Sunday, September 27, 2009

Question - Muscle Pain (4 weeks after chemo)

I have had muscle pain in my legs and arms this past week, seems to be getting worse everyday. I am trying to figure out if this is a side effect from chemo or what is going on. I am fine otherwise, and not really tired or anything. I'm still walking, even did a bike ride. I'm sure I'm not overdoing it. The muscle aches are when I am standing or laying down.

And here I thought this would be when I would be feeling the best - 4 weeks after chemo and not yet started radiation!!

I am going for bloodwork on Tuesday so I will talk to my nurse about it as well. The bloodwork is to see if my counts are high enough to put me on the list to get my port removed.

Still no word on when radiation starts, although I've heard I may only get 1 day notice.

Hope everyone is having a good weekend!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Art Therapy

I joined an art therapy class, along with seven other cancer survivors. Our instructor is a trained art therapist, and stressed that this is not an art class, but a way of using art as therapy. I enjoy art, and was actually kind of hoping it was an art class.

Our first session's assignment (a week ago) was to use colors and shapes to show 'strength'. We had colored construction paper, scissors, and glue, and an hour to be as creative as we could. I was happy with my result, which was a very calm outdoor scene (a big tree, and the lake with the sun setting). I get my strength from the outdoors - trees, flowers, the lake.

Our second session's assignment (this morning) was harder to get started. We used pastels (both chalk and oil) and started by closing our eyes and 'scribbling' until she said stop. We then had to examine our scribble and see something in it, and then continue working on the picture. She encouraged layering the colors, blending, smoothing (using paper towel), etc. It was fun, even though I think my result looks like something a young child would produce. I saw two butterflies in my scribble, and so I added more butterflies, dragonflies, and some flowers. I used very vibrant colors. The second part is to talk about what we see in our pictures, what we felt as we were working on it. To me, the butterflies are flying away, signifying that I want to fly away, or escape. That suits me well right now as I am absolutely sick of everything cancer. I'm worried about starting radiation (still tentatively next week), which means being at CancerCare 5 days a week for 5 weeks, surrounded by cancer.

That's why I haven't posted in a week, just really avoiding it all, taking a break. But I've been walking and do feel like I'm getting some strength back. I notice my arms and legs feel very heavy, and I do get very tired, but at least it means I'm sleeping better at night.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Post-chemo update

I had an appointment with my oncologist this morning, to see where my blood counts are (two weeks since my last and final chemo). My white blood count is low (no surprise since I didn't do the neupogen shots with my last chemo). My red blood counts are still low (anemic), although a little higher than last time which is great news. He had done extra tests to see if my iron or B12 or something else was a problem, but nothing showed up. He feels it is all just caused by the chemo and will come up on its own.

I really ran low on energy on the weekend, to the point that my legs felt really heavy and hard to move. I'm just waiting for the energy to come back now so I can start a more regular walking routine.

Looks like radiation will start on Sept 28th, but no confirmation yet. I'm also waiting for the appointment to get my port removed.

Coffee tastes good again...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Radiation Markings

Feeling good, spent the long weekend at the lake. Am enjoying coffee again!

I went for my radiation markings this morning. It didn't even take 30 minutes. I changed into the ever-fashionable hospital gown, laid down on a hard surface, and the two technicians marked me and moved me in and out of the CT scanner a few times. Then they tattooed the 4 markings (permanent, but tiny dots) that will help the radiation technicians line me up properly for my treatments.

They said 25 treatments, tentatively starting in 3 weeks, but that I will get a call to come in and meet with the doctor first. So I don't know too much else.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Getting there slowly

I got out of the house twice yesterday - once to go to my support group (a friend drove me), and then out for coffee with some friends last night. It was so nice to get out (we are finally getting our very late summer weather). I'm still very tired, very low energy, but that's really my only complaint. I know when I start gaining my energy back, there is no more chemo to knock it down again - this time it will be for real.

I got a call about radiation therapy and have an appointment on Tuesday to get my markings. Guess I will find out more then.

Have a good long weekend everyone!