Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday, May 22nd

As you can see my mom posted some new pictures of me with a pink firetruck.  This is an organization that tours 40 different firetrucks world wide promoting awareness and fundraising for female cancers.  We were fortunate enough to have them come to Stockton.  Mom, our neighbor Vangie (Uterine cancer survivor) and myself went to the event.  The entire fire engine is covered with messages and signatures that people have written on there with a sharpie pen.
If you would like more information or want to see a video here is the link:

Big day of appointments tomorrow: oncologist, infusion center to have my port flushed and blood drawn, MeriAnne, and my first appointment with my primary care provider (PCP).  They told me at the start of chemo that I needed to establish with a PCP and I'm finally doing it.

On Saturday I attended a continuing medical education symposium on Ovarian Cancer.  I've been quite emotional lately and was practically in tears during the first 5 minutes.  It is very hard to be the Nurse Practitioner and the patient.  There was a lot of discussion on the latest clinical trials but it was just said again and again about the 30% 5 year survival which is so daunting to think about.

Other than that I continue to have severe aches in my muscles and bones.  Vangie says she still has this also and her last round of chemo was 6 months ago.  I will do all I can to make sure I don't have to continue to suffer with this pain for that long.

Hope you all are doing well.  I've gotten a few emails from people lately. Thank you for letting me know you are out them and still reading my posts.  Thank you also for the continued support.  It seems a lot of the recovery now is emotional.  I should know in a few days what my latest cell counts are also-hopefully there will be an improvement.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday, May 16th

She's back!!!!  I am happy to report that I completed my first 5k post cancer/chemo.  Granted, I walked the whole race and it is only a 5k (3.1 miles), but I did it.  Actually, Oliver and I did it.  Despite the fact that Mom and I walk most days we usually are walking 1-2 miles so the 5k was a bit of a challenge.   It was a Kaiser sponsored race and a group of the Kaiser Nurse Practitioners were doing the race and asked if I wanted to do it with them.  It was great to see some of my friends AND walk the race.  And Congratulations to Elena (Tracy Ob/Gyn NP) who won the women's 5k race.  She has completely inspired me because she also is a cancer survivor and is now winning races (a bucket list item for me).  
Other than that my condition has been status quo.  I'm still struggling with the neuropathy and fatigue.  After the 5k, I came home that day and took a 2 hour nap. ha ha.  I am also now having more of the bone aches that I experienced 2-3 wks after round 5 of chemo.  I started treatment today with a Chinese acupuncturist, which I hope will help.  I continue to work with MerriAnn, especially with nutritional supplements that she has recommended to boost up my immunity again.  I am also still having sessions with Sandy every week with the neuro reflex therapy.  
I again would like to thank everyone for their support and positive thoughts.  

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Saturday, May 7th

Happy early Mother's Day to you all.  I am COMPLETELY done with all chemotherapy.  Yea!!!!!!!!!  I had my last round last week and have recovered nicely from it.  Other than the neuropathy and tiring easily, I am feeling quite well.  Now I can focus on recovery.  I plan to do several detox types of therapy about 3 wks post chemo. 
It was a chemo that almost didn't happen.  My cell counts were too low to get the chemo per protocol, but since it was my last round the on-call doctor approved it anyway. Later in the day the nurse made a comment that the doctor would probably ok a chemo for someone who was in a coffin.  Once arriving home I looked more closely at my labs from this round and my previous round.  I barely qualified to get chemo on the previous round and in the 5wks in between the two rounds my levels still didn't rise to what they were before the last round.  So for the next 2-3 months I need to be careful to not be exposed to any infectious people because I don't have much of an immunity.  I started some supplements to try to boost me up quicker.  I am continuing with my healing meditations and my neuro reflex therapy for the neuropathy. 
Thank you again for all of your support and have a GREAT weekend!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Joan/Mom here.  Lots to catch up with.  Last weekend the family spent the weekend camping at Smithwoods RV Park in Felton.  Denise was feeling achy but made the most of being at the coast--a favorite place for all of us.  Enjoyed the campfire Friday pm with Adam, a life long friend of Denise's who lives in the area.  We saw some dolphins cresting and also some whales.  Watched Dana and Bobby's dogs, Sophia (golden retriever) and Wriggly (chocolate cocker) let their hearts run free at the dog beach. 

Chemo treatment on Monday, relaxed Tuesday, felt really good Wednesday and walked.  Thursday and Friday chemo constipation raged havoc and wiped Denise out.  Saturday was spent at the St. Joseph's and American Cancer Society's Treat Meant Day receiving lots of information and net working with others experiencing the spirituality and camaraderie.  Today Denise will take it easy and deal with a second bout of chemo constipation.

More to come as Denise gets her energy up and going. 

Dr. Oliver