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May 2012

Lucky No. 7

This was a very good week! Most of the pain I was experiencing was gone, I started exercising again, and I completed my 7th round of Chemo. So just one more to go.

I started doing some very basic yoga (I've been an active practitioner for years, but have been away from the studio for 4+ months now), but it's been limited by a new side effect: Cording. This can happen after lymph node removal (which I had) and occurs when lymph fluid builds up under the arm and crystallizes around muscles/tendons, creating a thick, hard cord that runs from the armpit down the inside of the arm (attractive, right?). It's sore, feels like a very tight tendon, and has limited my range of motion in that arm. But it is reversible through "aggressive massage" and exercises designed to break down the crystallization, and I will hopefully see the physical therapist about it next week.

I've also been walking - two to three miles every day for the past week - and while I won't set any pace records it has really improved my stamina and all but eliminated the pain in my legs. Plus, I'm getting to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine, and all these Spring flowers in Charlestown:

Lucky No. 7

Lucky No. 7

Lucky No. 7

Lucky No. 7

Lucky No. 7

 

 

 


Round 6

I have now completed 6 of 8 chemotherapy treatments; the end is finally in sight!

The Taxol is proving to be much easier to tolerate than the previous A/C treatments were. I had a rocky start with it last week when it caused terrible neuropathy in my fingers and toes (painful, discolored nails with numbness/tingling in the pads of the fingers) along with joint pain in my ankles, knees, and lower back. But I got a prescription for Neurontin which has all but eliminated those problems (just some lingering soreness in the nails and the ever-present fatigue), and last Saturday night was the first time since this all started that I actually slept through the night.

Which meant that I was feeling good last Sunday when we celebrated my Mom's 79th birthday (via a surprise party at a friend's house) and my Dad's 83rd birthday today.

I also ditched Kristen Wiig for most of this week and wore an assortment of beautiful head scarves in memory of an amazing woman who lost her battle with ovarian cancer one year ago. I was in awe of her grace, humor, and strength then, even when I couldn't personally relate to what she was going through, and I remember it as even more amazing now that I have first hand experience with chemo and all that it entails.

Scarves
But as I said, the end (hopefully) of my fight is in sight, and I have surgery (lumpectomy & lymph node removal) tentatively scheduled for mid June. Not looking forward to that (I have to be awake for the initial biopsy part!!) but hopefully by July the toughest part will be behind me.