All posts tagged: cancer survive

Cancer and more surgery

My surgery will be coming up soon. When I learned I would need it, I felt depressed. I had been going to the wound clinic once a week and I was irrigating and packing the wound twice a day for several weeks now. I thought these measures were working. They weren’t. I remember the doctor saying if I needed surgery that there would be little left. Another dip into depression. So, I continue the care and await the upcoming surgery. I had breast cancer in October 2013. I had surgery and then a series of radiation treatments in 2014. The radiated tissue has become necrotic. A common occurrence that I didn’t know about. The dead tissue needs to be removed. This surgery is considered a ‘day surgery’. I will go home the same day of the surgery. My son becomes the nurse. The cost of a nurse or nurses is eliminated when patients are sent home the same day of surgery. It is a big improvement on their profit. I am fine. My body is …

Radiation of the breast can cause the tissue to become necrotic.

Radiation of the breast can cause the tissue to become necrotic. I learned this a couple of weeks ago when I developed a foul smelling lesion on my right breast six years after radiation for breast cancer. The breast cancer surgeon knew instantly what it was. I had dead, rotting tissue in my right breast. The formation of necrotic tissue following radiation is a common occurrence. I was sent to a wound clinic. A wound clinic manages wounds that are hard to heal. These nurses are the experts. They know everything there is to know about the care and healing of difficult wounds. My wound is about an inch in diameter and it is quite deep. Initially, it was foul smelling. It still is but not as bad. I was given the equipment to treat my own wound.  I irrigate the cavity with a blunt needled syringe loaded with  Dakin’s solution, an antiseptic liquid. Then I insert gauze dampened with the solution and laced with Santyl and cover the wound with a dressing. The Santyl …

Cancer Support Now

Go to the Cancer Support Now website and check the Spring Conference and a wonderful local cancer support organization right here in ABQ.                      http://cancersupportnow.org/  Announcing  Fourth  Annual Long Term Effects of Cancer Survivorship Conference March 28, 2015   8:30 am to 4:30 pm at Central United Methodist Church   in Albuquerque The Conference includes 4 breakout sessions  held twice, morning & afternoon 1. Fatigue/Sleep Issues 2. Lymphedema 3. Creative Movement/Visual Art an interactive, experiential session 4. End of Life Planning and Support Keynote sessions: The Morning  keynote speaker is  Michael N. Linver, MD, FACR. Dr. Linver is a busy lecturer on mammography, having presented over 900 talks throughout the United States and in over 20 countries around the world. The Lunch keynote session is a panel of experts on rehabilitation topics of concern to post-treatment survivors and their caregivers. Location: Central United Methodist Church, 201 University Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 1 block north of Central For more information call 505.307.3414 ore-mail ptorn@comcast.net Registration is required & opens mid-February  

A marked woman

Radiation treatment follows certain protocols. My treatment is at the MD Anderson satellite here in Albuquerque. After meeting with the radiation oncologist, Dr. G, I have my simulation appointment. This includes a CT scan, painting on the bull’s eyes with magic marker and tape, measuring for an arm mold for placement. My breast is bare to three people. Since it has already had a mammogram, an ultrasound, a stereotactic core biopsy, wire placement and surgery, it is beginning to feel like community property and is no longer shy. Now it has war paint so is feeling pretty bold. Next the experts will do their calculations, the mold will be made and I will be ready to go with the three week plan plus a extra week to zap the surgical site. This means treatments five days a week and with the extra week, it will be four weeks or twenty treatments. My choices were the standard six week plan, the three week plan at double dose or the one week plan that includes inserting a …

Bring out the best you through exercise workshop

Recovering from cancer,  Addressing  the issues Presbyterian Kaseman Hospital  >>open to all cancer patients>>Wednesdays 1-3>>                        call  505-559-8761 to join group or come to an individual class. FREE and Supportive +++good for any level of ability 10-1-14                                                                                                                                          Lymphedema discussion                                                                                                                      …

After cancer treatment what next?

Surviving Cancer is a tough trip.   After the treatment is done,  before the next tests,  there will always be the worry that the cancer will come back.  There will be the worry that a new one will soon reveal its ugly form.  After all, the body betrayed itself once. Then,  after all the dust has settled and friends and family have disappeared back into their own lives,  the long term effects of treatment settle into roost.  Fatigue.  Fatigue and more fatigue.  So common.  So very hard to deal with.  Chemo brain. Peripheral neuropathy.  Feeling fragile.  Being fragile.  Reality.  Then there is the huge financial upheavals. Maybe a visit to the Caring Hearts Support Group at Kaseman in Albuquerque is in order. This group embodies what human spirit is all about.  A  group sharing a common experience, meeting for a late lunch, a presentation by a medical oncology specialist, time for talking. People who understand your issues and are willing to help.  Be brave come for a visit. Caring Hearts Support Group meets in six …

Cancer Club Thought of the day: how about no choice in the matter

Cathy, my very dear sister-in-law, and I were having one of our long conversations.  She is in New York.  I am here.  If we were in the same place, we would spend a lot of time together.  She was saying we have no choice but to carry on.  We were discussing difficult times and when someone says, “How’s it going?”,  she says what choice do we have but to say fine because we have to carry on. Her husband, my brother, died of metastatic colon(appendix) cancer about two and a half years ago.  She’s had a hard time.  They were married over 40 years. They were a good fit.  Being alone has been hard for her. I am always missing my brother so it has been hard for me too. I have two cancers.  I had to be tested, to have surgery, to have radiation treatments, to have new pills and then more doctors’ visits.  New news is shocking, life changing.  There is the adjustment period. Then  adaptation and just keep going.  With the nature …