We have some specials going on with doterra and we will be in the NEW building.  We move Charley in to the dorm on the 22nd already so I will hopefully be in milwaukee that day to help her.  This summer just flew.  Not sure I am ready for this yet.

I have not been the easiest person to live with this week.  Very irritable, upset, mad, sad, happy, angry – every emotion all within 10 minutes time sometimes.  Please pray for my family who are putting up with me.  Sometimes I just feel like my life has been put on hold and I have not control over anything at all!  Drives me nuts.  I have always been independent so I am trying to tell myself it’s ok to ask for help and receive help.  That’s not going so well.

Again, thanks for all the prayers and positive thoughts.  Without them I know I would feel so down and depressed every minute.  I appreciate those who have helped me out -especially during Charley’s party last weekend.  It was wonderful.

#12 and final of these first two drugs is on Thursday.  those 12 weeks seem to have gone so fast and yet so slow.  lol.  Wish me luck!

Jeanne