ATTITUDE & GRATITUDE

Since 2016 I have done the following oral chemo treatments & radiation:

  • January 2016 – Ibrance & Xgeva
  • Radiation-Iliac crest
  • Feb 2017-Stopped Xgeva….Dental issues
  • November 2017-Ibrance & Faslodex
  • Radiation – Spine & right arm
  • April 2018-Kadcyla
  • Radiation-Cervical Spine & Right arm
  • September 2018-Afinitor
  • Radiation-Thoracic spine
  • April 2019 – Xeloda
  • September 2019 Surgery-Rod inserted in right femur
  • October 2019-Radiation-Femur, pelvis & hip (right side)
  • December 2019 – present Piqray & Faslodex

I look at this list as a strategy of war; my cancer war.

I am thankful for ALL who continue to fight with me.

Piqray is my latest medicine that I am taking.  (Yes, I have changed my attitude, I no longer call my treatments poison).

The FDA approved Piqray in May, 2019. Piqray, (alpelisib) is a prescription medicine used in men and postmenopausal women with HR-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer that is advanced or has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic). Piqray is used only if your cancer has a specific genetic marker, (an abnormal “PIK3CA” gene). I was tested and have the gene.  This treatment attacks both negative and positive Her2 breast cancer!  I also have a shot once a month of Faslodex that helps my estrogen positive cancer.

I started my Piqray and Faslodex at the beginning of December 2019.  My side effects are minimal, however,  I need to eat bland foods at night to prevent heart burn.  Headaches come and go and so does fatigue.  After my Faslodex shot, I will feel achy.  I drink a lot of water to prevent cramps in my toes and fingers.

So far, I am feeling good and my bone mets. have simmered down.  In February I will have my blood drawn for my CA-27-29 count, to see how active or inactive my cancer is.

My jaw has finally healed.  I have only 5 teeth left on my lower jaw and this makes me self -conscious. It is also hard to chew.  Thankfully, I can now get dentures.

Even though I no longer take Xeloda, my side effects continue.  I have numbness in my hands and feet and they become very dry.  I am constantly putting lotion on.  I have a bottle of lotion in every room of my house!

I had a wonderful year in spite of cancer.  I went to Los Vegas with my son Tony and his friend Eric.  We share the love of the Beatles and saw Paul McCartney in concert!  We also saw the Beatles “Love” circus soleil.  The Vegas sites were incredible and exciting!  We stayed at the beautiful Bellagio hotel and I enjoyed relaxing at the pool while the boys slept from their all night gambling escapades.  I had so much fun with them and I hope to do more trips together!  My only regret I had with this trip was being too cautious.  I was on Xeloda and worried about fatigue and other side effects.  I wish I threw caution to the wind and stayed up later and gambled with the boys.  I did gamble a little and it was fun. But no big winnings for me!

I had the Best Mother’s Day Ever!!!!  My son Vinnie got tickets to the Boston Bruins Game.  His wife Kylie, her mom Joanne and at the last minute, two more tickets became available and my grandsons Michael and Leo went to the playoff game also!  It was fun, exciting and I could not wipe the big grin off my face. It still makes me smile as it was a perfect day

I am so proud of my son Cody as he opened a diner in town and his food is delicious.  The year continued with a visit with my Nephew Chad from Minnesota and he surprised my Mom and I by bringing his whole family!

Summer continued with wonderful trips to Maine and a motorcycle trip in the Burlington Vermont area with Mike. We always have a great time together. My Nephew Mark from Minnesota also came to visit and he suffered through a tour of the Patriots Hall of Fame with me!  I was able to work in my garden and had a great butterfly year.   Grand kids are my life and when I felt good, I would enjoy as much time as I could with them.

In September, my bone mets became more aggressive in my right femur and I had emergency surgery to place a steel rod to stabilize it.  I then had radiation on my femur, pelvis and hip on my right side.  I hate pain and helplessness.   Some days my mood became dark and I vented my frustration to my husband.  I then have a pity party for a few days, shake it off and move on.  Darkness is not where I want to live.

In October I retired.  I was surprised with a wonderful retirement party with family, friends and co-workers there.  It was humbling.  I will always be grateful for everyone’s kindness, love and support I receive.  I love this Town.

Retirement has been wonderful.  No Stress!!  In the first few months I was recovering from surgery and radiation treatments, I slept late like a teenager.  I watched a lot of stupid TV, looked at Facebook, read new blogs etc..etc.  I have welcomed my new wardrobe of leggings, sweatshirts and minimal makeup.  I have also rediscovered my love for painting and enjoy doing this with my granddaughter, (who is very talented) and others that come to play in my art room!  I have kept busy with projects in my home.  How did I end up with 3 junk drawers?! Going out to Lunch with my Mom and visiting with friends. Best of all, enjoying my grandkids.  I was blessed to have another grandson born this January!  Another reason to live!  9 Grandkids altogether, how lucky I am!

My brother came for a visit and I noticed a change in him.  He seemed content, peaceful and relaxed.  I complimented the change and wanted to know how this happened.  He revealed that he has been meditating and was doing a course by Dr. Joe Dispensa.  He shared his experiences and how it has changed his life.  I have always believed in meditation but never took the time to seriously do it.  Now I make the time to meditate and pray.  There are many types of meditation.   You need to explore and find what works for you.  I highly recommend it. The calmness, gratitude and love you will feel through meditation will change your life.  It takes time and patience to feel results from it, but it’s worth it.  Twice a month Reiki is generously offered by several volunteers at the hospital.  I enjoy this also.

My life isn’t all rainbows and butterflies.  Cancer sucks.  Appointments, blood work and tests are constant.  You’re mindful of every new pain you feel.  I have pain every day. Some days are good other days are bad.  I listen to my body and pace myself each day. But, I also push myself because little accomplishments mean a lot.  What you think you can’t do, you might be able to, just try.

My 2020 goals are simple, travel to unknown places, love and enjoy my family and friends.

BE HAPPY HEALTHY AND HUMBLE

What more do I need?

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5 thoughts on “ATTITUDE & GRATITUDE”

  1. Thank you for sharing your journey Judy. You are so strong and brave and surrounded by so much love. You are always in my prayers. Love, Judy 🤗 ❤️

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  2. Judy you are such a strong and beautiful person. The road you travel is not one anyone would ever ask for but you meet the challenge head on. My wish and prayer for you is to feel the best you can and to enjoy life to the fullest because you deserve it. Your right family and friends fulfill our lives and I’m so happy you retired and have the time to enjoy them. My prayers are sent to you🙏💕

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  3. Judy…u r such an inspiration to so many…how I miss seeing ur sassiness and visiting with u…thank you for sharing your story and all the information you have on the new cancer drugs and treatment…you have such a beautiful soul…God Bless…🥰

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