Wednesday, May 25, 2016

It's Not Hard To Say Goodbye

I had my follow up appointment with my radiation oncologist, Dr. Ridings, today. She evaluated my spine and said we can say goodbye and there are no additional appointments needed.

My spine may still be weak and it is still healing.  So no running until August 1.  But I'm cleared for non-jarring aerobic activity until then.  The elliptical has always been intimidating to me.  But it may be my new friend.

Goodbye Radiation Oncology and Dr. Ridings

Today was my first (and last) appointment at the new office.  This is not "so long".  This is huge THANK YOU and a bigger GOODBYE to Dr. Ridings and the Memorial Hospital Oncology Radiology Department.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Side Effects or Something Else?

With a higher dose of my targeted treatment pill, Tarceva, I experienced all over muscle aches and pains.  The dose was lowered.  Most of those pains went away.

Lately, I've been concerned with some muscle tightness.  I started doing morning stretches after my last back pain issue. Since I was going to stretch my back every day, I thought I would be good to stretch the rest of my body too.

I realized I'm having issues with more than just my lower back.  Most all my body is tight. There has been no improvement in flexibility after several weeks of daily stretches.  I contacted my oncologist last Friday.  He suggested I hold off on my chemo pill for a few days to see if things improve.  Today is Monday.  I haven't taken a pill since Thursday.

I didn't think it would be too scary to not take my chemo pill for the last few days. I knew I would still have some in my system. I didn't think the cancer would return within a couple days.  But my energy levels were down.  I was also reluctant to carry on with normal activities for a couple days.

I called the oncologist today with my update.  Three days with no pill.  Three days with very little to no change.  So the plan is to go back to my regular dosage tonight.

Maybe I'm just that out of shape.  Maybe the stress on my body has effected me more than I realized.  Maybe this isn't lung cancer or treatment related.


Monday, May 16, 2016

The Rain in May Stays Mainly on the Brain

The forecast is calling for rain this week. That makes me think of May 2015. It rained 28 days in May last year. We don't get rain like that in Colorado Springs. It was so humid. I was having a hard time breathing.

That's the bad thing about lung cancer. The symptoms are often very similar to other symptoms. My lungs felt so heavy last May. I didn't think too much about it at the time because of our unusual, wet, humid, weather.

I now know it wasn't the weather causing my breathing problems. It was, yet to be diagnosed, lung cancer.

When it rains, and I'm at work, it triggers that memory of my bogged down lungs.

I've been deleting emails from the urgent care type facility that I went to in December 2014. Every time I see their emails it triggers the memory of going to their location, thinking I had bronchitis, and being told my lungs sounded clear. I was told my congestion was caused by post nasal drip. I explained that I cough all the time, even without a head cold.  I was given a list of over counter medications and the appointment was over.

This last week I decided to look at an email so I could unsubscribe from the repeated emails. That's when found the email was a survey.  How was your service? Let's just say I gave them an earful with the limited amount of characters I had to notify them that my post nasal drip cough was later diagnosed as stage iv lung cancer. I haven't received a reply yet.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Seeing Red on Mother's Day

Today we celebrate and high five all our moms.  But please remember this when you see the all the pink ribbon pics and pink baseball jerseys...
Every five minutes, a woman in the U.S. is told she has lung cancer, making lung cancer the most common form of cancer in women and the lung cancer death rate in women has more than doubled over the past 35 years.