Friday, February 5, 2010

Countdown to going back to work (< 4 weeks)

A busy week... I met some friends for lunch. We're wearing our beaded bracelets made to support our friend's mom when she was diagnosed with breast cancer (and now it shows support for me as well!)

After lunch, I had my followup with the radiation oncologist, who says all looks good. He did say I need to get a compression sleeve to wear if I'm flying, since there is a life long risk of developing lymphedema in my right arm, where all the lymph nodes were removed.

I went for lunch with my support group. We meet weekly, either coffee or lunch, or sometimes at someone's house. This will be hard to fit in once I'm back to work, but will definitely be a priority.

I went for a walk with Nancy, who is my running partner and is training for a half marathon here this month (in the snow). We ran it together a few years ago. I miss running, but I'm just not ready yet. I've tried a couple of times, but am sticking to walking for now.

I talked to Jan, my friend in Vancouver who calls every week or two to see how I'm doing. In addition to her regular job, she has a dog walking business, so she is usually walking through some forest or along a beach when she calls. She always asks me to come out to visit, hopefully I'll get out there in the summer with the kids (we missed our planned BC trip last year which was to include biking down the mountains at Whistler - them, not me).

I watched a webinar on 'Healthy Lifestyle Choices for Breast Cancer Survivors'. The main message is to eat low fat, maintain a healthy body weight, and exercise. Unfortunately, all the studies were on postmenopausal women. There were also discussions on alcohol, soy, and flax, which can affect estrogen sensitive cancers (mine is not). Vitamin D was the last thing discussed, the recommended range to take is 200 to 1000 IU. It's disappointing not to hear that there is something significant I can do to reduce the chance of recurrence. The one change I have made is drinking green tea everyday. Green tea is shown to lower the risk of cancer in general, not necessarily the recurrence of breast cancer. It is a healthy drink since it's a rich source of antioxidants.

I'm thankful again for what a strong support group I have - so many people that check in on me or I just know are there when I need them.


  1. Hi Beth.
    I have a compression sleeve and use it for flying especially on our long flight to Europe last year. If you have extended medical you can get reimbursed for it.They measured one for me at Pharmasave and I had it within a few days. You can also get a Lymphodema alert card for your wallet from and on it it has for which arm not to use for IV placements,injection and blood pressure readings.
    I take 1000 IU of Vitamin D each day along with my regular vitamins. I am on Tamoxifen but even with that I have been told that I still have 25% chance of it recurring in the next 5 years because of the tumor size. Hopefully not, so I will do all I can to try to prevent that from happening.
    Have a great weekend Beth:)

  2. Love the bracelets!! So glad you have such a strong support system...any advice for women who may not have strong support?

  3. I wear my bracelet much as I can remember.
    Yes, get a sleeve to fly and keep it on the entire time
    you are in the plane. We had a flight from IL to Milan Italy and I did so good.. No swelling at all.

  4. A support system is so important and we're so glad you have that!