Some days are simply back breaking . . . LOL

29 Dec
Red Rock Crab, Cancer productus

Feeling a little crabby after falling down the stairs. I wonder if my bones are stronger or weaker than this crustacean’s?

Okay, maybe this isn’t funny, but it is to me.

First of all, I had an amazing Christmas with my family . . . truly memorable. The only sad part was that more of my family couldn’t be there (I missed my beautiful niece and nephew and one of my brothers – their dad). But, fourteen of my family members were able to come over and we had a great time. We had a tappas Christmas (my new thing post cancer). I will post pictures soon.

I made a sangria this year and it was colorful and beautiful. I also made several other dishes as did family members, it was a wonderful feast, but most of all it was just a wonderful day with family. We played music (my Dad played the piano, Christmas songs as well as some great jazz standards and I joined him, to the best of my abilities, on the bass. I have some video of his playing that I will post here soon.

I learned knew things about them, interesting things and it was so wonderful to have an opportunity to catch up with them and to learn about what is going on in their lives. So often it has been about “how are you doing Lisa” and so “are  you good now?” etc. It was nice to not have it be all about me and my trials and tribulations . . . it was a much needed and pleasant escape from cancerland.

And then I slipped while walking down the stairs (I swear, there was no Sangria involved – I was wearing stockings  – no shoes – and walked down my carpeted stairs and my feet slipped right out from underneath me and down I went . . . down several steps to the bottom landing on the tile floor. It was quite a jolt (several jolts actually). But, I thought I was fine and would just be sore.

The next day I was in quite a bit of pain. By the second day it hurt to breathe, I’m figuring now at this point it might be more than some bruising. So I go into to see my doctor and dang it if I don’t have stress fractures. Chemo can weaken your bones. I have had bone density tests and have been told that I have osteopenia, but that it “isn’t bad at all”. I have come to learn that when someone tells a cancer patient that “it isn’t bad at all” that this means that it is bad, it just isn’t bad given the possibilities of bad – it is like a bell curve of sorts (I think). It ranges somewhere between “you have the ‘good’ kind of cancer” (whatever the bleep that means) to “I’m sorry . . . ” (that means you have the really bad kind of cancer – as if there are good kinds). The point of all of this is that I am a success story – so far. I am alive, I am seemingly healthy. I made it through an aggressive cancer, through aggressive treatment and came out of it N.E.D. (no evidence of disease). I have even had my oncologist on occasion refer to me as “cured”. All pretty great things. So in the scheme of things, when you look at the possibilities of what could have happened (never surviving treatment, etc.) having osteopenia really “isn’t bad at all”.

But, now I realize that it means that my bones can break. This can happen to anyone. But, it can happen to me more easily than some and certainly more easily than most people my age. But, I am not one to compare myself to “most” people. It doesn’t help me much. I am in a lot of pain right now and I am limited in what I can do physically for a time. But, that is it. It will get better. And in the scheme of things . . . “isn’t [that] bad at all”

I am disappointed that I will not be able to run the half marathon I signed up for – it is in six weeks – I should be running most days right now to prepare for it. There will be no running for some weeks. Not sure how many, but I am definitely not going to be able to prepare adequately for running a half marathon by February 3rd. So I am planning on walking it again (walked it last year, promised myself I would run it this year . . . oh well . . . maybe next year I will run it).

So I am disappointed. I admit, I was really depressed about this a couple of days ago. But, now I am resigned to it, it will get better, I will get better and hopefully I will get some help with things around my place (lifting is not on my agenda right away). Oh, I really should post the list of things that I am not supposed to do – it is quite hilarious – apparently I am not allowed to go taboggening or snowmobiling (although sledding was not on the list . .. hmm). It is a pretty funny list.

I am going to try walking on the sand (not sure if that is going to hurt more or less than walking on a sidewalk) and I am going to increase my swimming as much as possible (I still have this fantasy where I will actually be able to pull off running at least some portion of the half marathon). But, I am not going to be stupid about it.

Well, I should be sleeping.

I wish everyone a very Happy New Year!

Love and peace,


6 Responses to “Some days are simply back breaking . . . LOL”

  1. Sandy December 29, 2012 at 3:30 PM #

    Ow! I’m so sorry to hear about your fall! Let me know if I can help. I’m done with chemo and should be driving by late next week. In the mean time, I can loan you Michael! *lol* Take care of yourself and feel better soon. Love you.

    • cancerfree2b December 30, 2012 at 4:48 PM #

      Awe, thank you Sandy! It is nothing compared to what you have been going through. And, it will get better. How are you feeling? I am so happy for you that you are done with chemo! What a relief that is. I am sorry you had to do the six rounds. But, I am so glad you have it behind you now and you can focus on healing from that and move on to the next phase of your treatment. This too shall pass. Radiation is supposedly easier on those of us who have lighter skin. I know it was easier for me than it was for some of the women I knew in treatment. I have some things for you that will help with that. I am sure I will see you before you start, but do keep me posted so I can be sure to have it ready for you. Calendula cream (made with marigold and used for centuries to help burned skin and soothe skin) was a wonderful find. I also used aloe vera (but an aloe vera gel that I got from Trader Joes – it has no dyes or perfumes in it and it is something like 99% pure aloe vera). I used both daily and often. To this day, my radiologist is amazed at my skin – he is an expert and he said on my last visit that it was “like I had never had radiation” my skin is soft, not discolored at all and the only way that you would be able to tell that I was radiated is the little tiny tattoo marks that they made to know where to focus the radiation. I was originally told to use a hydrocortisone cream to ease the discomfort. It felt good, but learned not long after from my plastic surgeon that cortisone thins the skin – so she had me immediately stop using that. Anyway, the calendula cream and the aloe vera not only provided me with some relief during the weeks of radiation, but my skin recovered extremely well. I also used (months after radiation) vitamin E oil on my scars (per my plastic surgeon’s advice) and that was helpful too. Incidentally, I found calendula cream in two places: Target (they sell it in a jar under the name of “baby ganics” I think it might be called California Baby-ganics” – in any case, it is a cream that is sold in the baby section) and also at Sprouts (they have a lotion – not as good in my opinion – and then a tube of it that is a cream – it is more expensive than the lotion, but better in a cream form in my opinion). So I used both the cream from Target and Sprouts. I used aloe vera about 5 or 6 times a day some times more and then the calendula cream at least two times a day – always at night. They will tell you what you can and can’t do. If i recall I don’t think I put anything on prior to the treatment. But, I don’t remember now. I didn’t find the calendula cream until about the third week into it and wow, it was such a blessing, it helped so much!

      I am so sorry you are having to go through this, ugh, ugh, ugh.

      I think of you every day and you are in my prayers and my families prayers too.

      Much love to you, my friend.



      • Sandy December 30, 2012 at 10:59 PM #


        Thanks for the kind thoughts and advice about radiation. I’m 10 days out from chemo #6, so I’m still pretty tired. My body seemed to adapt to some of the side effects, and others got cumulatively worse each round. I’m looking forward to feeling better, soon, though! My next oncologist appointment is at the end of January. I’ll see the radiation oncologist after that, so it will be a while still before I start to glow in the dark. 🙂


  2. Sally Peck January 5, 2013 at 10:35 PM #

    Hi, Lisa,
    Your mom happily reported on your great family Christmas party–until your fall. I’m so sorry about your fall. I should have written you. I had busy few weeks with Joe coming from CA, Mike from NYC and Steve from northern Michigan and 2 trips to ER for hip pain, probably nerve pain because it is NOT broken. Pain is expected at my age, but not at yours, at least not BC, before cancer.
    Heal well and be patient with yourself.
    Love, Aunt Sally

  3. Diane January 17, 2013 at 4:49 PM #

    If it makes you feel better, a friend of mine was wearing socks (on tile) at a holiday party – jumped for joy, slipped and broke her foot.

    • cancerfree2b April 3, 2013 at 9:29 AM #

      Hi Diane!

      I am sorry, I am only just now seeing your comment. I am sorry about your friend’s injury . . . jumping for joy should not result in pain 😦


      I am all healed up now. At least I think I am . . . but, guess what?!!! I fell AGAIN . . . I think I have some balance issues. No fractures this time, just a sprained knee. But, seriously, this is getting silly. I think I need to get into better shape and work on my upper body muscle strength as I think it is posing an issue . . . at least walking down stairs 🙂

      I hope your friend’s foot is all healed and I hope you are doing great!

      All the best,


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