Take time...

Take time...
Early Detection... it's life or death!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Army of Women

About a week or two ago I received an email about a study being conducted at Stanford University regarding sleep and the effects of stress with Metastatic Breast Cancer.  They are still looking for more women.  Here is the link to the web site and I am going to try to copy and paste the link to sign up for the study.

http://www.armyofwomen.org/  (Link to sign up for Army of Women)

Too much stress and not enough sleep are familiar to many women with breast cancer. The question is whether they might lead to recurrence by affecting your immune system. That is what a group of researchers at Stanford University want to find out. They are studying the effect that stress and sleep-related hormones may have on the immune system and cancer progression.

If you are a woman who has metastatic or recurrent breast cancer and you might be interested in participating in this study...please read on.
Even if this study isn't right for you, please pass it on! PLEASE REMEMBER, if you don't fit the criteria for this study, there are MANY, MANY more upcoming studies and one of these studies might need someone just like you!!

What's the study about?
The purpose of this study is to learn about the relationships between psychological factors such as stress, quality of sleep, hormones, immunity, and cancer progression. This study will enroll 125 women, and at this time needs up to 20 more.  

What's involved?
If you join the Stress and Breast Cancer study, you will be asked to answer questions about your medical history and health-related behaviors. You will also participate in a 2-week at-home sleep data collection, which includes keeping a sleep log, wearing a watch-like device that will assess your activity and sleep, and two nights of more detailed sleep recording. Finally, you will be asked to stay at Stanford Hospital for 28 hours (2 days and 1 night)where your sleep will be assessed, and you will be asked to provide blood samples through an IV, saliva samples, and complete a psychological assessment including interviews and questionnaires.

If you do not live within 1 to 2 hours of Stanford University, in addition to the 2-week at-home sleep data collection, you will be asked to travel to Palo Alto, California for 4 days and 3 nights. If needed, hotel accommodations and travel to and from the airport will be provided.

Who is conducting the study?
David Spiegel, M.D., Professor and Associate Chair of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences atStanford University School of Medicine

Stanford University, Stanford, CA 

You can join the Stress and Breast Cancer study if you match
 ALL of these MAIN categories: 
-You are a woman between 45 and 75
-You have metastatic or recurrent breast cancer
-You live in the United States
-You are willing to travel to Stanford University in Palo Alto, 
California for 
2 days and 1 night, if you live within 1 to 2 hours of the University
 ; or 4 days and 3 nights if you live farther away.
-You have not had another cancer in the past 10 years other than 
breast cancer, skin cancer, or in situ cancer of the cervix

here is the UTL for signing up...  



Three Months

That's how long it's been since I quit smoking. And I feel great.  Wait a minute, actually I think it's going on four now. Well I sort of feel great.  No, actually I don't feel great at all.  I have been fighting this cold/flu slash what ever this bug is... one thing I'm NOT doing though (thankfully since I am NOT smoking) is coughing.  But yea for me.... I'm a NON SMOKER!!!  Wooo Hoooo!!!!

My Doctor has me on Taxol every week, Herceptin every week and Zometa once a month.  Now, finally I can say the pain is under control.  A couple of months ago, it was far from that.

This past October my lymph nodes in my neck and throat and behind my ears were severely swollen.  The pain was off the hook.  I couldn't raise my left arm higher than my shoulder.  When I called my doctor for some pain pills I was told they didn't think it was related to the cancer.  "Are you freaking kidding me?" I thought! What DO you think it's related to, my cousin Sam? I was practically in tears talking to them about the pain and trying to convey to them the level of my pain.  This was pretty much the first time I've experienced pain to this degree, and I wasn't handling it to well.  I was given a minimal amount of pain pills which I had to ration off until I could get in and have them look at the extent of what was going on and deal with it from that point on.

By Thanksgiving, I had pain pills, but it just wasn't getting the pain under control.  Thanksgiving weekend is pretty much a fog.  I ended up being taken to the hospital and admitted for pneumonia.  I remained in the hospital for a week.  Now I find myself exhausted.  I've been out of the hospital now for over a month, and am still feeling the effect of the illness.  Pneumonia is no joke and nothing to kid around with.  My energy level usually plummets by early evening.  New Years Eve it took all I had just to stay awake past eight o'clock. This is so not like me.  I'm usually the party animal, ringing in the new year all night long! Not this kid, not this year. The week in the hospital we were able to get the pain under control, and after a few weeks of the Taxol, the swelling had gone down in the lymph nodes and the pain went from ten plus to about two or three.  Much better...

Scheduling is being changed from every week to every third week.  It'll be nice to have two weeks off, where I am not riding the commuter bus home.  The down side to this is  being stuck in treatment now for a four or five hour stretch.  This should be interesting.  Me sitting still for that long of a stretch.

Time will tell...

Now the really good news is when they did the bone scan, the cancer did not present where it first did when I was staged.  There appeared to be some on my ribs they weren't sure about,  but none anymore in my lower back!  God you are so incredibly awesome!!!  Thank you Lord, I give you all the praise and glory!!!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I'm Still Here... I think?

After careful consideration, and I might add an enormous amount of uncontrollable pain, I have opted for conventional methods.  There are just too many success stories out there with conventional medicine.  I want to be one of those success stories.  I choose to fight with chemotherapy.  The side effects this time don't seem to be as chronic as it was the first time.  I am considerably more tired this time around,  although I was sick for a while and this could be a side effect from the cold/flu I had in conjunction with the chemotherapy.

For me to get chemo, it required a move to the north.  Way way up north.  Wyoming to be exact.  Land of 'me hunter... You Jane!'  One can definitely tell when it's hunting season here.  The men, and some women, dress in camouflage.  Right now I'm surrounded by enormous mounds of snow.  The next big 'event' is the Snowmobile competitions.  One must really enjoy winter sports living in the northern regions such as here.  I'm thinking I'll be the lounge bunny.  Inside nice and warm, watching everyone else out there in the cold.  Reading is a GREAT sport!!  he he he...

Now, the question is, did this  have anything to do with my faith?  Did I lose my faith?  Nope.  My faith is as strong as it was from day one.  I will say this, my numbers are down considerably.  Is it a result of my faith?  I would say without a doubt.   Is it a result in the homeopathic or alopathic (not sure if I am spelling it correct there) or both? Who knows.  Who cares.  All I know is I am going to continue with what I am doing, one day at time.  My complimentary along with the conventional.