November 1: Sound off!

Happy November, everyone! Although we’re still a day or two away, I couldn’t WAIT to set up this month’s check-in! How are you? How’s treatment? Recovery? Mothering? If you haven’t posted in the last couple weeks, or if you just want to leave an update, this is a great place to do it!

Also check out the latest from our group blog:

  • Frankenlefty has left the building (by ThrowsLikeAGirl)
  • Death be not proud (by Rivka)
  • More birthdays, please! (by Susan)
  • Courage (by Sarah)
  • Benefit or burden? (by Stella)
  • I’m home (by Lyn)
  • Everyone is welcome to leave a comment on this monthly check-in post, to ask questions, to share concerns, and to leave notes of support, whether you currently are a writer for this blog or not. We’re a community ’round these parts, and this is one of the big places we act like one.

    Now go hug those little goblins, and have a Happy Halloween!

    16 Responses to November 1: Sound off!

    1. Lyn says:

      Hi guys, 4 weeks post surgery today and besides a bout of pneumonia this week, much better than when I first came home from the hospital. I had my mock radiation yesterday where I got the tattoos and my schedule. I start radiation twice a day next Thursday, and will go for 5 to 6 weeks. Next Friday is my birthday, I’ll be 31. I feel alot older than that lol. My 2 year old is adjusting to full-time daycare great since surgery, my 4 year old was already in full-time and he’s been doing good too. Not sure what I’m going to do with the space between the radiation treatments (7 hours apart). I guess I’ll figure it out when I start. I really hate how my chest is settling.. it’s pretty lumpy and makes reconstruction all the more enticing though I am not looking forward to it in 6-9 months.

    2. David Ballantyne says:

      Jenni continues to slowly deteriorate and get weaker, however she does have her good days where she is pain free and able to sit in the sun outside at hospice or here at her place on a weekend when Jack and I bring her home for a few hours. Her sister has got her a laptop and internet access so she may post if she feels up to it but she will at least be able to see comments left for her. Unfortunately it is looking like it may be a long slow and painful process these coming weeks. Please keep her in your prayers and thoughts. I am Jenni’s ex husband and she has asked me to keep her blog, The Comfy Place, going for her. Thanks. David.

      • David,
        Thank you so much for giving us an update. I have been thinking about Jenni and all of you… it is so nice that you are keeping her blog up to date. She has such a connection with so many.

      • Stella says:

        Please give Jenn my love and hugs! You are all traveling such a difficult journey these days. You are in my prayers nightly.

    3. Spruce Hill says:

      Sarah here, I am doing well. I think I have a little bit of lymphedema. I have been having a lot of pain in my arm, underarm and chest area. When I do massage it feels better for a while. When I lie down it hurts the most. Other then that I am well and have my next check up in early December.

    4. Jo says:

      Lyn- I’m new here but have been following your story and I’m glad you are feeling better.

      David- my thoughts are with Jenni and thank you for always keeping updates.

      Only news here is that we can now palpitate large lymph nodes in my armpits that are quite painful. We knew the cancer had spread there but before I couldn’t even tell. Now it’s like having a bruised underarm. lol.

      I get my 6 month scans next month sometime but I already know things have spread more and that’s okay. It’s not like I DON’T expect it to or like we can do anything about it. It’s old hat now so I’m fine with it.

      My oldest also finds out next month just how much more his adrenal tumors have grown. It sounds scary but knowing that he will be fine is a relief like no other.

      So nothing more exciting than monthly bloodwork, scans, adjusted meds, dodging germs, and taking it all in stride because it’s normal in my world. LOL. I can’t complain and feel so lucky each day. 🙂

    5. throwslikeagirl74 says:

      Hey guys 🙂 As for me, I’m sort of in reconstruction limbo land. All the expanders have been removed and I’m kind of hanging out waiting for the drugs to work. 3 to 6 months, then try again. My lymphedema is actually doing quite well (I think it’s all the drains I’ve had this year.) as I can actually wear my wedding ring. (There has to be some perks, right?)

    6. whymommy says:

      I’m doing great! this month, with reduced swelling in my arm and no evidence of the cancer that I battled in 2007-8. I’m finally strong enough to exercise every day, play in the park with my kids, and work more than a couple hours at a time. I’m here to say there IS life after cancer.

    7. Jenster says:

      Hi! Jen(ster) here. I’m doing pretty well. My bi-annual oncology appointments have been non-events which is just the way I like them. Apparently there was a recent study, however, that found Arimidex is most effect for five years, even if you were on Tamoxifen beforehand. Which means instead of just one more year of post-chemo drugs I have another two-and-a-half years. Not such a big deal in the overall scheme of things, but I don’t like what the medicine does to me and was happy at the thought of only one year left. Oh well. If it keeps the cancer away then it’s definitely worth it!

    8. Stella says:

      Hi ho, everyone! Stella here, doing great! I am feeling wonderful and just went for my three year post-treatment checkup. My blood work was all normal. At least part of me is. 😉 I have come to the conclusion that I have the slightest touch of lymphedema. In the first year after reconstruction I wore a bra but had to stop because it was so constrictive. I always felt like I had it on even after I’d taken it off and my underarm felt swollen. Back then I had my oncologist check me for swelling but she found none.

      Well, last weekend I attended a conference and dressed up a bit more than usual. I needed an undergarment of some sort. I was reluctant to try the bra thing again so I opted for a camisole with a shelf bra built in. Sure enough, about 3 hours into the day I had the familiar swollen feeling in my underarm preceded by puffy fingers on the same hand. Yikes!

      I am glad to report the puffiness went away quickly but a week later I still feel a bit awkward under my arm. I’m not sure what to do about it all. I am sorely tempted to ignore it since it only bothers me with underclothes. I could happily avoid them for the rest of my life! Ha!!!

    9. RivkA says:

      1. Mary Beth & Stella — HOW do you comment within a comment???? I’d love to know how to do that!!

      2. I’ve been thinking and praying a lot for Jenni.

      3. I seem to be doing well. My recent CT & ultrasound show that things are stable. Thank God for stability!! I posted a brief update here

    10. Nicole says:

      I went through chemo recently, and am now clean. I am still afraid, though, obviously, and I have an almost 6 month old baby. I am looking for people to talk to, since my friends are not around as much as I need them, and my family doesn’t understand. How does this blog work? I could really use someone to talk to.

      • Lyn says:

        Nicole, you’ve come to the right place. Whymommy or one of the moderators can send you an invite to join up as an ‘author’ on this site, where it would link your personal blog if you have one and you can also post directly here. We’re all moms who have or had cancer, and we all understand how you feel. I’m sure one of the moderators will see this and send you an email (I would but I’m kind of new also). There are alot of great support links on this site also if you haven’t found one you like. Please feel free to email me personally to chat if you like, I don’t see your email posted. So glad you found us.

      • RivkA says:

        Nicole — You can definitely talk with us, that is why we are here!

        Maybe you can also find some sort of support group, closer to where you live.

        Our on-line community is a fantastic resourse, but many of us also go to local groups and have at least one or two people with whom we can really talk (usually another cancer survivor).

    11. Christine says:

      I have been reading this site since I was diagnosed 6 months ago (with Stage 3 breast cancer) and it has been an enormous source of support for me. I am 45, mother of a 10 year old girl and the sole financial supporter of my family (I have a wonderful partner– but she’s an artist!). We live in NYC. Thank you all for your posts.

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