Sunday, March 29, 2009

Onycholysis. . . Say that fast 3 times

Hi friends and family,

I know it’s been a couple of weeks since I last updated, but I didn’t want to come back while the complaint department was open. Not that I wanted to receive anyone’s complaints, but rather *I* was complaining.

The nails continue to hurt, but the throbbing has lessened. On Friday at work, I found myself with my head between my legs. Lest you think weird thoughts, let me continue. I was looking underneath the nails, trying to figure out how much of the nail was still connected, wondering if they would fall off. I touched one of the 3 bad nails, and it lifted. Ewwww! The world got white and it wasn’t because the lights just went on. I was so nauseous and faint-feeling. I am so thankful that no one walked by my cubicle right then!

The side effect of Taxotere to the nails is called Onycholysis. Taxane probably cause nail changes more commonly than other drugs with an incidence of nail toxicity ranging from 0% to 44%

One toe nail broke off on Tuesday. It was the little toe that thankfully doesn’t have much of a nail. However, the nail was 100% white. So comparing this white break point on the toenail to the other toes, it appears that 5 more are destined to break off. I am keeping both the finger and toe nails short, in the hope that they all will just grow out and nothing more will come off.

Here are some pics of the nails. I wear Band-Aids on 3 of the finger nails while at work – a lot of my time is spent typing. One night last week, my hand slipped as I was opening a drawer, and Mr. Lefty Middlefinger’s nail hit directly on the edge of the drawer. OMG! Stars and lights, you say? I noticed the next day that there was dark stuff under the nail. . blood?

Fatigue has been rather high this week. I had a late meeting on Monday and Tuesday and I am guessing this is what exacerbated the fatigue. Vic always says, “go take a nap”, but naps do nothing on the fatigue. In fact, I woke up late one day – which makes my boss oh so happy – found that I had slept over 9 hours, but was still fatigued.

I am very thankful that the cancer was caught early. But that little “what if” cloud peeks out ever so often. It again feels as tho I am holding my breath. Will I be able to breathe once I meet the new oncologist this Thursday and after the first-after-treatment MRI or PET/CT Scan? Will it be this way before each follow-up appointment?

I spoke to TB, a 3 year survivor and one of my supports at work, who said that she still gets the “what if” feeling before each follow-up scan or appointment. I hear this same from other survivors online. So I guess it’s not unique to have these feelings.
Several people have reminded me this past week that my body went through a lot, no wonder it’s fatigued. I know this, but I guess I expected to be zippity-do-dah by now. . .it’s been 115 days since the last chemo. Three months and 25 days. Wow! And it’s still causing havoc.

For those who want my secret on counting days . . .I found this on the web.

Here’s a few pics of the hair and eyelashes. They are growing! Just a few positives to keep my focus. The hair is a dark blonde with some white at the temples. Not sure why the back picture shows so much grey! The back is starting to wave, no curls yet. I've called the hairdresser for an appt to get it cleaned up just a little.

Hope everyone has a very blessed and sun-filled week!


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mr. Lefty Middlefinger

Can I vent?

If your answer is no, you may want to click over to another site.

It’s been 204 days since the first surgery
It’s been 185 days since the second surgery
It’s been 100 days since the final chemo
It’s been 37 days since the final radiation

Aren’t we done yet with this cancer thing and side effects?

One would think that with this many days since something happened or ended, I would be back to normal. Yeah, yeah, I know, I will have a new “normal”. I STILL want to know who coined that crappy phrase.

I don’t want this new normal if it means having finger nails and toe nails wanting to depart from my body. Leave already! Let’s get this show on the road. Stick a fork in me, I am so done! I’m tired of babying my left middle finger. Don’t you think this is an appropriate finger to have a nail fall off? I just love showing people this special finger. They go, “Ewwwwww” and then laugh because it’s the middle finger. Some of them don’t know that I really AM flipping them off. IT.HURTS. It hurts to type and in my profession, I type a lot . . . and then it throbs. T.H.R.O.B.S.

The left ring finger still has the red stuff underneath. This is how Mr, Lefty Middlefinger looked several weeks ago. It’s uncomfortable if I press on the top. So, don’t press on it, Renee, you say.

But wait, why should the right hand be left out of the fun? The ring finger is starting to turn opaque white like Mr. Lefty Middlefinger. And it is uncomfortable. Can’t say it HURTS, but it’s getting to that stage. The right middle finger has the red stuff and it hurts.

Let’s do the math here. Two fingers on the left hand + two fingers on the right hand = 4 fingers.

Wait boys and girls, there’s more! For just $19.95, you too can have toes that throb and burn 24 hours a day. Many toenails have the same white opaque as Mr. Lefty Middlefinger. At night, if one of them decides to get caught by the sheet, whamo bamo . . . T.H.R.O.B.

Okay, I’m done. Just had to get that off my chest. But dang it all if Mr. Lefty Middlefinger doesn’t T.H.R.O.B. from that fast, furious typing.

No need to comment. Just nod your head. And send chocolate.

I will remind myself that some other TNBCs have it worse and would gladly trade throbbing nails to have more days with their family.

Peace over and out!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Nuttin' Honey

Nothing major to report which is wonderful!

I saw the radiation oncologist on Wednesday for the one month check-up after finishing radiation. Doesn't seem possible that it was only a month ago! He said as far as he is concerned, I have a clean bill of health. He did say, tho, that if I had any problems that were related to radiation, that I should call their office, not my internist. Makes sense.

I spoke with the nurse after she did the preliminary blood pressure and weight (lost another 2 pounds, so yeah! Only 35 more to go to reach my first goal) about the port removal. She had worked in infusion oncology before switching to radiation oncology. Nurse Marlene said the exact thing that the oncology nurse said about the port removal. "It's easy. Yes, it's a snip-snip and the port is out." She said it's always easier and faster to take something out than put it in. Hmmmmm. So once I meet with the new oncologist, I will make the appointment for the removal. Oh, but then Vic has surgery. Okay, we'll wait a little longer. :-)

Weather in Seattle is weird this weekend. We had glorious sunshine yesterday and today we have strong winds and snow is coming. Can't wait for it be really spring and have the chance to play in the garden with plants. I even like to weed! Weeding gives me great pleasure in that I can see immediate results . . .the flowerbeds look clean and spiffy.

Vic is calling me for dinner. . .he is cooking taco chicken from a new recipe. I'll let you know how it goes.