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I DID go today instead of waiting until the 6th. Here's what I was told...

By December 31, 2008 - 11:50am
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Comment by BDT816 on December 31, 2008 - 2:31pm

Hi Diane,

Well, I went. Sigh Sigh Sigh.

The great news is... I'm-a-going-dancing tonight! 2009 - HERE I COME!

The not so great but THAT'S OK news is...

I have to take chemo. The icky kind. ( Unlike the Gleevec I take for CML but the IV stuff. Wonder how bad THAT is?) Blah. Because of my history with the CML and because some of the cells tried to invade the lymph nodes near my pelvis ...

I look at it this way.

I figure at some point in the next few months I'm going to get to see what its like to be... A blond perhaps? Maybe a brunette. :o) Wigs come in all sort of colors, ya know!!!! I've been a redhead since the day I was born so why not be adventurous!

I have to be back to my doctor on Monday. They've given me some medication to ease the upset stomach which is a relief. I then see the oncologist on Tuesday to start my chemo.

All I can say...

AT Least it isn't diabetes!!!! (It runs in my family)

You see... Diabetes- though treatable...you're STUCK with. Besides I LIKE sugar in my coffee. ( and have an allergy to artificial sweetners)

Unlike Diabetes... Cancer and chemo? Not only treatable...But THIS I CAN beat. Piece 'O Cake!

And I Like cake!

Terry doesn't know yet. But when I have to tell him I intend to do so with an upbeat attitude for I know that if I show fear... He will FEEL fear. He deserves to have a wonderful night and so it shall be!

Well, I'm off to go get ready.
2009--- Here I come! Are ya ready???? Woohoo!!!!
( Going to keep telling myself that for a while! LOL)

PS. Any input on what this type of chemo will make me feel like?
Any advice on how to make it not so scary? I looked at some things about it and most of what I've read is...


( Is it true that if you put ice packs on your head the odds are one won't ose their hair???? Things like that.

Add a Comment9 Comments

Dawn, sorry I did not see your posting until today but I see that Diane P. got you great information on probiotics.

There is a plethora of probiotic strains in the market today. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria are the two most common groups found in food and supplements. Within each group, there are specific strains, such as acidophilus, bifidus, infantis, casei, lactis, reuteri, etc.

I have not taken PB8 probiotic but my hubby has. Always check that whichever product you buy contains at least two billion live cells at time of manufacture and guarantees to contain at least 1 billion up to the Best By date. Most need to be refrigerated and are hard to take with you on a trip. Some contain a special coating to ensure the bacteria is not destroyed by the highly acidic environment as it enters the stomach. And some bacteria sold freeze-dried for better portability.

My preference has always been a product from Germany called Lactopriv/B which is also sold in healthfood stores such as WholeFoods. It is a very good product and does not contain sugar or lactose (milk). If you do not want a soy-based product, Lactopriv/B may not be for you. It will not hurt to try it.

Be well and I am sending you good energy your way.

January 5, 2009 - 10:51pm

Hi, Dawn,

I'm thinking about you today as you return to your doctor, and tomorrow as you begin chemo. I'm sure that it's both scary and, for you, comforting -- scary because you aren't sure what to expect, comforting because you know you'll be fighting back, with good medicine.

I love how you spent your New Year's Eve, and I think it was really important for you and Terry both. What a wonderful kickoff to a year in which you will move forward and get the cancer out of your system.

How have other friends and family responded? Are you in the midst of a good support group? It sounds like Ashley is a real strength for you; it sounds like she was BORN a Sedona girl, through and through. That place has a really special energy to it.

Probiotics are easier to understand if you start with thinking about antibiotics. Antibiotics get rid of bad bacteria in your system; probiotics encourage the good version, and enhance your digestive health. You can get it in supplements but you can also get it in yogurt and other foods. Here's an ABC News story explaining probiotics:


And here's some information from Eating Well:


PB8 is one brand of probiotic, and it introduces acidophilus into your system. That's the most commonly found "friendly" bacteria in products (including yogurt). Here's an explainer on it from the University of Maryland Medical Center:


Let us know how Tuesday goes. Take care and know we're thinking of you.

January 5, 2009 - 9:27am

Dawn! I said it before and I say it again. You are an awesome person. Very strong and with an incredible faith. Those qualities are an asset and will be your best allies. I will send good energy your way and being a person who believes in integrating natural approaches to complement mainstream medicine therapies, here are a couple of things I'd suggest for you as you embark in this journey:

1. Contact this doctor http://www.askdrtownsend.com and get a phone consultation with him. Tell him your case and ask him to give you a protocol of Transfer Factors while you undergo the chemo
2. Watch your iron levels, chemo makes people anemic.
3. Increase raw vegetables in your diet. Eliminate sugars, white flours, and anything that could make your body more acidic
4. Drink lots of water to wash out unused chemo
5. Learn to meditate daily and do deep breathing exercises or yoga
6. Get massage therapy and if you can also acupunture

According to the Mayo Clinic recent studies have sparked renewed interest in the use of IV vitamin C as a cancer therapy. Ask an Alternative doctor in your area if he/she will be willing to start you on IV vitamin C as soon as possible.

Also there is research being conducted with turmeric. Lab research suggests that turmeric may slow the spread of cancer and the growth of new tumor blood vessels. It may also cause cancer cells to die. In the lab, turmeric (also known as curcumin) has been studied for use in treating or preventing colon, skin and breast cancers. I suggest adding Turmeric to your diet (consider supplement form)

As you start your journey, keep in mind that your body is equipped with an amazing self-healing ability. There is scientific evidence on how thoughts generate "energy" to the point of changing DNA expression. This evidence confirms the value of many energy-healing modalities available today. These energy medicine is emerging as a viable complement to traditional medicine. These practitioners have been saying all along that our thoughts (energy) can influence the response of our body's (matter) in ways we are just beginning to understand. Meditation, relaxation, postive mental attitude, prayer, yoga, tai chi, qigong, are among the many things you can try as you go through this challenging time.

My blessings are with you and keep us posted.

January 2, 2009 - 11:29pm
(reply to Coach Virginia)

Good Morning Virginia,

It's 5 something. Yawn. I woke up due to being way too warm. THAT really is affecting my sleep and getting decent rest. Blankets on then off. Then on then off. Blah. So I figured I'd check email and found yours.

I DO believe in positive energy. It's kind of hard for me to explain but an example is: Our home. Terry is finally getting used to coming in and discovering that what may have been in one place one day... was probably moved. I tell him... Well., it just didn't flow right. Eventually, whatever piece of furniture or knick-knack that didn't fit how I liked it, finally found it's place. I'd joke with him about that "positive energy flow".

I do meditate. For as long as I can remember, I discovered even as a little girl that each day I needed some quiet time. Some solace to myself to clear my head. Also a few years ago; my oldest daughter Ashley who... in my opinion... is the epitome of mother earth incarnate (for that girl used to drive me NUTS when she was a teen because she'd say, "Mom! I won't eat this or that". Or "Mom, it's got to be organic this or that". I never discouraged her in her views but I sure did get lectured when I brought home the wrong kind of bread. She is now 24 and lives in Sedona, Arizona,. When she came to Ft. Lauderdale where I was living before I married Terry and right after they discovered I had CML... She introduced me to Yoga. ( I haven't done too much of that in the last few months though) She also raided my pantry and introduced me to Flax seed waffles, vitamin water, and 6am " Hey! Let's greet the morning walks! etc. Oh and to the Whole Foods store. LOL- Loved the store but cringed at the 6 am thing. I think she had to literally drag me out of bed a few times for those.

Having a history of being occasionally anemic, I am very curious to about the Vitamin C. I do recall when I was little that my parents had to take me weekly for iron shots.

Also do you know anything about Probiotics or this stuff called PB8. Ashley said I should get some to help my stomach.

Well, back to bed to try and catch a little more sleep now that I've cooled down.

Thank you so much,

January 3, 2009 - 4:01am

Hey, Dawn,

I'm really sorry to learn you have to have chemo. That's the pits.

I remain in awe of your attitude, but I also want you to let yourself be a little sad if you're sad, or mad if you're mad. Sometimes I think we feel such pressure to be "up" that we actually deny our own feelings. Let Terry take as much care of your feelings as you are taking of his. How did it go when you told him?

Did they tell you what to expect for your chemo in terms of number of treatments over what time period? And is it indeed an IV, as you said, or a port? Sometimes people get "ports" put in during their course of chemo and that way they don't have to have a new IV every time. Do you know what drug or combination of drugs will be in your chemo?

Have you ever found the Cancer Survivors Network? (Which is exactly where you belong!) They have discussion boards and chat rooms where you can ask questions and read about others' experiences with different cancers and chemo treatments:


I went on the discussion boards there and just searched for the word "chemo" and up popped lots of entries -- some were making chemo-or-not decisions; one was starting their chemo tomorrow, someone had just finished theirs, and some were in the middle of treatment. There was a real continuum there, which is good to remember when you're in the midst of it. Here's the results of that search page:


Here's an extensive site on the chemotherapy journey, including information on side effects and even on questions to ask your doctor:


And here's a page on chemo from the Cancer Treatment Centers of America:


Eyes on the Prize is a gynecological cancer support site; if you go to this page and scroll down to "Endometrial (Uterine) Cancer" you can read several women's personal stories:


It's important to realize, especially when you're reading about others' experiences, that your experience will be totally your own. You might have an easier (or a harder) time than some. Things that affect others might not affect you, but other things may. You are already doing what's most important -- you've been asking questions, making appointments, getting treatment and setting a course, and you have a fabulous attitude. Just take the time during chemo one step at a time, and don't be too hard on yourself.

Come back and let us know how it goes for you, and if you know more about your course of treatment or drugs, we'd be happy to do some more research for you. Take care (Somehow I know you will)!

January 1, 2009 - 5:28pm
(reply to Diane Porter)

It is 2009! I'm going to keep this a bit short for I am POOPED! I now understand why Doctor Hazelbaker said... Dawn, you need to slow down more. You're pushing your limits too soon after surgery. LOL

As for New Years Eve and my telling Terry what was discovered with the lab results?

Terry took the not so good news with stride. However...

We DID go out to Huron ( 3 hours away) for New Years Eve. When we got to our friends house to change clothes... It took longer than I expected for I had trouble getting into that very form fitting dress due to my stomach feeling a bit tender but I did it! ( I didn't breathe for 5 hours but...
When I came down the stairs... He smiled so big and said... Wow!!! It was worth the wait! And off we went.

We got to the party and then... I danced! ... And danced... And danced! The people who knew I had had surgery 3 weeks ago were shocked that I was not only dancing but wearing such high heels. LOL

We rang in the New Year with a wonderful kiss, dancing very slowly to a wonderfully fitting song and the song they played was of all things...

Garth Brook's- The Dance.

The part of the song that goes:

"Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance
Yes my life is better left to chance
I could have missed the pain but I'd of had to miss the dance"

... makes me think of life as it is now.
(Especially waking up New Years Day and boy was there PAIN. HAHA)

Anyway... as Terry and I held each other;I whispered to him that I realized that yes, these next few months may have some pain but that should either one of us feel sadness,pain, fear or anger... All we will need to do is to remember this very special night and recall how wonderful it felt and remember " The Dance" and we'll be alright!

As for the chemo. I do not know yet what the game plan is. I do think he said something about a port. My mind kind of went numb at the doctors office and I know a lot will have to be repeated to me on Tuesday. But Terry will be there this time and that's a good thing. He listens to the doctor better than I do. :o)

Until next time...


January 2, 2009 - 9:16pm

I hope you had a wonderful New Year's Eve celebration and we appreciate you sharing your story with us here. While chemo is hardly fun, as Susan mentioned it can be lifesaving. To know what to expect during chemo can be hard, but you do have some control. I found these articles on our site that may be useful to you.

This article addresses alternative treatments to some of the side effects caused by chemotherapy such as mouth sores, nausea, diarrhea and undesired weight loss. Would chat with you doctor before trying them, but they may provide you some comfort as you weather the treatment.

Looking good throughout chemo. You gave me a laugh when you said you would try out being a blonde or a brunette. Your spirit is evident. Guess there are classes (and rightfully so) about keeping up your looks while on chemo. This particular class is through the American Cancer Society and I bet if you contact your local chapter, you can learn more.

Also, it may be useful to check out this article about chemotherapy and sexuality to help manage expectations here as well.

And finally, here's one that talks about patients' expectations of chemotherapy. Would you believe they said it wasn't as bad as they thought? Check it out and please keep us updated on how everything goes.

January 1, 2009 - 7:38am

I hope you're dancing away tonight and bringing in an awesome new year! Kudos to you for such a great, positive attitude!!

December 31, 2008 - 11:12pm
HERWriter Guide

Hey - I'm so sorry you have to have chemo but your positive attitude will be your best friend!

I know a lot of people who have had chemo and they all say the same thing - it's horrible. The side effects are difficult too. Not just the hair loss but the fatigue, nausea and vomiting etc. Chemo is a kind of poison in itself so the side effects are bound to be hard. I don't think there is anyway around the fact that chemo plain old sucks.

It does, however, save lives and it will save yours!

An ice-pack on your head will not prevent hair loss due to chemo but I think you are thinking of something called a Cold Cap; something that seems to be used (and is better known) in Europe rather than the U.S.

A cold cap is worn during chemo, and is cold enough to keep the chemo away from the head area and it often (but not always) allows someone to keep their hair.

However, please know that many doctors do not allow their patients to wear a cold cap, due to the risk of the chemo not reaching it's target - especially if the target is in the upper body. Also bear in mind that cold caps are EXTREMELY cold and may be intolerable to some people, no matter how much they want to keep their hair.

For more information on cold caps, click here : http://www.cancernet.co.uk/hairloss.htm

Good luck to you and your updates to us on Empowher are invaluable!

December 31, 2008 - 2:30pm
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