November 10th was my 39th birthday. The third birthday I have celebrated since my diagnosis. So far I have been travelling this road for 28 months. Apparently the median life expectancy for MBC is 26 months so I am doing good so far.
I celebrated my birthday early with a trip to Vancouver. I didn’t get to see nearly as many people as I would have liked, but there will be more visits. The actual day was celebrated by getting my favourite, a zoladex injection, followed a couple hours later with a herceptin treatment. I did get my free birthday beverage from Starbucks to add a little joy……..mmmmmmmm……..peppermint mocha………..
Two days ago I noticed the stiff neck and head pain from the splotch on my skull is finally really disappearing. Yay! Yay! Yay!!! I’d jump up and down with joy but I don’t want to push my luck quite yet.
Of course, this happens as a weird pain is starting up in my right armpit. I was finally able to sleep on my right side for a little bit before my skull would hurt and now my armpit starts to hurt. Go figure 😛
My last couple of CT scans have shown enlarged lymph nodes in the area but when I had an ultrasound nothing looked like a possible target for a biopsy. Plus, both my medical oncologist and my radiation oncologist have been unable to feel any abnormal lymph nodes when digging their fingers into my armpit.
I see my onc again next Thursday and my next CT scan is scheduled for the following day. Perhaps there will be some explanation for the pain with those appointments.
In the meantime I am continuing to recover some energy after my travels. My fatigue was back in full force when I got home. Perhaps I had not recovered quite as much as I had hoped from my radiation in September.
Somebody on one of the MBC email lists I belong to posted an interesting journal article about cancer fatigue. I am attaching the link http://m.jco.ascopubs.org/content/19/21/4180.full. I found it so interesting to read because it finally made me feel less crazy about what the fatigue does to me. There were two aspects of the fatigue description that I found particularly true, one was the fact that sleep has no effect. There are days I think I could sleep for 25 hours and I still won’t have the energy to get out of bed. The second thing was talking about “empty being empty”.
I remember when I was working evenings at St. Paul’s, I walked to work, a couple of kilometres, then depending on where I was working I could be on my feet running for almost 8 hours then there’d be a sick call so I’d stay and work another 6 hours before walking home again. I’d be exhausted but there was no question I’d be able to make it home. Now, I can be mid-activity and blammo, I hit the fatigue wall, and quite literally, if I don’t stop whatever I’m doing and sit down immediately I will fall down because I don’t have the energy to stay upright. It really does make me feel better knowing I am not the only person who deals with that.
Alrighty, that is enough for now. CT scan is in 8 days. I’ll post when I get the results.