Sorry for the absence and change of address.
I finished radiation on December 22nd and have been quite weak since that time. But, I am definitely getting better. I have a lot to fill you in on, since I haven’t written for so long, but, I will not try to do it all in this one post.
I have some great news and that is that I now have a new oncologist. I have been seeing her privately, out of pocket, up at UCLA since the very beginning. She was he person that I sought out a second opinion from prior to deciding upon a course of treatment.
Well, my plan was to switch to her as soon as I could (which would mean switching to UCLA Medical Group and losing my current surgeons here at Hoag and also losing Hoag as my Hospital). But, I felt at some point I would do this – at the point that I was done with my surgeries and the aggressive treatment. Well, I have been granted sort of the best of both worlds. I get to have this doctor as my primary oncologist AND keep everything else local.
It is a dream come true as she is just an incredible doctor and is world renown. I have suffered so much with a terrible oncologist here locallly – which was why I continued to see the doctor privately up at UCLA – I felt my life depended upon it.
Anyway, the short version is that my insurance company finally listened to my story of all of the problems I have had – including one near death experience – at the hands of this physician – and now they are giving me what I want. The whole fear of being sued thing – well, it works. And, I would like to think that my case manager actually does care about the quality of my health care and that this is why he has managed to make this happen for me.
Still, it did not go all so smoothly. I have had to be on the phone constantly to get this to happen. My Mom has done the same – phone calls, helping me get a case manager, etc. She has been and is amazing (Both of my parents are).
As far as how I am feeling, overall, not too bad. Today was my first day of physical therapy and I liked it very much. Yes, there was a little pain involved. But, I am SO glad to be getting help with my arms and my “frozen shoulder”. Finally! It has been very frustrating not to be able to open a screw top from a bottle of juice or just anything that is difficult to open.
I really liked my physical therapist, I started to feel an improvement right away. The exercises are somewhat painful to do, but it is a good kind of pain because I know it will mean that I can resume more normal activities. It has been very hard to be so dependent upon everyone.
The past several weeks have been very tiring, actually ever since the radiation I have had no energy, or very little anyway. I have had an occasional day here or there where I can get out, but for the most part is has been me restlessly resting, ugh.
I am anemic – which was really worrying me as my former oncologist had no explanation for it. But, my new oncologist – who is a breast cancer surgical oncologist (so she knows a lot) explained to me that it was normal to be anemic this far out from chemotherapy because the Hercetin treatments I get every 21 days actually cause the anemia.
So that is why I am so tired. I have also lost quite a bit of weight, but I am still within a normal weight range for my height. I just don’t want to lose any more weight. The radiation treatment really caused me to lose my appetite and I still have quite a bit of trouble with eating enough in one day.
My oncologist (my real oncologist) feels that I am making excellent progress. I still have some hurdles – continued Herceptin treatments (but these are not too bad) and two surgeries coming up. But, so far so good, they believe the cancer is gone, there is no current evidence of my having any cancer and so now I just have to complete the treatment, get through these surgeries and hopefully I will have a clean bill of health from here on out Please say some prayers for me on all of that :).
Well, there is a lot more to tell, but right now, I need to get some sleep, something I am pretty short of these days.
Thank you so much for all of your prayers and your help. It is and has been so appreciated (and not just by me, but by my whole family).