Thursday, January 23, 2014

Health & Office Update

Since my last post I've received a full cycle of Abraxane (Once weekly x3 weeks.)  Next week is my one week off, then I see Dr. Coscio and most likely proceed to another cycle.  Scans (CT of chest, abdomen & pelvis; whole body bone scan; and chest x-ray) are scheduled for February 25th.  In the meantime, I had tumor marker levels done, and I am concerned, although I viewed the results online and have not seen my doctor to discuss -- bad thing about being able to look at my own medical record.  For the past several readings, my CA 15-3 has been hovering around 11 or 12.  Normal range is 0-25.  The time before last, it was 16.  This time it is 19.6, so it appears to be trending upward.

Although hair and eyelash growth during my "chemo holiday" was exciting (I actually DID wear mascara last week!), it did make me worry that the cancer cells were also growing.  The tumor marker level seems to suggest that this may be the case.  :(((((  I am anxious to be scanned again and see what is going on, if anything.  I hope I don't regret agreeing to the chemo break.  Being a cancer patient sucks!

On to a much, much lighter note...
Our new office is nearly move-in ready!  Not yet complete, but complete enough for us to move in and get rid of our "temporary" piece-a-junk office trailer (which we've had for over 4 years!)  I have so enjoyed designing the new space and seeing my ideas and vision come to life.  IT. IS. GORGEOUS!  Nothing fancy.  Just a tiny, country-rustic, former 2-car garage plus addition, that's been transformed into our own place that includes an office for two, dining counter, mini-kitchen, half bath, and two generous workstations for our Pink Ribbon Shop worker bees.  It also includes some smart storage to (hopefully) help keep us organized and neat.  Can't wait!  So thankful that Danny and his Dad are able to do all the work, saving us $1000's. Actually, if not for that fact, we wouldn't have been able to take the project on at all.  I will post pics once it's done.

In preparation for the big move, I've been doing major cleaning out of the trailer ... throwing out a bunch and reorganizing what's left.  So liberating!  We seem to have a LOT of pink ribbon sample items lying around. Stuff that for whatever reason, didn't make it into our product line, but is still nice.  I am thinking of creating a "Bargain Bin" department on our site to sell off some of these miscellaneous items.  Like a pink ribbon dollar store!  Hmm, going to have to think some more on this.

And also...
A new year means I am now a 14 Year Survivor!  Eight of those years with stage IV breast cancer. I want to take this time to say that I appreciate all the well-wishes and positive feedback I've received from our customers all these years.  And thanks for reading.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Happy New Year, Y'all!

Happy New Year!  The holiday season is over, and so is my chemo holiday.  This week I resumed my weekly Abraxane and monthly Zometa infusions.  It was great not having to think about my chemo treatments over the holidays.  Actually, I had high, high hopes of this period being a utopia of pre-chemo energy levels, healing fingernails, totally improved neuropathy symptoms, and just overall NOT feeling like a cancer patient.  Why I did this to myself, I don't know!  I did feel a little better.  My fingernail and toenail issues didn't improve, but they didn't worsen.  The numbness in my fingers didn't improve, but it didn't worsen either.  And my hair started to grow back, which was exciting.  I currently have a pretty full fuzz on my head (although Danny says that it is still thin -- even thinner than his!)  It's a huge improvement over the chemo fuzz (as I call it) that I have to shave periodically because it's so icky/ugly and sparse.  And I swear, in a couple of weeks I'd be ready to wear some mascara!  Whootwoot!  Eyelashes are growing in nicely.

Sounds great and all, but my excitement quickly faded to disappointment, as a realized that wait, this is just a chemo break.  I will start back up on January 7th, and all of these improvements will go away.  Wah, wah, wahhhhhhh!  I am thankful for the break, but reality sure is a bummer.

My family from Louisiana and Dallas visited over Christmas, then we took a trip to Louisiana 12/27-31.  We had quality visiting time with Dwayne & Lisa (my brother- and sister-in-law) who were excellent hosts, as usual.  We also spent lots of time with my parents and sister and ate some delicious home-fried shrimp ... yum!  I took the girls to the riverfront, CafĂ© du Monde & the French Market in New Orleans, and got to meet with a dear old high school friend whom I hadn't seen in a long time.  The guys went hunting -- David shot his first deer with the rifle my dad gave him for Christmas.  We had our fill of all our favorite foods and restaurants, and probably gained more than a few pounds in the process.  Overall it was a great Christmas!  Oh, except for the fact that we waited until the weekend before Christmas to get a tree, then it rained that whole weekend, so we decided to forgo getting the tree and decorating because it was only going to be for a couple of days since we knew we would be travelling just 2 days later.  I will never do that again!  Everyone was disappointed that there was no tree or decorations or stockings.  And that made me sad, although I must admit that I felt liberated (and also Scrooge-like) not having to take it all out, put it all up, then dread taking it all down and putting it all away again.  We actually had a "Christmas chair" where we piled all the gifts.  How sad is that!?  From now on, Christmas tree time is right after Thanksgiving!

And now, it's back to work at The Pink Ribbon Shop.  Lotsa goings-on here.  Will catch y'all up later.

Thanks for reading!