Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Medical Update -- Doxil, Weight Loss and Herceptin

(cross posted, with a bit of editing, from Coffee and Chemo)

Started Doxil on Tuesday.

We have not received approval yet, but are optimistic that our supplemental insurance will cover the treatments.

Meanwhile, a few of our many angels covered the cost of today's treatment.

So we wrote a check to the hospital and I received my first treatment.

At one point, I felt a tightness in my chest and midsection.  The nurse slowed down the pace of the IV. The pain lessened, though I still felt a tightness in my chest, in the area of my sternum.

The pressure did not increase when the nurse raised the rate again, but I still feel the tightness in my chest now (almost 7 hours later).

My next dose of Doxil is in a month.

My oncologist advised me not to expect to feel a difference in pain until then.  I hope he is wrong.

Lately, I have had to take half a Percocet at night, in order to alleviate the pain enough for me to fall asleep.  I wake up in the morning, earlier than I want, from pain.  I do not want to take a whole pill, because I do not want to be a zombie in the morning!  I am back to taking pain killers (2 Optalgin & 2 Algolysin) as soon as I get up, and every four hours thereafter. 

My appetite has not yet returned fully.  I only have a few more kilos left to lose (4.7 to be exact).  When I get down to 70 kilos, I will have to do something to make sure that I do not lose too much weight.  I always said:  If I have to eat a high calorie diet, I will just eat ice cream all day.  I might need to stock up soon....

I also need to do some sort of exercise.  I know I do not move enough during the day.  I lost all this weight, yet I still feel like I have to drag myself to go anywhere.

Good news for today:  My health fund approved coverage of Herceptin!

Please pray, or send happy, healing thoughts, for RivkA bat (daughter of) Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,

Saturday, June 5, 2010


(Cross posted, and edited, from Coffee and Chemo)

On Friday, almost out of nowhere, I got really angry at my kids and started snapping at them.

Moshe, my dear husband, gently questioned me, "Why are you yelling at the kids?"

All I could answer was, "I am mad."

I sat sulking for a few moments.

Then, I pondered Moshe's query.  "Why am I so mad?"

I could not avoid the obvious explanation that I felt displaced anger.

If I am being completely honest, I have to admit that I am mad at God. 

I am mad that He gave me cancer.  I am mad that He made things worse (even though things will get better again, BE"H). I am mad that He is making me deal with cancer, now, before my daughter's Bat Mitzvah (coming of age), when I have lots of other things to worry about....  I am mad.

I trust God.  I have not lost faith.  But I am mad at God.

Once I realized where my anger came from, I had to stop snapping at my kids.  Fair is fair; if I am mad at God and I want to yell, I should yell at God.  But I did not want to yell at God.

Instead, very politely, I explained to God just why I was so mad at Him.

I allowed myself to feel angry.

It is OK to get mad at God.  We do not have to like everything God does or agree with everything in His plan. 

I accept that God has His reasons.

I just don't like them, whatever they are.

I do not want to have cancer.

I want God to make the cancer go away!