A cancer update and chicken taffy giveaway

Cancer Update and Giveaway Reminder

Flea’s Cancer Update

I feel rather like a fraud, posting a cancer update. I’m still in some weird stage of asking myself, “Do I really have cancer? Is my experience anything like anyone else’s?” I know I’m not a dog with cancer (y’know, this being a dog blog and all), but I think it’s helpful to write these things out, not only for myself, but for anyone who might be in the same boat. So here’s where I am right now.

A Month Out

It’s been nearly a month since the colonoscopy and the tumor being found. That might sound like a short time, but it feels like forever. I think this is part of my disbelief, the feeling like forever. It’s been a whole month, and I just started treatment yesterday! Let me break down what’s happened in a month’s time.

  • Colonoscopy – gastroenterologist found a three centimeter bleeding tumor about seven centimeters from the opening of my bum, referring me immediately to an oncologist, taking several biopsies
  • One week later – oncologist meets with us to tell us the tumor is, in fact, malignant, and it’s adenocarcinoma, a cancer found in secreting glands and organs, schedules CT scan
  • A week after that (and the CT scan) – meet the oncologist to find that the cancer is stage three, meaning it’s attached itself to the muscle lining of the rectum, and it’s spreading into the lymph nodes nearby
  • Meet the radiologist, who does an on-the-spot pap smear (well! That was unexpected!) and gives me a run-down of what to expect
  • Head to radiology for the making of the mold of my legs (to stabilize me during ongoing radiation treatments) and tiny tattoos for placement during radiation (no, the tattoos didn’t hurt)
  • Pick up the chemo pills, nausea pills and antibiotics
  • Yesterday – took my first round of chemo pills at home, then went in for radiation – radiation doesn’t hurt, btw

While a month may seem eternal after a diagnosis, as you can see, a lot has happened in this time frame. I’m pleased with my team at the Tulsa Cancer Institute. And we’re on our way.

My Treatment

It turns out, every cancer and patient is different with treatment. It depends on the cancer type, what stage you’re in, as well as the type of person you are. My oncologist chose the oral chemo, in part, because he thinks I’ll follow directions and be fastidious about taking the pills when I’m supposed to. I have an alarm set on my phone to remind me at eight AM and eight PM Monday through Friday – take those pills!

Also, and I don’t fully understand the reasons, I’ll be in treatment for six weeks. Some people are in treatment for months. Mine is five days a week, taking the chemo pills morning and night, radiation those same days, resting on weekends. Surgery will be scheduled for about six weeks after the treatment ends, to remove what the chemo doesn’t kill and the radiation doesn’t shrink. I do understand the surgery following the treatment, since I’d want to lose as little of the rectum as possible.

Yes, mine is truly the most glamorous of cancers. NOT.

How the Chemo and Radiation Effect Me So Far

And here’s where I feel like a fraud. It’s been a whole month. I’ve been talking about the cancer over on Facebook for a whole month. And it’s only yesterday and today that I’m experiencing anything like symptoms of treatment. Yesterday I had a ton of energy and was starving. Late afternoon, after radiation, I passed out. Then felt nauseous, just uncomfortable. At three AM I woke up nauseous. Not like I needed to throw up, but like I had vertigo in my stomach, which struck me as really weird.

And the tired? Yeah. I’m tired. I asked the tech yesterday, at radiation, if the exhaustion was similar to spending a day at the beach, in the sun. You know how that makes you really tired? She said yes, it was similar. But without the fun of being at the beach. Bummer.

Please, feel free to ask me questions in the comments. I tend to respond personally, via email. I’ll answer any question I’m able to. The whole point of me writing about it so publically is so I can share what I know and experience. Prior to my diagnosis, I knew next to nothing about cancer. Just know that every experience is different, but that there are some similarites.

The Giveaway

No, I’m not giving away cancer. You wish. Cancer is like Christmas, with all the cards and gifts. But the in-laws never leave. Yeah, it’s like that. No, I’m giving away some of the best dog treats on the planet. Check it out:

A cancer update and chicken taffy giveaway

Click on this sentence and a new tab will open with the giveaway post – just follow the instructions there to enter to win. Your dog will thank you. Naturally.

Spreading the good chews …

Flea

13 thoughts on “Cancer Update and Giveaway Reminder

  1. Dear Mrs Flea, I is sending you lots and lots of POTP and luffs and hugs, fank you fur the update, I haf been wondering but didn’t like to pry. If you feel tired, then take it easy and let you body do the works it needs to do.Take good care
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess leah xxx

  2. I learned a lot I didn’t know Flea…thank you for sharing what you’ve been through so far. I’m glad you have let us join you on this journey. We love and care about you so much and want to give you as much support and love as possible. You are one heck of a woman and will beat this! God’s got your back 🙂

  3. Flea, we sending you loads of love and don’t feel like a fraud talking about it as Layla says that is healthy to discuss it as it eases the burden on your shoulders, hugs with a woof from us xxxx

  4. Flea, i am so glad that things are going better and the found the tumor. my mother had non hodgkins lymphona, she had to have radiation b/c of her heart and health. treatments also depend on your health and what health factors you may have. you sound like you have some good doctors that are working together. i have not been so lucky with some of my dr. one tells you one thing the other says this, etc. none can agree on the treatment of plan and the patient is the one that suffers. You do not sound like a fraud at all, please dont feel this way. thank you for sharing your updates and i wish you the best and a speedy recovery and to be cancer free. remember it is a whole health solution, eat right, no drinking, get some exercise and no stress. chemo affects people in different ways. some it may not even bother them and others can barely tolerate it.

  5. I am so sorry that you are having to deal with this cancer. For some reason, I always thought that chemo and radiation were administered while you were in a machine like an MRI tube. I had no idea that there were pills. We are all sending you love and POTP prayers. ♥ ♥

    • The radiation is similar to the CT scan. But chemo is different depending on the cancer and the person. Some people do IV at the hospital. Some people are hooked up to an ongoing pump. I take pills twice a day, five days a week.

  6. I am glad they got your treatment addressed and going as quick as they did! Hang in there attitude makes a difference and you have a good one!! I’d like to ask if you were symptomatic or just having a routine colonoscopy? I’m thinking of you and hope that your family furry winged two legged etc keep you loved and pampered. A good hug and a face licking does wonders.

    • Ask any question you’d like. This journey is everyone’s journey. It’s not fun, though. I wanted to die this weekend. And then I was fine. So weird. Goinv back in!

  7. Know we are all sending pawsitive healing thoughts and prayers your way and by all means, please let us know if there’s anything we can do for you, ok?! ღ

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