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Vital Info


Jenn (purplej3nn)


July 3, 2010


Port Colborne, Ontario


July 3, 2010


Cancer Fighter

Cancer Info


Hodgkins Lymphoma


February 28, 2001


Stage 4


Yes


yes


Yes


the possibility of not meeting/knowing my future grandchildren


to enjoy the simple things in life


give me and other cancer survivors/fighters a reason to smile and/or laugh


Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, Ontario


itchiness, back ache, pressure in chest/shortness of breath, night sweats

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Posts:8
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Events:1
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Jenn's Cancer Blog

2011

I had a boring yet interesting year. I started a new treatment in March, a week late, as I had to help move my grandma, since only one of her 6 children (plus 5 spouses) would help. My bf was going to help, but she changed the moving date, and he had already booked a day off for moving her. So my mother and I were the only ones there to move her. In April, I woke up with a swollen face, for no particular reason. Or at least, no reason was found. I got a hickman line for my treatment, because my veins are so small, etc. I feel sorry for the nurses who have to find my veins. I have freaked a few out, causing them to poke and search numerous times for ONE IV insertion. In May, the line got infected... I took a road trip to Wichita, Kansas from Buffalo, NY. 20 hour drive! With the stops for food, gas, rest, etc. it took 24 hours. I was very excited that my time estimation was right on! And I over estimated the fuel costs, so we had a good trip overall. I woke up again beginning of June, with a swollen face. This time it was more intense, and went down to my throat. It was so bad that it altered my voice! I went to the local urgent care, and got a shot of Benedryl and a steroid shot. One in each buttock! OUCH! I ended up in hospital for a week in June, for an undetermined infection. That was "fun"! It was during the 2nd week of my daughter's summer visit. But I called her everyday, a few times a day. My friend was also going through a rough time, due to domestic abuse. My hickman line was removed in July. That took a while to heal, due to the infection. August was pretty uneventful, thankfully. August was also the end of my treatment. First weekend of September, I spiked a fever of 105! Again I was admitted to hospital for a week. The doctor I had that time was insane, inconsiderate and useless. She did some of the stupidest things. Didn't give me blood until 3 days after being there, when I went in with a low hemoglobin, and it dropped further the next day. Then she gave me something after the blood to help flush the excess fluids... this was at MIDNIGHT! The next day I had to take medical transport 2 hours away to go see my oncologist, so due to the medication she gave me to flush the fluids, we had to stop, so we were late. Didn't help that the transport arrived to pick me up late, AND we had to stop for GAS! Crazy people! October was somewhat crazy, because I was moving, and no one showed up to help, so it took my bf and I 2 weeks to move our stuff across the street. We were supposed to have the last 2 weeks of September to move our things into the new place, but the maintenance guy didn't finish things until the last week, and left such a huge mess, that it took me 2 days to clean up after him! OH! To add to the stress of moving, I'd had a spot on my leg for over a month, that initially I thought was a mosquito bite, but it wasn't itchy, so I eventually forgot about it. Well, suddenly, one day at the beginning of October, it started to itch, then a day later, it got sore. The next day it started to swell! I went to the urgent care again, for this. The doctor's assumption was an ingrown hair. She told me that she could not be sure, without cutting it open. But she gave me antibiotics (At this point, I'd pretty much been on some form of antibiotics for the past 4-6 months!). A couple days later, it had swollen to the size of a quarter, and was at least half an inch high. It could barely walk (oh yeah, it was just to the front of my inner thigh). Finally, I'd had enough. I burst it open, because the pressure was SO intense! Oh my goodness, the nasty puss that came out of that thing, and the amount of it. WOW! Immediate relief from the pressure. But now I had to keep it clean, by flushing with saline solution. Thankfully, I had some left from when I'd had the hickman line. There is still a mark, I don't think it will ever go away. November was ok. December was my birthday and Christmas. And the year is done. We are not doing any testing beyond blood work, unless/until my symptoms return. OH, and after all the years of chemotherapy, radiation, stem cell transplant, etc. I am finally gone into menopause. These hot flashes and mood swings are awful, and I feel very sorry for my wonderful boyfriend. Thankfully, he is wonderful; he has been amazing through all this stuff. I appreciate him more than I could ever express.
mike1954, laurielloyd sent you a hug.
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Sounds like a pretty full year to me! I've recently started menopause due to a hysterectomy, not fun at all. Will be looking into HRT. I hope 2012 is a much easier year for you, with no more cancer! Ann
Wow, a very eventful year, if not all good stuff. I agree, the forced menopause is rough, I have been having "tropical moments" for a year and they are finally starting to subside a bit. Happy 2012! xoxo
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Its been almost a year

It has been a long while since I've logged in. It has been a busy time, a good time, a painful time, and most recently, an emotional/stressful time. Let's see; I have adopted a dog. a 6-7year old Doberman, who rarely leaves my side. He is a wonderfully behaved dog, I got him from a rescue. Now some people's idea of a pet/animal rescue is that they were beaten, neglected, left for dead. That isn't always the situation. I don't know Jake's situation prior to coming to me, all I was told was he was rescued from a puppy mill in Quebec. He could have been daddy to hundreds of puppies... He could have been their own "family pet". But in a rescue situation they remove all animals from the property. He has all his basic training skills (when he chooses to listen) sit, down, stay, come, leave it, drop it... And a few others I have learned in the time I've had him: he can play dead (when he feels like it), he will also bring me the paper (but I just found that out before the paper boy decided I didn't need my paper anymore -- free paper, I'm not overly concerned). I have started Chemotherapy again, COPP this time. My fingers, toes and lips are tingly as a side effect. I've lost most of my hair, but shaved it right down to the scalp to donate it, instead of wasting it. My hair is still growing, since I was not meant to lose all of it, but I figured, why waste it, and summer was coming, so my not go bald. Well my treatments are 2 weeks on (one day a week, each Monday) then 2 weeks off. So I let the hair grow in between and on the Sunday before week one, my daughter I would do something funky. One week we did a mohawk on top and zig-zag-hawk down the back... the patients and staff loved it! Another week we tried checkerboard pattern, but that didn't work, so we just went with hair on top and nothing on the sides/back. I am now letting it grow back, in anticipation of the eventual cooler weather. I would like some insulation under my hat, lol. My daughter was going to move in with me, which I was really looking forward to, since the kids have been living with their dad for 9 years now. They are at the age that even when I am sick, they can do for themselves and even help me, if I need it. She decided to go back, which of course broke my heart. My son is almost 18 and has a girlfriend, so hasn't visited in a very long time, which also breaks my heart. You know, just what I need along with Cancer, Chemo and all the side effects is a broken heart. But I do my best to move forward, as I have for the past 4 1/2 years. This whole thing is starting to pile on, I haven't been in a full blown depression in a very long time... but I can feel myself fighting it. I have been fighting it for a few months, most severely in the past month. I am the type of person who doesn't and often can't cry, other than a few tears at some emotionally driven movies (Marley & Me) and the sappy Christmas commercials (the silly Folgers one where the kid is home from college gets me, no idea why, ha ha)... But in the last month its rare that a day goes by without me shedding tears. It can be a few, out of frustration to an out right bawling from such an emotional out-letting. Most of this having to do with my children, mixed with the fact that I have been doing this for almost 5 years now, with no real progress and part of me really wants to stop -- but I know I can't. For my kids. For my wonderful boyfriend. For my 3 cats and dog, ha ha. Now I am dealing with the fact that I moved into an apartment, with the idea that it would be healthier for me that living in basements (as I had been for 5 years). Well, damn it! This place has mold! But according to the landlord, it is because I use too much water, so there's too much moisture in the air. WHAT!?! There are two different types of windows in this place, and only the one type gets mold. So I would think its those crappy windows that are the culprit, not me using water! I mean, sheesh, I need to shower, I need to wash my dishes, I need to allow my animals to drink. (And because I pay for the water here, I do dishes every other day and shower, only when I need to... so it is NOT because I use too much water!) So I am looking for a new place to live... ASAP... which is not an easy task, when I am living on a disability pension.
mike1954, dstelma sent you a hug.
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Wow Jenn, I hope the chemo settles your cancer down, that's the main thing. I do understand the feeling about the kids leaving. My oldest two are married and one has my first bio grandchild on the way. Lots to be happy about, my other 2 are 20 and 25 and have both come home after living with boyfriends I tolerated but didn't really approve of. I'm not a pushy mom so I knew if I left the front door open, they would find their way back. I think the sadness when they leave is my sadness at me getting older mixed with a little regret that I wasn't the perfect mom and had to work full time while they were little. The double edge is happy that the two have married wonderful people and have grown to be good people who are successful and who love me too. The other two can stay as long as they need to find their 'adult' selves. Sorry your landlord has his head caught in a hole. Do you have a housing authority up there that you can file a complaint with? Talk to Rachel if you don't already, she lives in your town and may be of help to you. (She is listed with the Ontario blogs) Best luck and wishes for you xoxo
Hi Jenn, I joined the site after your last post, so hadn't run into your blog before. Just wanted to say I can relate to your feelings of frustration with the long battle. I've only been doing it for about two years, and can't imagine how burned out I'll be if I'm still fighting off this stuff another three years down the road. You must be one tough cookie! I also find it discouraging how cancer complicates the already complicated relationships we have with our teenagers-raising teens is tough enough without adding any additonal stress! Take care, and I hope life gets a little less challenging soon-Ann
Hello Jenn, I came upon your post and I could relate to so many of your feelings such as young adult kids,having them move back home, then back out. But when I read what you hated about cancer is the possibility of not knowing/meeting your future grandchildren. I was dx. 17 years ago and given a very poor prognosis. I had 3 young children and single. I always felt so badly for my children that I was sick. Though I shared that same fear/thought as well, on my profile page you will see a smiley little boy that is now 3 months old and my first grandson. I can't begin to tell you how this little ball of joy has changed my thoughts, fears, and belief in MIRACLES!!!!!! Also, though obviously you don't need to hear it from me as well but I agree you need to report your landlord though obviously I don't know what the laws are in Canada. wishing you much better days. Be well, Patty
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Echocardiogram

Last week I went for an echo-cardiogram. I wasn't sure what exactly was involved; but obviously, now I know. It was basically an ultrasound of my heart. All I have to say, is "OW". I rather have another mammogram! The technician who did the echo-cardiogram pressed the sensor wand into my ribs and kept pressing! She had me lay on my left side, with my back to her; she reached over me and pressed the wand into my ribcage. Then kept telling me to stop moving... but to relax. Well, I don't know about you all, but if I'm relaxed and someone is pushing on me, I move! ha ha... Anyway, I had the test done because I seem to be having some heart palpitations. This has been happening at times when I am almost completely relaxed; like laying in bed watching TV, reclining in my arm chair crocheting. My next appointment isn't until December 13th. So unless there is something really wrong, I won't get the results until then. That doesn't mean there is nothing wrong; but just nothing overly important. I have taken so much chemotherapy, that there's no telling what the cumulative result would be... there was one that required an ECG 4 times through the chemo infusion, then one everyday for the next 5 days. So obviously they thought there could be some sort of effects on my heart. Maybe it just took a while longer than anticipated. If that is the case, I am glad I stopped that treatment when I did. It was my decision to stop it, I had the option to continue to see if the results would improve. So, here I am, with heart palpitations at 35 years old. Which also bothers me, because my paternal grandmother died of a heart attack, when I was 17. She had a triple bi-pass years before (I can't remember how old I was, but I was in elementary school). OH! and my mother tells me, recently, that when I was born I had a heart murmur. She had never told me that before, though I was born 3 weeks early, which was significant in the 70s. So... waiting, waiting, waiting... as usual
debbiedimatteo, tinak threw a punch at your cancer.
islander sent you a prayer.
debbiedimatteo sent you a hug.
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its not uncommon for newborns to have a heart murmur. its because at birth there is a hole between ventricles that closes within a few days of birth. shouldnt have anything to do with what or what not is going on now. there are a few chemos that need monitoring of heart function. you were on one of those. this could very well be a side effect of that. but lets hope its not and all is good!! heres to good!! hugs!
I never had an echo but I did have one of those chemically induced stress tests. I can say NEVER do that if you can find another way. Keep pluggin away. There will be better days. xoxo, Debbie
Glad they have the technology now to keep up with your heart via pictures. I've had that test, several times and will need it again. I agree, not comfortable, esp with an implant! Sounds like your chemo was very heart toxic and that is why they monitored you so often. Here's hoping the results are positive!
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