cancer-sux.jpg

It’s Friday. I got chemo today instead of yesterday. I was very nauseous at my visit, even before the chemo. But there is good news too. I have not taken any pain medicine since last Wednesday night. Not on purpose exactly. It just ended up that I forgot to take it when I was sick, nauseous, coughing with night sweats. I just did not think about it and I had no pain so it was Tuesday before it occurred to me that I had not been taking my medicine. This is a major thing because pain is a very good indication of how the cancer is doing, or what it is doing. Dr. DeMichele seemed stunned by this revelation. She was very encouraged. She was even smiling, repeating my words “you are taking no pain medication…you are having no pain?” So if I am in no pain…the zometa is probaly filling in the holes. And the navelbine is likely doing its job too. We can not say for sure. I am just taking it as a good sign for now. Don’t cancel my funeral just yet. Kidding.

As far as my response to the chemo…it is still a bit tough. I get super tired the day of chemo and the next. And I feel very sick to my stomach and eat very little food. I lost 8 pounds last week. I went to a Christmas Eve party and drank water. On Christmas Day I ate the smallest bit of food. And no dessert. I just do not have the same desire to eat food. I feel sick even with medication. I drink a lot of water. I sleep. There is nothing they can do. I am taking the meds and well….eating when I can. I always wanted to be thin. I always wondered how skinny people could just not eat, I sort of understand.

I spoke to the writer of the article on me and the Rock School benefit on Monday. He still has no idea at this time which section of the paper it will be in. Not the entertainment section though. It will be in the news section though. It may be in the Saturday, Sunday, or Monday paper. No idea yet. If he calls me I will tell you. It could be interesting.

I am feeling sick and tired but really blessed right now. I was talking to a woman at Rena Rowan today. I was just smiling and she started to cry. I am not even sure what I said. I said I was sorry for making her cry. Then she said, “you are just so positive. You are the opposite of me.” I reassured that I cry too. That I often feel negative. I don’t think she believed me. I thought about Alaina. I thought about she is always smiling on the end of the phone when I am down in the dumps reassuring me that I can get through treatment and that I am going to make it. I usually think man Alaina is so positive! I guess if this woman really knew that I do cry. I am really tired and sick. And usually I am mostly positive that I am not going to make it. So I hugged her and told her she and I are both strong. She is still here and fighting.

And a friend of mine battling this disease is doing poorly. And it is really effecting me. She is very dear and I want her to respond to treatment and I am going to pray for her fervently. I want her to make it. This is so difficult. We either respond or we don’t. We have recurrences. We get sick and then better. Or we get worse. My heart is aching for this friend. She has even considered Rexin G and other alternatives. I have her in my prayers. Cancer sucks.

11 Responses to “”

  1. Amy J. says:

    Hi Andrea,
    It was so awesome meeting you – usually I go to chemo just wanting to get it over with but I had fun this time! You are truly an inspiration (and your blog is addictive). Have a Happy New Year!!
    Amy J.

  2. I haven’t had so much problems with sickness from chemotherapy, and I was going to recommend you try and get some Tropisetron, because that drug is amazing and I attribute my wellness to it, but when I read on wikipedia

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropesitron

    it said it’s not available in the US. Ask about it. Maybe there are trials. Everyone at the hospital talks about how it is awesome although it’s expensive. Might be worth just a mention.

    As for the weight thing, my weight has gone up and down so much. Down with chemo, up with steroids. I gained so much weight (in fluid I guess) from taking steroids for a month. I felt like a monster, I didn’t even look like myself. Now it’s finally going down…

    We all have our positive times and our down times. Even people without cancer do. It’s life. There’s always something to worry about, so enjoy what you can. And you seem to do that!

  3. Linda Berenato says:

    Andrea,
    It has been long time since I have saw you. I lived on Passyunk Avenue, between Carpenter & Christian Streets with my husband Bill, daughter Tori & son Billy. If I’m not mistaken, either Asa or Tucker was in the same class as Billy at Meredith. We have since moved from Passyunk Ave. to Cherry Hill. I went kicking and screaming, sort of like a real life Green Acres for me!

    I remember you would walk down Passyunk Avenue with your kids, the boys with their bright red hair, and Bailey with those big brown eyes! You would stop if I was outside of my home, and we’d talk for awhile, and I remember our conversations to always be pleasant.

    Obviously it seems that a lot has gone on in your life since I last saw you, but the one thing that remains the same is your positiveness (is that a word?). I always remembered you to look at the glass half full, to see the best in bad situations, to see the good in everything. It seems that that hasn’t changed…I’m glad!

    When I read the article in the Inquirer this morning – front page – you go girl, it warmed my heart. Then I started to read your blog, and all you have been through. Your humor, your outlook, your positiveness is still there. You have not changed a bit because of this cancer. You are not letting it get the best of you, you will not let it get the best of you ever!

    I am happy that I had the opportunity to know. You are truly a person that I will always remember. You truly are an inspiration! I will continue to check in on your progress through your blog. I will keep you, your husband, and your children always in my prayers.

    With love,
    Linda

  4. Seth says:

    I know that this is Firdays post and that it is now sunday but I wanted to tell you that I read your article in the Phila Inq. and it was inspiring and i have been sitting on teh computer for the past 2 hours looking and reading through everything on here. I wish I could make it to your benefit on monday but I wonte be able to b/c I am heading out of town… If there is anything I can do to help please let me know and I will be more the glad to help.

    Seth

  5. Char Schmidt` says:

    Saw the article in the Inquirer today which is why I am here. Great story…which is why I am here. Wonderfully written. Please know that I, too, am praying for you. You are sooooo right…cancer SUCKS. It has taken too many of my friends and aquaintances long before what we mere mortals think is “their” time. You are MY hero!
    Peace!

  6. Debbie says:

    I also read the article, I will keep you in my prayers. You are such a stong woman, I feel I will be able to learn much from your blogs. Thanks for allowing us all to get a glimpse into your life.

  7. Lucy Childress says:

    Andrea,
    I was reading the article in our Sunday paper about your battle with cancer. My husband and I went through that fight and he won his battle. He was given less than 6 months when diagnosed. We decided to go all organic and did a internal cleansing. I stood by him and ate the same diet. We were making progress until he ran into problems with his gall bladder. It was related to the cancer. We did many gall bladder flushes and that only relieved his pain for a short period of time. Bottom line he was missing nutrients his body needed to heal itself. When he had finally turned gray in color a friend of mine informed me of a glyconutrient called ambrotose. We contacted a friend to help us get started and got the money together for his first months treatment. The product arrived in two days. On the third day after taking the ambrotose, Doc’s color came back and within a week he was out walking two to three miles per day. I know you are fighting a different type of cancer but I just had to share this information with you. I know from experience that ambrotose helps a variety of physical problems and have many friends whose lives have been changed by this stuff. For my own benefit, I suffered a shattered tibia on 9-27-07 when a racehorse ran into me while I was galloping at Philly Park. The injury was so tramatic that my doctor was concerned that the bone would not heal at all. He had to bone graph the tibia to repair the tibial plataeu. I suffered no infection and as of Thurs 12-20-07 after x-rays my doctor told me I could put full weight on my leg. He was totally surprised and stated that he is becoming a believer in glyconutrient supplements. He has never seen anything like this before. Each day I thank God for giving us Ambrotose. Without it I am certain Doc would not be here today. All of this occurred during 2006. On Christmas of 2005 Doc started taking ambrotose and other supplements produced by Mannatech and as of Aug 2007 he is cancer free. No operations or drugs just a natural nutritional program and the help of glyconutrients. Please go out to the Mannatech website and see for yourself what this gift from God has done for others like us. Thank you Lord. Love Lucy

  8. Hannah Flite says:

    Hi Andrea! I don’t know if you remember me, my name’s Hannah Flite but we were both in Professor Orvell’s American Photography when you were pregnant last fall( I asked you to describe Shannon Farm among other topics I could not grasp in that class). I was just thinking of you and looking up Shannon Farms, and then today, I saw the article in the paper and couldn’t believe it. It’s truly amazing how positive and uplifting you and your writings are. I will continue to read and keep you in my thoughts. Cancer does suck, but I’ve always remembered your great sense of humor and huge smile. I wish you the best of luck. Peace ~

  9. Jimmy says:

    I read you story today and it really moved me! Thanks! All the best with your battle! Kick its ass!!!

  10. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Andrea,
    I had to visit you online after reading about you today. Your babies – all of them, the big as well as the little – are so lucky to have you no matter how long you can continue to enrich their lives. Your love and concern for them is what comes through your words, and that is your true legacy. I was pregnant with my fourth child when I discovered that I had breast cancer, and it was really terrible. My four kids are fine and so am I. I’ve been given a happy ending. That’s what I wish for you – a happy ending – no matter when or how it comes. Please know that I am adding my prayers to all the others. You inspire me.
    In peace,
    Elizabeth

  11. Helen says:

    Andrea
    I read about you in a newspaper article, in the Milwaukee (Wi) Journal-Sentinal. I am a lactation consultant in a hospital, and what jumped out at me is the fact that you have a cancer that “mimics” mastitis. I have had several mommies in my practice with similar symptoms, and did turn out to be “just” mastitis, I am always fearful that we are missing something. I have had to pressure docs to do breast ultrasounds, because none of them would listen to me about the rare but possible diagnosis of inflammatory breast cancer–maybe because of mom’s younger age, or the many changes in the breast during nursing or just lack of knowledge. Could you share a little bit in your blog about how your cancer was diagnosed? What was done to finally get the diagnosis, how hard did you have to push to get further studies done?
    I wish you the best in your treatment and recovery. I will pray for you, and your family.
    Helen