Monday, January 31, 2011

Arimidex "Holiday" Continues

Spoke to my oncologists nurse practitioner and they want me to stay off my Arimidex for another week, sounds good to me. What they want me to find is a baseline...in other words..how would I be feeling without it. Reminding me that some of this joint pain could be age related...I had history of joint pain prior to cancer..all this true but the Arimidex has definitely increased it. Request is valid, asked me to keep a pain diary...what pain meds taking....how often...effectiveness etc. I haven't really figured out how to best take the pain meds..concerned over Taking too much tylenol and liver problems and not sure the best way to take ultram.Right now feeling pretty good...of course it has been 10 days since my last dose.NP not impressed over my concerns about Aromasin...says side effects similar to Arimidex..except Aromasin has a steroid in it that seems to help some women...I am not convinced...she says I read too much...probably true... the bottom line is they don't care what I take..."just realize you will need to be on this for five years and we don't want you to end up a crippled old lady" (was that comment meant to get my attention??) I told her I would continue to think about it..I am supposed to call her the end of the week let her know what I decide to do. I will probably continue with the Arimidex unless it starts to effect my mobility then I will change to the Aromasin. I would like to see if I can make a difference with going Gluten Free (she did not think it would help) and increasing my activity. There are so many factors to consider..I would really prefer being on none of this stuff but it's kind of my insurance policy... I will continue for now...quality of life does have to be a consideration...for now I am going to enjoy my break. On a more exciting note I have some photography opportunities coming up, chance to focus on something I enjoy, maybe learn a few things. That has been one of the goals I have set since my diagnosis....don't wait....do what you love...make the most of every opportunity.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

It 's All About Perspective

I have been reading a book for the last couple of months that has really been timely in my life, given me much to think about and I believe God has used to help me get a better perspective on things.The book is"When Life is Hard" by James McDonald
This is a passage from the book, talking about God's goals during trials. "If you believe that God exists to make you comfortable, then you will find him very absent in your discomfort. If you believe God exists to make your life run smoothly, then you will find God very absent when your life hits a rocky patch. If you believe God exists to make you happy, then you will find God very absent when your heart is broken and your tears are flowing. But if you believe as the scriptures teaches that God's goal is to make you holy, then right in the center of your hardship, you will feel his arms around you. Through every intense heart wrenching moment of this trial, God's presence has and will become increasingly real. To have a right view of God, consider what he is doing in this trial. He's at work in your life even as a master craftsman works his art. You feel him at work like a house feels a carpenter; like a sculpture feels a sculptor; like a painting feels an artist---hammered, chiseled and brushed.
For me its an encouragement to know that God is doing something through my difficulties, it has a purpose, it is to help change me and to glorify him in the process. The bible says he is the potter we are the clay...reminder to self..I am not the potter.

"Yet O Lord you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are the work of your hand"
Isaiah 64:8

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Day Off

I have completed my first full week at work since back from vacation, and it went pretty well...I think I can do this. I have already been approached about increasing my hours temporarily until I go out for surgery in March, I was a bit surprised...my first response was to say sure, no problem, but I caught myself and made no firm commitment. This is how things happened in the past, I would "temporarily" increase my hours to help out...then it was just expected. I am proceeding with caution, now is just not the time...I know my limits. Plan today was to get my son's room cleaned out...pretty optimistic. I am easily distracted...did the linen ...saw a glass that needed to go to the kitchen..went downstairs...thought about dinner....took something out....while looking in fridge decided to clean it out a bit...realized had not had anything to eat yet....made breakfast/lunch....went backup stairs to get new linen.... linen closet a mess so decided to take some linen out we no longer use...soon 3PM and realized the only thing I had done with the room was the bed and I was ready for a nap. (I used to feel guilty about napping during the day....except Sundays...but no more!) I wish I could blame the cancer for this behavior but I have always been this way...I have a son who has the same problem...(I won't mention names but you know who you are) I am also enjoying my Arimidex "vacation". The joint pain I was having started to diminish about three days off the drug...knew there would be a difference but was surprised by how much. This will be short lived because I am going to have to go back on something soon. I have a script for Aromasin but I am even more concerned about it's side effects both can cause joint pain, fatigue, hot flashes, increase BP. Aromasin can also cause vertigo, increase tryglycerides and cognitive problems (do I really need that?) I am leaning towards asking my onc if I can just continue with the Arimidex, at least I know what to expect. I have read that a gluten free diet has been helpful for some women experiencing joint pain caused by Arimidex, think I may try that....certainly can't hurt. Praying for wisdom...God has been so faithful...trusting that he will continue to direct my path. These are such little things in light of things that are eternal.....that's what I have to remember.

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will counsel you and watch over you"
Psalm 32:8

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Launching Our Youngest

Celebrating the "launching" of our youngest son today. Even though we have been empty nesters for a few years now, our youngest was a "bounce back" during semester breaks and summertime while he was going to school. Graduation was last December and he is ready to be on his own. The accident is a distant memory, and we have been able to see God working in the whole situation for all of our good...it has helped us continue to let go...and it has helped him learn to trust God.(most specifically in finding a car that met his needs in his price range) He is on his way back to upstate New York today (he went to school up there) and although he is not sure what he is going to be doing, he has plans...lots of "irons in the fire". We are praying that God would direct his steps....so many decisions ahead. As a mom I can watch and pray...asking the Lord to help me trust him with Matt's life...trying to remember God loves him more than I ever could.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight"  Proverbs 3:3-4

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Back from vacation...and back to reality. Vacation was where I was able to get up in the morning without an alarm, where I was able to rest when I was tired and where the most pressing decision I had to make was where I wanted to eat dinner. A distant memory to be sure. Wonderful break but it's not the real world. Now that I am home, I am feeling the weight of everyday life again. Finding myself easily tired, body reluctant to do what I want it to do, distractions of everyday life making their presence felt and staying active...well lets just say we only walked once since we came back....is this my new normal? Have been willing to see this all this as being allowed by God for his purposes and still believe that....but figured there would be an end point....right? And you know in all honesty...things are better than they were months ago...just not where I want them....and as I am typing it becomes crystal clear that my problem is I am not getting what I want.....it's all about what I want...not where God would have me...not being satisfied.....definitely not delighting in my weakness. My prayer is that I can get to that place again...to be content....that I will delight in my weakness...seek him more earnestly...and remember He has his purposes for everything in my life.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ's power may rest on me"2 Corinthians 12:9

Friday, January 21, 2011

Our Hope

The days have flown by, I cannot believe it has been almost a week since we are back from Florida. (although I started this post on Wednesday today is Friday)  Back to work this week, doctors appointments and responsibilities, I had felt rested so I was ready. Doctor appointments Monday went well. Started with my PCP, new changes, again, with blood pressure meds, blood pressure seems to be either too high or too low, having a hard time regulating. Plastic surgeon was next...everything ready to go for surgery, which I found out the next day would be March 7th....my stomach turned and palms got sweaty when I got that call. Eye doctor next, corneal ulcer is healed with only a small scar left, which felt would go away in time..so as far as he was concerned I had "graduated"..do not need to see them again.....also no contacts for a couple more months to give my eyes a rest. Last appointment this week was with oncologist. Some discussion about my blood pressure, my emergency room visit that I had on Christmas day, joint pain that I have that makes me feel like a 80 year old lady. Arimidex may be increasing blood pressure but he thinks it is the Advil. Multiple doctors, multiple opinions, no wonder people get confused over what to do, especially the elderly. Plan of action....no more Advil, he wants me to take Tylenol and gave me a script for Ultram....best news is I get to take a break from the Arimidex for 1-2 weeks (this drug known for causing joint pain)... he gave me a script for Aromasin ( drug similar to Arimidex) that I will fill after my trial off the Arimidex. Health was something I had prized, thought I could control by things I did, lifestyle I maintained....realizing I can make some difference but seeing God has ultimate control. (I say that I know God is in control, but living that out in your life...it's hard) Resting in him, trusting him....has been difficult at times. When I got that call for my next surgery, fear was my first response...where was my trust? I guess what I am learning is that this is a life long process....trusting Him in every situation (the flesh seems to want to respond first) I have to remember that my circumstances will shift and change....that's life in the world... but Jesus never does, he is my living hope that never disappoints. Thats where I need to put my hope.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ready to Face the World Again

The last eleven days have been such a wonderful blessing. Time to relax, get far away from doctors and to reconnect with my husband. Did not realize the toll the last several months had taken on us. We were able to relax, talk and just enjoy each others company. Toward the end of the vacation, I started thinking about home...things I wanted to do...recipes I wanted to try...I have not had the desire to do that in quite awhile. I am encouraged (as is my husband) We were fairly active during our time away... we walked...alot... when we were tired we went back to our resort and sat by the pool or went in the sauna, which was great for tired achy joints. Being active made me feel so much better...like my old self...it's a trend we are hoping to be able to continue.(being more active) I am thankful to have had this opportunity...this time alone with my husband...I don't take it for granted...it has been a gift.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Has been a sweet time with husband....I think it would not have mattered where we went...just getting away together is what we needed. Thankful to the Lord for having the ability to do this, it has been quite a blessing...we wanted to get back to a place before cancer interrupted our lives...that goal has been accomplished. The "bump in the road".... that involved a car accident son was in...and well...he is handling the situation just fine. The blessing was there was no injuries involved...good Samaritan stopped to help and gave him some place to sleep for the night. Another refining moment in our life to be sure...God just seems to be keeping us in that furnace refining us as pure gold. We struggled the first evening to be sure...felt the Lord telling me to pray after we got the call...I didn't...the evening didn't end well...but with the Lord's help my husband and I were able to get to a point of "release"....so hard being a parent....especially of grown children. So on our way to another day....again so thankful for the Lord's care in our life.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Bumps in the Road

Sometimes it's just a battle. Things going along smoothly...then surprise...you hit a bump in the road. We hit one of those bumps yesterday....yup they even come on vacation. The choice is always going to be to react to the circumstance or look at it from an eternal perspective. I do believe there can be an eternal perspective to just about anything....if you look for it....we have a sovereign God...he can use any situation for his good and ultimate glory.....but it is awful hard sometimes when you are in the midst to think that way.....it is a battle. We have been struggling..(it was an interesting evening).....to seek the Lord....for wisdom in the details...for direction....and to let go. This is definitely a Romans 8:28 moment....a verse I hesitate to give others when they are going through stuff...sounds formulated....and when you are in the midst it is hard to hear...but since I am preaching to myself I am going for it. (for the benefit of family and friends...the "bump in the road" was not health related... just life happening)

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose"  Romans 8:28

Monday, January 3, 2011

Time to Relax

Busy day at work....deadlines to meet and my mind elsewhere. Husband at home taking care of last minute errands....packing... I am ready...mentally anyway.... still lots to do before we head out to Florida. Feeling better than I have in quite awhile. One last doctors appointment this morning, she is still not happy with my blood pressure but it is much improved...more med adjustments which I am a little nervous about doing while on vacation....I guess the cuff goes with me. Doctor also recommended Vitamin C supplements, and Probiotics (which she was only too happy to provide) to help boost my immune system. Friends had recommended the same thing the other day....so I left the office with arms loaded down with newly purchased supplements and a followup appointment scheduled for as soon as we get back. Praying that between sunshine, warmer weather, rest and oh yes...supplements, that I will continue to improve. Her other advice....hold off on the second surgery for awhile...you will get no argument from me on that one. So taking a break from all these medical folks for awhile...Lord willing....looking forward to that.
On another note, Charles Stanley had a great devotional this morning. He talked about how walking without God's word directing us is like walking in a pitch black forest without a flashlight. Such a great analogy because I can see myself fumbling around in the dark, tripping over tree roots, stepping in holes, running into stuff, getting all scratched up from hanging branches etc...I don't want to be fumbling around in the dark...I want Him directing my path.

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path"  Psalm 119:105

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

New Years...a time for fresh starts..new calendars....empty day planners...resolutions for some...I stopped years ago, I usually broke whatever resolution I had made before the month was up.We spent the day putting Christmas decorations away, taking down the tree. I get the need to declutter this time of year. I open cupboards and drawers and just see stuff that needs to go. This year in particular  is bad because so much has been neglected the last several months. Like most, we are praying for a good year, have already made some plans, set some goals and Lord willing we will be able to full fill them. Lessons learned last year....never let anything go unsaid or undone.... like telling someone you love them or apologizing quickly... Make the most of every opportunity God gives.....you never know if you will have another.... don't take anything for granted....life can change in a moments notice and it can end without warning. Our family knows this all too well... So for this year.... I would like to continue to practice the lessons I have learned from last year.

"Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom"  Psalm 90:12