Saturday, April 12, 2014

This Is Me

Last Friday (not yesterday), I woke up to go to the early morning prayer service at church. I will be very frank with you: I am not a morning person. It takes my eyes a while to open. But, our church has been having a special 21 days before Easter early morning prayer service, so I asked God to help me wake up.

That day, I woke up and rolled out of bed. I didn't turn on the light in the room. I just reached into my drawer, grabbed a shirt, put it on, and then put a fleece jacket over it. After the prayer meeting was over, I came home and got everything together to go to see my oncologist.

It wasn't until I had to change into a robe at the doctor's office that I made a stunning realization: I was wearing an undershirt. You know, the kind that you wear under sweaters? The kind that are supposed to keep you warm during winter? The kind that are never supposed to be seen? All that time, I had thought that I had put on a scoop neck top.

Then, I had to go for my chemo treatment. I didn't want to unzip my fleece jacket, but I had to allow the nurse to access the port. It was so embarrassing. I had to explain what I had done. This is me... now.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Nice Scar

I have a scar across my neck because of my thyroidectomy. The doctor explained that he was going to cut in the natural fold of my neck, so the scar wouldn't be so noticeable. I had no idea what the scar would look like. I didn't really care. I just wanted the (thyroid) cancer out.

After my surgery, my eyes were open to thyroidectomy scars. That is when I started to notice that there were a lot of people that had them. Mostly women. An abundance of them. Why hadn't I noticed before?

Some of the scars are still red from being fresh. Some of the scars are so faded that you can't even see them. Some are a bit high in the neck. Some are a bit too low. Some are very straight across, while others are a bit crooked. Some look very jagged, while some look quite smooth. So many variations.

When I see people with a thyroidectomy scar, I find myself admiring their scar or being thankful for mine. I confess that I talk to myself saying:

"Nice scar." 


"Is that what my scar looked like?" 

"Wow, can't even tell on that person."

Let me tell you, I do appreciate a good scar when I see one.

Monday, April 7, 2014

No-No for Medication

Last week I had another CT. Three months had already passed since starting the Abraxane! I was a bit nervous about the results because of my last CT. I just prayed that I could continue with the Abraxane versus some stronger chemo drug. 

About a month after starting the Abraxane, I had unknowingly made a big mistake. I ate grapefruit. Apparently, grapefruit can react with different medications to cancel out their effects. This was one of those medications. Of course, I had gorged on grapefruit. I really, really like grapefruit. Always have. Always will. When I mean gorged, I would eat 1-2 at a time. Sometimes up to 4 a day. Yes, a day. I really, really, really like grapefruit. It also doesn't help when your mom knows this and buys several big bags for you.

I had made this mistake when taking my first hormone medication: Tamoxifen. After taking that medicine for 3 months and having a CT, we had to switch medications. The Tamoxifen had not helped my cancer, at all. I had gorged on grapefruit during that time also. I found out too late about the grapefruit no-no. 

I guess if I had been a normal person and eaten one, it would have been fine. But, I couldn't do that. Had to eat several at a time. Some habits are hard to break.

When I got to Dr. K's office on Friday, I found out that my cancer had not grown nor had it gotten any smaller. That's ok. As long as it doesn't grow or spread. So, we are continuing with the Abraxane, and I am staying away from grapefruit.