Tuesday, July 17, 2012

And So It Begins...Again...

Tomorrow I will find myself (for the second time), battling 'The Big C'. Unfortunately this time it's not as simple. The doctors cannot give me the treatment and then say "You're cured!" No, this time the cancer is here to stay :o( Now it's all about making me comfortable (from the pain), getting my body into remission and keeping it there.

A few weeks ago the surgeon called to let me know about the pathology report. It was found that because it's been 12 years since my breast cancer, the cancer cells are presenting themselves a little differently but...they 'believe' the new sites are breast cancer related. That leaves me with a bit of doubt in my mind but that's the best they can give me unless the treatments don't work and prove them wrong. Great system, don't you think? I know I have some of the best doctors on my case but after my initial experience, it's hard to put my full faith in someone else's hands.

So yesterday, DH and I went into the 'big city' to meet with the Medical Oncologist. The day had finally arrived where I would know the plan of attack. In a nutshell, my treatment will consist of the following...

I'm being put on a drug called Letrozole (brand name Femara). For how long, I don't know. It's similar to Tamoxifen and does the same thing by lowering what estrogen levels I have left in my body. If the cancer were to return, then that might be the point where chemotherapy is called for. The doctor believes that my outlook is good considering the length of time since my breast cancer back in 2000.

I'll also be given a drug called Pamidronate every month. It's given by IV and takes about 2-3 hours. This will help strengthen my bones and aid in rebuilding the hole in my sternum. We'll have to travel to the 'little city' for this.

Finally, there will be radiation on my sternum to help with the pain. I have an appointment next week with the radiologist so we'll know more about this then. The oncologist said it 'might' be a five day course and that it will be fairly soon. I'm not thrilled about radiation but the pain is getting worse. I've tripled my long lasting pain medication and it still hurts...a lot!

Right now, DH and I are still trying to wrap our heads around what is happening and how it will affect our lives. It took me eight years to get over the fear of my breast cancer returning and now...well now I have to live with the fact that this is being treated like a chronic disease and I'll be screened for the rest of my life :o( There is no escaping it this time. But...I am stronger so I'm sure I'll be able to figure out a way that cancer doesn't take over my life. I've got two very good reasons right here with me ;o)

I just cannot get over all the wonderful cards/emails full of support, prayer and friendship, along with thoughtful gifts that will help alleviate some of the financial burden. It touches my heart that we mean that much to people. I've tried my best to send out thank you notes or reply to Blog comments but if you didn't leave an email address, I could not get back to you personally.

So here's to another direction in life! Hopefully the road will be much smoother than I anticipate.

56 comments:

Daffycat said...

I'm terribly sorry you are in such pain * cries* I'm also very upset you must go through this when this should be the happiest time in your life. My sincere hopes for a fast remission and some relief to pain and worry.

Annie said...

Sending tons of positive thoughts your way. So good to have Jr. and DH close to you when you have so much to deal with and adjust to.

Jannie said...

Pumpkin - I hate to read about your news, but with the attitude that is coming through in your emails, well I believe that will go a long way in your recovery. I hate that disease! You will be in my prayers.

Anne said...

Oh dear. My heart goes out to you and your family. Keep strong my dear and I will keep you in my prayers. It must be unreal to go through this... I can't even imagine having to live with that kind of pain and have to go through what you are going through. Big hugs to you!

Parsley said...

I have a knot in my throat. No fancy words to offer but I want you to know I'm praying.

Patty C. said...

Thinking of you & your family -hugs!

Crazee4books said...

Dear Cathey,

Well, sounds like you know the plan of attack
and are prepared and ready for the battle
ahead. With the support of Doctors, family
and your legion of on line friends/fans you'll
get through this.

I hope that the meds will help with your pain
which can really wear a body out fast.

You and your family are always in my
thoughts and prayers.

Hugs!!

capecodgirl565 said...

While it is not the news one hopes to receive by any means, at least now you know what you are dealing with and with your attitude, I am sure this will not defeat you or rule your life. So sorry to hear of the continued pain, but hopefully that will be resolved soon. In the meantime, know that you are in my prayers, you do have two very, very good reasons to stay strong. Best wishes to you and your family.

Mary Ann said...

Cathey, sending good thoughts and prayers. (((hugs)))

natalyK said...

Pumpkin,
Sending well wishes your way! I hope this course of treatment is as easy on you as it can be. I am hoping you will get good results and be in remission soon. Hugs and good thoughts.

And This Little Pig said...

Hope people don't mind that I am going to speak for all of us, but I know we all feel the same way.

We are here for you! And for your lovely family. A rant, a cry or a laugh, we will listen. If you need something ask, and we'll do our level best so see it done.

Hugs, prayers and love to you and yours.

LiBBiE in Oz

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

Much love, huggles and prayers coming from us here sweetie.

~*Sharee*~ said...

Hun, you just keep your head up and we all will keep you in our prayers. God bless you for going thru this nightmare again; I know you have a long road ahead of you; just know were all loving you and thinking of you..

Hugs, Shar

p.s. I'm gonna stitch those Halloween Buttons soon..have you started your "Bat & Pumpkin"?

Christine said...

Many, many good thoughts coming your way that the treatment works and acts quickly! Stay strong!

Christina said...

I can't even begin to imagine what you are going through. Your attitude is so positive and I know that it will help you get through this. My continued thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. (((HUGS)))

Sharon said...

Cathey, I hate to hear that you are such pain. I hope it can be relieved soon. Praying that your pain eases and that your treatments will go well! {{{hugs}}}

Mouse said...

well it sounds a wee bit better than I thought .... at least you don't have to have chemo again for now :)and that the outlook is good too ... so girlie (((HUGE HUGS))) for you all ... if you need me just squeak and tap the screen and I shall be there ....
give junior a cuddle from me too :)
love mouse xxxx

Gabi said...

I am so sorry to read about that bad disease and send you my very best wishes.
I think, when I read your post, you are very strong woman!
Hugs from Germany, Gabi

Valma said...

Last post I wanted to cross the screen to cuddle Junior, this time I want to cross the screen to hold you in my arms and give you a big big big warm hug
=(
Be strong
I continue to send you all my positive thoughts and wish you that the pain goes away very soon and remission comes very fast....
all my love from France
xxxxx

Marlene said...

Our thoughts are with you, I take Femara daily without any side effects. Hope you pain is reduced soon, xxxxxMarlene

Chris said...

I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

Shari said...

please know we will be praying for you & your husband/son....you sound much more positive than when I first found your blog several years ago....that will be a huge help to you...

Marion said...

Always thinking about you!!!!
Will send you an email.

Sally said...

Dear Pumpkin I am sending you lots of positive thoughts and hugs. Your wonderful positive attitude, as Jannie said, will surely go a long way to aid your recovery. Please know that I, and many others, am thinking about you.

Vickie said...

Oh Cathey! I am so sorry for the intense pain. I have lived in pain for over 7 years, I do know what a terrible drag that can be on life. Cuddle Junior close and keep praying. I will be.♥

Carol said...

Your strength and determination to beat this thing never fail to amaze me, Cathey... I know all of us are hoping and praying that this new course of treatment will be successful and offer you relief from that awful pain. I'm sure much of your strength comes from looking into those beautiful blue eyes of your sweet baby...what better motivation for a new mother?

Thinking of you, as always, and hoping for minimal side effects from the new drugs. I'm always here any time you want to vent. Sending warm hugs your way...

Christina said...

Cathey, you have such an amazing attitude to what you're going through. Fingers crossed for a very speedy recovery once treatment starts. And I hope you're out of pain very soon. Sending lots of love & positive thoughts across the ocean.

Rita said...

I'm so sorry you have to go through all this.

I'm praying for you and your family.

Julie said...

I hope they can help you ease the pain. You have a wide circle of friends that love and care about you and i know that can lift even the worst times in your life just knowing others are praying and thinking about you.
Love and (hugs) xx

E.L. Chard said...

Cathey,
I'm so sorry that you have to go through this at all and I'm praying for you & your family. (((Big Hugs))) <3 <3

Erynne

mumzy said...

Hi Sweetie
I believe all your friends have it right when they say you are a strong person and that you have a great attitude. You do have two wonderful reasons to be that way. Your DH is a most loving, helpful and thoughtful man and, Jr. is such a sweet baby and a smile that just melts one's heart.

You know Dad and I are also there for support and for any help you need.

{{{All our Love and Big, Big Hugs}}}
Mom

♥ Nia said...

You are stronger that your enemy, believe that. I can imagine it's hard, it's very hard on you (and your DH and family too) but you'll rise above. You will do it.
Stay strong, stay positive. Everything will fall into place, it will get better. You are a tough Pumpkin =)
Strong hug to you my sweet friend, you are always on my heart ♥ and I'm sending all my positive strenght on your way!!

Janine said...

Huge hugs to you and those 2 gorgeous men in your life and also a huge hug to your Mum and Dad. I am sure they need it too.

Annette said...

Cathey, you have the best surporters back home... you can win it all!!
You wil get your remission, and enjoy al the joy in life!!!
I wish you many strenght!!
Good luck girl, you can do it!!
Hugs Annette

WendyCarole said...

I am so sorry Cathey. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts.Sending big hugs xxxx

Nancy said...

So sorry you have to deal with all of this...praying for relief from your pain and healing for your body and peace of mind for you and your husband. Hugs...

zoomcity said...

I'm so sad about all of this.I hope the radiation helps the pain, and that this *is* the breast cancer they think it is and it goes into remission quickly.

Gert said...

Cathey, I'm so sorry to hear this news and please know you are in my prayers during this difficult time.

Blessings my friend,
Gert

Rachael G said...

I cannot express into words what I want to say....so
(((((HUGS)))))

Veronica said...

I'm so sorry to hear that you're in pain. Really hope the medication and radiation will help. Stay strong and hang in there. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Hugs,
Veronica.

Cath said...

Thinking of you all. Hope the treatment gets to work soon to ease your pain and get you into remission. Take care . Hugs XXXXX

Lynn said...

It would be difficult for anyone to wrap their heads around this one. Understanding the pain you are going through shows me just how strong you are though. I will be thinking of you as you start your treatment and I hope for a speedy remission.
Sending lots of hugs and prayers your way!

Chiloe said...

It does suck big time and I hope the best for you . Sometimes we can think: are people really ever cured? ( and I also think of Pierre when I write that)... :((

Sending lots of hugs and love. ♥ ♥ ♥

Melanie said...

I'm so sorry to hear that you in still in so much pain. I hope the treatment works for that so that you can live (and breathe) a little easy.
*HUGS*

Ranae said...

It is strong!
But, you, my dear, is stronger
prayers and good thoughts for you
XXOO

Karen said...

Keep the faith and I will keep you and your family in my thoughts.

Catherine said...

I am amazed at the strength and courage that comes through in your posts. You are a very strong woman. I will be sending good thoughts and healing prayers every step of the way....

Lany said...

Hola querida,

En estos momentos lo único que puedo decirte es que lo tomes con calma, porque estoy segura que lo superarás, ya lo has hecho una vez y ganaste la batalla.....Espero y deseo que todo pasa o cuanto antes y que te animes para seguir publicando cosas bonitas e interesantes en tu blog....t deseo lo mejor....


Besos,
Lany

Tatkis said...

Big hugs and prayers to you, dear friend!
Hope you will not be in pain for long!!

Denise said...

Ah Cathey - I missed this post! So sorry the doctor's news wasn't better. Prayers to you and your boys. May the doctor's get the meds right the first time and get you back into remission. Take care!

Brigitte said...

I'm more than sorry after reading your post. I wish you all the strength you need and will be thinking of you every day and sending positive thoughts.

Maggee said...

Lots of prayers for you and your family Cathey! Big Hugs!

Aussie Stitcher said...

Cathy, I hope and pray that you can get relief from the pain you are in first of all. My thoughts are with you during this trying time. Take care and stay positive, draw on the strength of those around you.
{{{{{HUGS}}}}}

Alberta said...

"When love and skill work together,expect a masterpiece."

Cathey, I'm sure you have the best team supporting you in this journey and a loving family to surround you. You will conquer this!

{{{Hugs}}}

Devon said...

Just wanted you to know that I am praying for a quick recovery,,and a miricle to come to you..hang in there..
Devon

Leslie said...

sending you love and prayers!!!!