Thursday, September 18, 2014
I am having a rough time with fatigue issues once again. I'm not sure what is causing it this time; I haven't started the new chemo yet (and still haven't heard yet when I will be starting), and I am no longer taking the Afinitor or Aromasin, so it doesn't seem like my blood counts should be the issue. The last time they were checked, my hemoglobin was at 10, still below normal, but it shouldn't be causing my fatigue to the degree where it is now.
I'm thinking maybe it might be a thyroid issue; I am on a med for that, but it's been a long time since my thyroid levels were checked, and maybe my dosage needs to be adjusted. I see my internist on the 29th and I will ask him about that.
In the meantime, I have to find a way to manage it. I've been in the habit of doing all my Spark stuff (my tracking, team visits and reading blogs) in the late afternoon, but that is also when my fatigue is the worst, so starting today, I decided to do as much of that as I can in the mornings instead. I will still do my workouts in the afternoons, but I can come back later to track my fitness minutes, or just enter that info the next day.
I usually try to avoid taking naps, but I think with the level of fatigue I am having right now, it's something to reconsider. I will give it a try, and even if I don't fall asleep, maybe just resting and zoning out for awhile will refresh me enough to get through the rest of the day. Lately, there have been many days where I have fought off the urge to take a nap, and I end up going to bed too early, around 8pm, then I end up waking up around 2 or 3am and not being able to get back to sleep. I feel better the next day if I can hold off my bedtime until 10 or 11pm.
Tuesday, September 09, 2014
I went to the clinic this morning to get my monthly lab work done, and got the official word that I will have to start IV chemo again, a drug called Halaven. My treatment cycle will be once per week for two weeks in a row, then a week off. I am waiting on a call from the cancer center to find out when I will be starting.
The most common side effects are low blood counts, something I have dealt with regularly on the chemo I had in the past, and the oral treatment that I am no longer on as of now; fatigue and weakness (again, something I've already had experience with.)
Hair loss is another side effect. Right now, that is the hardest one for me to come to terms with. I went through that in 2003 when my cancer was still stage II; it wasn't easy then, but at least I knew I had a set number of treatments and some idea of when it would start growing back. With stage IV breast cancer, there are no set number of treatments; once you are on a chemo drug, you stay on it until it stops working.
The other two most common side effects are nausea and peripheral neuropathy (numbness and tingling in the hands and feet.)
I'll also be getting my chemo at the same cancer center where I have had radiation in the past. Our hospital is phasing out their oncology clinic. I will still have the same doctor, but I won't have the same oncology nurse. I have known her for about 10 years now, and I sure am going to miss her!
The cancer center is in the next county, but just a 15 minute drive on the freeway, at least in good weather. Another reason I will miss our hospital's clinic is that it was about a 5 minute drive from my house, and if I wasn't able to get a ride, I could take the Dial a Ride bus to get there.
My hemoglobin was 10 today, which is still below normal, but "good" for me; last month, before I had the blood transfusion, it was 8.5.
On a different topic, some good news about Timmy. The vet's office called with his thyroid test results, and they are normal. If he is still having the diarrhea, they want me to come in and get some probiotics to sprinkle on his food. He is still having diarrhea, but I think it's from the antibiotics he is on, so I will wait until he's done with the antibiotics and if he is still having problems, then I will get the probiotics for him.
Tuesday, September 02, 2014
UPS delivered my reel mower this morning. It was only partially assembled, which I knew when I ordered it. I just needed to assemble the handle and attach it to the actual mowing part, and the box claimed "no tools required". Sounds like it should be easy, right?
Not so much for me! I ended up calling a friend for help, and God Bless him, he dropped what he was doing and came right over. My first problem was that I had 2 of the 4 pieces of the handle upside down; once that was fixed, it was actually pretty easy to attach it to the mower.
I tried it out, and it was actually easier to push than I was expecting it to be. It's a little noisy, but not nearly as noisy as a gas mower. It will take a bit longer to do the whole yard than it would with a gas mower, but that is because the cutting swath is not as wide. Within 11 minutes, I had almost half of my tiny little yard cut. The only reason I did not finish it today was because I got too hot out in the sun. I will finish the rest tomorrow, and I'll get out there early in the morning before it gets too warm out. I think with my health issues anyway, it might be for the best to split that chore up over a couple of days, at least until I can build my stamina up a bit more.
I'm actually looking forward to getting out there and doing some more mowing!
I snapped a picture of it also after it was put together.
Sunday, August 31, 2014
I'm ending this month on a positive note, and hoping to start the next month on one also. Despite having issues with extreme fatigue the first part of this month, I only missed 2 days of exercise, and ended August with a total of 814 fitness minutes. I am also right on track with my weight, still maintaining my goal weight.
I even got out for a walk today; I can't go too far or too fast with my hip issues, but the weather was nice this morning, the pollen count wasn't too bad, and I just wanted to get out of the house for a little while. My pedometer battery died, but I took my kitchen timer with me so that I could at least track the time I spent walking, (it counts the time up as well as down). I walked for 23 minutes.
My earache finally cleared up yesterday, and Timmy is doing well too, he's back to acting like himself again, including getting into mischief! (He was up on the kitchen counters yesterday even though he knows he's not suppose to be up there.)
My best friend who takes me shopping every week won't be able to during the month of September. Her mom has some serious health issues, and she and her brother and sister in law share the responsibility of checking in on her daily and taking her out for lunch, shopping, and appointments, but her brother and his wife will be gone on vacation so it will be all on Rhonda to look after her mom. Rhonda has MS, so she has to be careful of her own health too and not overdo it. I will be taking the Dial a Ride bus to the store and back and do my shopping. (We do have taxi service here in town, but it's too expensive; since I use a cane and that qualifies me as "disabled", it only cost me $1 for a bus ride.) I've already stocked up on bulky items that would be too hard to take home on the bus, such as toilet paper and paper towels. I will still have to pare down my weekly list to just the essentials though, I have two oversized reusable shopping bags that I will use, and that is about all I can handle getting on and off the bus with along with my cane too.
Thankfully, I have no appointments this week, so at least I won't have to plan my shopping trip around those. I'm still waiting to hear from my oncologist about whether he is going to change my treatment or not.
Last week, I had some upsetting news when I found out that my friends that take care of my yard work won't be able to do it for me anymore. I understand their reasons, but finding it out when I so stressed out about everything else going on and not feeling good, it hit me kind of hard. I wasn't sure at first what I was going to do, as I can't afford to pay someone to do it for me. It sounds silly and unreasonable of me, but I kind felt like I was "dumped" and I really felt down about it for a few days.
I have a lawn mower, but it needs to be repaired, and even if it was working, with my shoulder problems, I don't have the strength in my arms or shoulders to pull the cord to get it started. I also can't afford to get a new one that starts without a pull cord.
I figured out a solution though; I ordered a reel mower from Amazon, and I paid for it using gift cards I earn through doing Swag Bucks. I found one that had pretty good ratings and was priced at $87; it should be here on Tuesday. I have a very tiny yard, so as long as I don't let the grass get too long, I am pretty sure I can handle it. I can even spread the chore over a couple of days if I need too, and I can count the time spent mowing towards my fitness minutes. There is also no motorized parts so I don't have to worry about being able to get it started, and I also won't have to spend money on gas for it. I'm actually looking forward to getting it so I can try it out.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Timmy had his vet appointment this afternoon. After going over his symptoms again and doing a physical, he drew some blood for lab work. I knew he was going to check his thyroid, because we had discussed that before, but because of his age and other symptoms, he decided to check for a few other things too.
I had about a 20 minute wait for the results of the kidney and liver tests; that is a long wait when you are worried! Timmy was pretty calm while we were waiting. Thankfully, his liver and kidneys tested normal; the vet told me with a cat his age (he's 14) those are the first areas they suspect when there are problems. His white blood count was normal too, but at the very highest end of normal, and in light of the symptoms he has been having, he decided to put him on an antibiotic just to be safe.
The thyroid test will take 5-6 days to get the results, but at least that something that is treatable with medication. Some of his symptoms, especially the weight loss and diarrhea, are those of over active thyroid in cats.
I'm just relieved that at this point, it doesn't appear to be anything serious. I am hoping I will sleep better tonight knowing that he will be ok.
Get An Email Alert Each Time MOM2ACAT Posts