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Great news, but still fighting hard


HEY THERE… IT’S ME KATHY BY KATHY GOLEMIEC

How was your week? Mine was a big woohoo. Well it started as kind of an undecided oh-no then turned into a big woohoo. Let me explain why.

I went to see my oncologist this week and he said, after looking over everything and taking into consideration all the times I have ended up in the hospital with these treatments, he was going to stop my heavy chemo drug. 

He said my body couldn’t take anymore right now. I would still be getting the IV drugs every 21 days, the bone filler drug and the two chemo drugs, the new drug Perjeta and its sister Herceptin. That was the oh-no part.

That meant to me, no more bombing the cancer with the heavy stuff so what was going to happen now? Would the cancer start growing again? Have I been defeated?

It’s hard fighting something you can’t see. I wanted to be mad and scream. I wanted to sit and cry and say, it got me, but I couldn’t. My mind was racing. What could I do? There has to be more than this on my part. I don’t believe in masking a problem, I believe in fixing it.

My cancer is fed by estrogen and so many things can produce estrogen. Sugar is one of my bad ones and even fat when you reach menopause. Body fat doesn’t just turn into fat, it also turns into estrogen. That’s why the fat is in the belly and hips and thighs more at that age and it’s harder to get rid of when you are in menopause. So my first game plan is to lose the weight I put on during the last bunch of treatments. I went from fluffy to bumpy.

But the doctor said… here is the good part… the cancer markers went from 56 when I started treatments down to 20 after five treatments. That means the cancer is shrinking and that’s a big woohoo. Since I am continuing to take the cancer drugs, it will continue to shrink.

And get this. No more steroids. My place may fall apart from not getting the overzealous cleaning but, oh well, I just won’t write my name in the dust, ha. Also no more of my body falling apart, no more metal taste, no more headaches and some of the other problems I have been having and my hair will start to grow. Woohoo.

I know there will be side effects from the other drugs, but I will deal with them as they keep coming. Just because the cancer is shrinking doesn't mean I’m going to let my guard down, I will still fight hard. I want to get this at a standstill or like most people call it into remission. Like the song goes, what don’t kill ya makes ya stronger.

When I was at the appointment, I had noticed that the veins in my shoulder and arm were all blue. I know you’re thinking they are supposed to be blue but, no, they are looking like I have blood poisoning.

He sent me straightaway over to the hospital to get an ultrasound.  He thought there could be the possibility of a blood clot and, if so, I would need a needle every week in my stomach with blood thinners.

Another oh-no. So over to the hospital I went and had an ultrasound done. For this test, you just lie on a bed and the technician squirts a thick gel oil on the place where you will be getting the test. She runs a wand over you and it shows on the screen the blood flowing in my veins. It showed the blood in my veins is one colour and in the arteries another colour and when she turned the volume up on the machine you go hear it, like a loud washing sound. She told me that was a good sound. The test only takes a few minutes and there is no preparation for this test. Everything is good, I’m just turning into a Smurf, ha.

I’m so happy I don't have to get a needle every week, so another woohoo. You all know how I hate needles. I still have a touch of pneumonia and this weekend I started coughing every time I tried to have a conversation or if I walked around too much.

The coughing would start and my bladder thought it was getting the signal to empty, then you had run to the bathroom and hope you made it in time.

Did I? Ha, let’s just say more laundry than usual this week.  Another oh-no. The antibiotics are all done, oh so glad they are over with, but I’m still not feeling good, my ribs hurt from coughing and the coughing is so much more the last few days. I will have to get a chest x-ray this week.

I got chemo this week and everything went well. Blood pressure is low and I’m having bad dizzy spells and the diarrhea again so I figure that’s why the pressure is getting a little dehydrated. Yes, I’m drinking lots of water, so hopefully it will stop soon.

Weight wise… oops, up two pounds. Those darn vegetables, couldn’t have been the cupcakes they said were low fat, ha.

Well, have a good week folks, and yes the house flies are getting in everyone’s house looking for a winter home.

 

Kathy Golemiec is undergoing treatment for cancer and writes about her experiences each week.

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