Tuesday, December 12, 2017


Learning to live with Ibrance and Faslodex, the big guns used to keep the cancer at bay has not been easy. When Oxycodone, Oxyneo and Lyrica for nerve pain are added to the mix, it is no wonder that some days I have trouble waking up.  Diagnosis was August 22 so it has not even been 4 months yet. The last post was written when I was so tired I had trouble dragging myself out of bed. I forgot to mention that I  had a surgical procedure only a few days before that post. Veins cannot be  accessed on my breast cancer side and those on my "good" side are so difficult to access for blood work and contrast dyes for CT scans that I had a "Power Port" inserted in my chest. This quarter sized device connects to a catheter placed inside a central vein leading to my heart.

Yesterday I had my first blood drawn through the port and all I can say is that I love my port!

Also fairly recently I have added some tinctures, teas and topicals made especially for me by my oldest friend whose expertise I value. Although there is no way to know for certain, I like to think that  these have made a significant difference.

As well, I joined the Compassion Society here in Victoria. It took awhile as I had to get a referral from my doctor but I have now had my interview and discussion re CBD's which was what I was after. Some of you may have read or heard about the value of CBD's, derivatives from marijuana but without the high of THC. Because of the illegality of marijuana in most parts of the US and Canada, there is little quantitative and qualitative documentation available. Parents of babies and toddlers with epilepsy have been fighting to allow there use of CBD's which seem to show real change in number and length of seizures.

 I was unable to get pure CBD's at the Compassion Society so with the advice of a friend, I searched the site she gave me online and  found a retail outlet in Victoria that sells it. Monday I joined a Victoria "pot shop" and found what I would consider a professional team who to seemed to understand my needs. So I now have medicinal pot in my arsenal but have yet to experiment with it.

Meanwhile, I am dropping Lyrica after being weaned off it for the past few weeks. Like opioids I am told, there has to be a gradual process in lowering dosages. I have also decreased the amount of Oxyneo I take twice daily and have rarely needed my breakthrough Oxycodone this past week.

Yesterday Andy came with me as official note-taker to my monthly oncologist visit. My blood work was great and Saturday I start round 5 of Ibrance and Faslodex! I am a believer in the high tech cancer drugs but also in the meds made by my friend. In the previous month my neutrophils were so low that I had to take a few days break from Ibrance. My energy is higher and I knew even before the blood results yesterday, that they would be acceptable. My oncologist also emphasized yet again that despite what he considers permanent nerve damage, that I can expect to be around for years to come.

Apart from the drug front, there is more to announce but that is for the next post. Suffice it to say that I  am working with a physio, a hand clinic, Inspire Health (a British Columbia non profit with the goal of improving life for those with cancer), yoga and more. I have moments when I find tears unexpectedly falling down my cheeks  but it is not necessarily because of my own cancer but also because I have friends who are facing more imminent and difficult times in their lives right now. There is much fragility in life and perhaps because I am a "senior" as are many of my friends and we find ourselves facing situations none of us would have thought of a decade ago.

This newest adventure in my life comes with the knowledge that it has actually opened my eyes to opportunities to interact with others in a more positive way just by the way I live my daily life. The ongoing climate change and often disappointing political decisions are with us and I am still planning to battle Kinder Morgan. My motto of "over my dead body" can now be taken with with some dark humour. I will be in front of the bulldozers should that need arise though I can only hope that we who oppose the pipeline will prevail.

Love to you all. If you want to be reminded of my posts as they cone, press the "follow" button on the top right of your screen.


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