Saturday, March 21, 2009

Wisteria and Radiation

I can't believe how fast things change once the weather turns warm for a week or so! All the leaves are popping out on the trees --- even my Sycamore tree is showing a return to life. But the most beautiful site of all is this:

I have to say, Wisteria has to be one of my all time favorite flowers (or vine) and whenever I see it, I always stop and gaze for a while! Those sites where it has overtaken a house, or an archway, etc., is so breathtaking, and I'm hoping mine will just cover my whole fence one day.

Another week down with radiation and heat treatments! Half way through with 16 over with. I can't say that anything is sore or hurting --- there is a little redness in the area that is being treated. But I'm making sure I keep creams, etc., slathered all over it as much as I can. Kay, over at
The Rustic Cottage
is on a quest to come up with a "radiation cream" for me and others going through breast cancer. She makes the most wonderful soaps, lotions, creams, etc., so go over there and check her out! It seems that radiation gradually breaks down the skin to where it begins to sluff off, leaving raw, oozing "burns" at times. I'm hoping to avoid that. Most gals say that it heals up pretty fast after the treatments are over. I'll be looking forward to seeing what Kay comes up with.

The only side affect I seem to have from the radiation is being a little more tired than usual. I can handle that. But I am a little concerned about the fluctuating blood pressure. I never had problems with that before. Sometimes it's like 200/105, other times it's 130/88. The Dr. gave me pill to take each day, and an "emergency pill" for when it is over 160/100. After a while, you become obsessed with taking your blood pressure, and I've just had to put the machine away and set certain times for taking it. What is --- is! It seems that one of the main side effects to Arimidex is high blood pressure. I would hate to have to give that up, as it is the best hormone inhibitor there is for those whose cancer is hormone positive (which mine is.) I'm praying I can get the blood pressure under control and still take the pill!

Hair!!!!! It's really growing fast now. It feels like a short-haired dog's fur. I'm almost tempted to go out now with NO hat at all and just show the world my radical head! The hats are getting HOT, and since I seem to be having the sweats lately, I'll be very glad to be rid of those things! I remember when I first lost my hair, my head was soooo sensitive and I would say, "My hair hurts!" I had forgotten about that until someone mentioned their head being sensitive. I think in the midst of other horrible reactions to chemo, your head becomes the least of your complaints and you forget about that one!

The feelings I've been having have been strange ones lately as I come to the end of this cancer journey. I've looked forward so much to being rid of all this and ending all the trips to the Cancer Center, etc. But as my appointments become farther and farther apart with my oncologist (first every 2 weeks, then every 6 weeks, etc.), I have this underlying slight panic feeling that maybe I need more. . . . of what, I don't know! All the "what if's" seem to creep in. I wonder what the signs and symptoms are if the cancer shows up somewhere else, how soon, is it there now, etc. I sound pretty faithless, don't I? But all those who have been down this road seem to have those same fears. You look at all the per centages of possible return cancer and you wonder which side of those numbers you are on -- the return cancer or the cancer free.

All I can say is, cherish each day God gives you. Learn what is really important, get rid of what isn't! Take time with those you love, and nurture your relationship with the Lord. In the end, when all is said and done, isn't that really the most important thing in life?


Daria said...

I was quite tried after radiation and the fear after treatment is complete is there.

But I like your last paragraph ... cherish every moment, that's all we can do.

Deb said...

Hi Cora! I can't imagine how any of this was for you. I just pray that if I'm ever faced with this, that I can handle it better having followed you on your journey. Thank you! The Lord Is Good. Deb

From Kathleen at Yesteryear Embroideries said...

I hope you will have more energy soon! Get your rest! I love wisteria as well! blessings,Kathleen

Blessings each day said...

It has been proven that laugher really does heal us (helped me through feeling like a medical experiment as well as multiple surgeries), so get goofy movies, read good clean silly jokes, check out funny blogs (my little blog can turn a frown upside down) and continue doing all of the wonderful things you are doing like flower appreciation, just make sure you don't inhale a bee (among my many "crazies" and high on the list are flowers...didn't God just outdo Himself in creation?)
Will keep you in prayer when I do my daily Bible reading at bedtime.
May God shower you abundantly with good things,

tam said...

Hello dear Cora! I have to tell you that you are very inspiring to me. I live with chronic pain. Seeing what you are going through and the strength, and testimony you have is amazing! Thank You for helping me keep things in proper perspective! I hope you have a wonderful weekend~Smiles~Tam!

nancy huggins said...

You are in my prayers Cora and I just know in my heart that you are doing everything right and you will be back to the old Cora (or as close as you can get) real soon. Someday soon you will be looking back and glad it is over...just like I think about every winter..when spring is here I just look back and am glad it's over.
Take care Cora and give a hug to my Buddy.

Denise said...

coming by to say that your Wisteria is just BEAUTIFUL..... I have tried to grow it two summers in a row and nada! but try again I will..... It is soooooooooo "lacy and elegant".

I am in awe of you ladies as I visit and learn of your journey.... what a gift you are to others that is walking the same journey.... I pray that your strength is increased and that your blood pressure is brought under control......... One that that demon cancer will be under our feet.... and evermore ladies such as yourself will be whole, never again to fact the pain and fear.......... come quickly Lord Jesus.......

Oma aka Meme said...

thanks for shariing the flowers- I have read of it in books but now I know what it looks like to-

soon- my friend- and - this too will pass----
hugs from Meme with prayer

"Just Me - NC Beth" said...

Hi! Found you thru Denise's blog!

I sense through your post that you are a very strong person!

I pray God's continued Blessings on you as you go through this "season" of your life.


Dani said...

I cherish each and everyone of your posts....what a journey! God bless you!

Scottie and Patty said...

Cora, you are always such an inspiration. God bless you. You're heart is just as beautiful as that blooming wisteria. Have a great and blessed day. thanks for the encouragement you gie through your blogs.

Toni said...

I know God never gives us more than we can handel.You have blessed and encouraged so many people by sharing intimate fetails of your battle with them.You are a fighter.That`s the way God made you.As far as the fear,I pray it will pass.God brought you this far and He`s not going to leave you now.Your always in my thoughts and prayers.Love and blessings,Toni

ByLightOfMoon said...

You are very dear to me and sorry I am been absent for awhile. I am so thankful you are not having very BAD side effects, I was praying for you the other day and you are always in my heart. We would just been returning from FL if the dog-sitting trip had not cancelled. I had hoped to swing by and see you last winter when it was planned. With all that is happening in the world, they decided to wait until things are better and now back to North Carolina. I totally agree with them. Another time!

Anyway, our wisteris will be happening in another week or so., Not yet! But, My Jasmine is blooming on my back fence. Emma has made such a mess of the back yard and my garden area. It will take alot to clean it up. She has dug up alot of my plants.

How is Buster? It is getting almost to hot to sit outside here during the day in Alabama. SO when you can , sit outside and let the wind blow through your hair and watch the wisteria amd Buster play.
I love your story of the Wash DAy below... Oh, we do need to remember theses things when feel overwhelmed.

Well chat with you later, Cyndi

PianoPlayer said...

Amen to that.

Julie said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings through your journey--we have all been blessed to see your perspective and insights. Here's hoping that your fears will diminish and that you can feel at peace. You are amazing. Julie

LindaSueBuhl said...

We are given strength for today - can't borrow from tomorrow's or hold over some from yesterday. So for whatever happens each day - you get the strength from our Father. I completely understand your sense of "is this enough? what if?" but since we never know why muddy up today with tomorrow's possible pains. One friend told me "Don't let the sadness of what might occur destroy the gladness of what can occur." Amen and I also love wisteria - even the name is beautiful.

Joyfulsister said...

Yes Cora, You said it!! Cherish each day, I know how you feel because I know my liver has to be always on the lookout for tumors, more scarring and damage due to no treatment available, but like you said I can't worry about all that is out of my control, just cherish each day and be grateful for the gift of life when we wake up each morning..

Luv ya

Lea of Farmhouse Blessings said...

Your wisteria is so pretty, Cora! It is one of my favorite flowers too. I remember in Georgia it would cover old stone buildings and bridges. It was like a secret garden. Ahhhh ....

Can't imagine all the emotions you must be experiencing now. You've been through quite alot and I look forward to the day that your mind can just rest and be at peace. That is what I pray for you my friend.