Chemo 2.0

I walked into the infusion center today and I realized the difference between this time and before, is that there is no end in sight. 4 1/2 years ago we had an end date and I knew how many of these treatments I would get. All I know now, is that I’m going to be getting some sort of treatment for the rest of my life..

Treatment went well today. Either one of the pre medd, or the Tax made me super tired and loopy. It’s hard to even send a text or message and sometimes hard to talk without slurring my speech. I’m trying to figure out what it was so the next time I can have less of it. I’ve been laying down most of the day falling in and out of sleeplines.

Chemo starts next week

I am very tired, overwhelmed and not feeling very good tonight, but I found out info. about treatment next week so here is a quick update.

I had my 6th day of radiation today and it was a rough day. The side effects have started – fatigue and heartburn/strange feeling in my chest. I had a lot of pain in my chest last night and didn’t sleep well. I ended up taking more pain meds today than normal to get through the day.

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Peripheral Neuropathy after Chemo

UPDATE 11/5/18

Praise God!  I found something that works!  Woohoo!!  I have no idea if it will help forever, but it is now and I am so thankful!

I kept seeing an ad for Protalus insoles in my Instagram feed.  I read the comments and testimonials, but wondered if they would actually help with the pain I was having.   

If you decide to order, Email me first and I can send you a code to get $20 off your first order.

One night when I was super discouraged and in pain, I decided to order a pair, since they have a 90 day money back guarantee.  I received them a few days later and wore them in gradually as they recommended.  The majority of the time, I am in slippers and socks around the house, so I got the T75 insoles so I could wear them in all of my shoes and slippers.

When I went to order a couple other pairs last week, I did try the M100 and T100, but they were not as comfortable and my feet started to hurt.  Protalus customer service was AMAZING and got them switched out for me very quickly!!  If you are interested, you can go to their website and search for the type of insole that would be best for you.

It’s been 5 1/2 weeks and I rarely have any neuropathy.  The only time I am not using them is in the shower and for the 25 min. a day I do yoga.  Other than that, I have slippers or shoes on.  (The other night, I had friends over and was dressed up.  I walked barefoot for a few hours and regretted it.  I won’t do that again.)

So for now, I have a solution and I am very thankful.  I can’t wait to tell my oncologist about it at my appointment on Wednesday!

UPDATE 8/23/2020 – Still working 🙂

Chemo is the “gift” that keeps on giving.

I’m very thankful that chemo did it’s job and I survived it fairly well.  For over a year, I was doing really well.  I was working with the Dr. to manage side effects from the hormone blocking pill, but as far as chemo…my hair grew back, my energy came back and the horrible peripheral neuropathy went away.

Then came May 20, 2018.  (My last chemo was March 2, 2016.)  The neuropathy in my feet was back and very painful.  There was no reason for it except that something had caused those nerves to flare up and the pain was back.  Since then I have been trying everything I could find to try and ease the pain.  I know Gabapentin will work, and there are other drugs to try that will probably work.  But that usually means some other side effect.  So I’m trying hard to not down that road…but I’m getting close…

I think the hardest thing about the neuropathy is that it reminds me of cancer.  I used to not think about it much, but this neuropathy is making me hate it even more (if that’s possible).

Here’s what I’ve tried that HAS NOT worked.  I list them because while they did not work for me, they might work for someone else!

  • Wearing shoes all the time
  • Tylenol
  • Ibuprofen
  • Alleve
  • Ice
  • Physical Therapy Exercises
  • Massage Therapy
  • Keto diet
  • Life, Vibe and Balance supplements by Tranont Health (although I did sleep better with these)
  • Vitamin B Complex (helped in the beginning after chemo, but no longer helps)
  • Alpha-lipoic acid
  • Tumeric
  • Coconut Oil
  • Rest – getting off my feet
  • Pennsaid
  • Biofreeze
  • Nervana (Money back guarantee)
  • Penetrex (Money back guarantee)
  • Capsaicin Cream
  • Tens machine
  • Lyrica (this made it hard to focus and made me very depressed)
  • Gabapentin (I have gone up to 200 mg at night this round of neuropathy and it has not helped)

Here’s what I’m still going to try…it get expensive, fast!!  (I will update this page as I try new things.)

  • Towel wet with apple cider vinegar and then sprinkled with cayanne pepper – wrap around feet
  • Nervex CF
  • Absorbine Jr. pain relieving gel
  • Soaking feet in Epsom salt
  • Activated charcoal
  • Magnesium
  • Peppermint, chamomile and lavender essential oils
  • Acupuncture
  • Meds:
    • Cymbalta
    • Baclofen 2% diclofenac 5% gabapentin6% tetracaine 3 % – compound – need to be sent to a pharmacy

Here’s what HAS worked in the past when I was on chemo and one time since, but I’m not willing to do these long term…yet.

  • Tramadol (narcotic….not long term option…narcotic and addictive)
  • Gabapentin  (makes my brain crazy…hard time processing things….very forgetful)

AND HERE’S WHAT I’M DOING THAT WORKS….IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ABOVE….Protalus insoles!!  Woohoo!

If you have found something that works for you, please tell me about it in the comments below!!

The quest for the perfect bathing suit after chemo, radiation and multiple surgeries

I will admit, one of the first things I did when I found out I was going to need a mastectomy was search for what type of bathing suits were out there.  This was before I knew anything about surgery or reconstruction.

Turns out there are quite a few post mastectomy bathing suits available, but I don’t need any of them.  Honestly, I could wear a bikini and you wouldn’t be able to tell I had surgery.  (Not that I’m going to do that, but you get my point.)  I am very thankful for the plastic surgery options that are available.

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No Chemo Today!

This is the first Wednesday in a long time I haven’t had to get up and go to chemo.  So instead, I’m sitting/laying around in my bathrobe.  I wish I could say I’ve been celebrating the past few days, but the side effects from my last dose of chemo hit me really hard starting Monday afternoon.  So hard, that I had a to cancel a fun night out with friends and had to call on a friend and my aunt at the last minute to help, because I was so nauseous and weak, I couldn’t take care of the kids and Tom was working and out of town.  I’m out of bed today, but still not able to do much.  What a nice reminder about how horrible chemo really is!  🙁  Boo!!  Glad it’s over!!

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