Writings of a teachermom, choosing to stay home with her kids, while loathing all domestic responsibilities! In late Aug. 2008, I was diagnosed with Triple Negative breast cancer. After surgery, chemo and radiation, I was given theall clear. However, in the late summer of 2008, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which metasticized to other areas.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Don't read this if you're expecting a cheery attitude.

No chuckles or smiles here today. Today was just a crappy day, and I won’t even try to mask it with humor.

You know that pain that I’ve been mentioning, well, it has not been going away. Any touch of the surgical area, including in my armpit area and in the under part of my upper arm, just feels like needles...kinda like brush bristles being rubbed, hard, against my skin. Any touch, even the touch of my shirt, causes this pain. Needless to say, I’m really crabby about this. Doing ANYTHING incites the pain, and it just sucks.

I called the doctor, and he had me come in. But on my way there, as I was chomping on a mint, I chipped my tooth. Now this is completely my fault, because a year and half ago I had a root canal, and never went back for the $700 crown. Didn’t know it was so important…apparently it is.

Anyway, while sitting in the doctor’s office, I flipped through O Magazine, which someone had given me in a care basket. One of the articles was entitled, “The Breast Caner Nobody Is Talking About: The news about breast cancer is good, and getting better all the time—except for one virulent, fast-acting type that attacks more than twice as many young black women as all other women…” Then it went on to describe mostly the “triple-negative” cancer that I have (even though obviously I’m not black)…which is very aggressive, and why despite having a mastectomy, I also must have chemo and radiation, even though the cancer hadn’t spread to the lymph nodes. It was just a bit depressing actually reading about it.

Finally I was called to the back. After explaining to my doctor the pain, he explained that it was some nerve thing (as usual…very detailed medical terms I’ll be using here), having something to do with the nerves being cut. And that the pain isn’t actually physical, but neurological. He made it clear that this does not mean it’s “in my head” but it is related to the nerves. At least I think that’s what he said. I understand it all when he’s telling me, but as soon as I walk out that door, if I haven’t written anything down to review, all the information just sorta mushes and blends and the details are blurry. Anyhow, Dr. Sanan said it’s not a common side effect, but it does happen sometimes. I asked him how long I was going to feel this way. He told me that he didn’t know anyone who had it forever. (Not sure if that was a joke or not). He then prescribed me some medicine that isn’t actually for pain, but something that they often give to people with epilepsy…again, something with nerves and such. The problem is, the medicine will make me drowsy. And I have to take it 3 times a day! For at least a month! Not really the news I wanted to hear. I did ask him if it was going to make me gain weight, and he told me no. So at least that’s good.

Afterwards, I went to the dentist and made an appointment…well a few, for this whole tooth correction plus a cleaning. While there, I left my glasses. Of course I didn’t know this until a couple hours later after I was already in a panic about not being able to see.

At one point, I was finally able to lie down and just take a nap. I did make myself get up to greet Cameron from his bus, only to be encountered with a very angry child. Let me back up, this morning, he found a salamander in our garage. They’re gross, like short snakes with legs. But he couldn’t seem to capture it. After getting on the bus, one of my neighbors got the slimy thing out and set it free. Well, as soon as Cameron got off the bus, he went right to the garage looking for the critter. Not realizing how excited he was to see it, I told him that we caught it and let it go. It was right then and there that the tears started….and they wouldn’t stop. He went inside and the wailing continued for over an hour. He whined, and sobbed, and whimpered and glared, and all out sobbed some more. It was RIDICULOUS! I tried to be nice, apologized, was kind, was mean, threatened, sent him to his room, lectured, etc. NOTHING worked! That child came down for dinner, took his plate from the table and walked out to the back porch with it. When questioned, he told me he wanted to eat by himself. The nerve of that child! Fearing what I might do or say to him if he continued with his attitude, I obliged and was more than happy to allow him to eat outside….alone!

So that was my day. Pretty crappy.

Except the worst part of all, as I’m about to take my medicine, the warnings read that alcohol intensifies the effect of the medicine. Does this mean that I can’t drink my wine? What a tragedy!

Labels: , , , ,


At 11:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Cari-
I'm up late working and was entertaining myself by checking on your blog every time I finished writing a section to see if you had updated.
Hugs from me- very very gentle ones that actually wouldn't touch you and cause any more pain- air hugs really
(((((( note the space )))))))

At 7:19 AM, Anonymous dana said...

Cari....Much love to you!! God is a miracle worker....and He loves you.

At 7:19 AM, Anonymous Jaye said...

No matter what the circumstance, or how we feel, God is always there, waiting for you to climb into His lap. Psalm 46 is a good one (also check out Psalm 77). He's always there to help and goes to work right away when we pray (though we may not see the results immediately!). Love and (light) hugs!

At 9:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Other than the pain you were having, this sounds like a normal day. You leaving or losing something, one or another of the kids pissed with you, sounds rather normal to me. I'm sorry about the pain you're having, you're still in my prayers.

Love you much,
Auntie Nita

At 10:15 AM, Blogger Caro said...

Hello Cari,

I'm sorry about the pain. I know constant pain makes everything harder.

I hope today is better. I hope your new medicine works.

At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cari- What a woman you are, I stumbled across your blog right before you found out about your cancer and cont to read it everyday. I am 33 and never did breast exams- I do now. You crack me up with your stories and I can't imagine what you are going through but can tell you are a strong woman, only hope I could deal with something like this like you do! Rock on lady

At 8:07 PM, Blogger Kimberly said...

(ALL said in good fun, mind you!)

Cheery attitude...schmeery attitude. You have CANCER for goodness sakes!! I don't think anyone expects to see cheery ALL the time, my dear. :) However, we do expect to see regular updates on the mischief happening under your roof, as well as adorable pictures of your offspring and even a few of that handsome hubby of yours! *wink* Of course, when you're at your best, we expect pics of you, too. You know, when you're receiving your first chemo cocktail or in another fabulous hopsital nighty. :)

I hope you're not thinking that because you can add Cancer Survivor to your impressive resume, (not forgetting awesome mom on that list, of course!), that we're going to let you slack off with the blogging duties, do you? The internet would be so B-O-R-I-N-G w/o you, Cari!


(Did you see that I made sure to stick out my elbows in my cyber hug, so as not to bump your sensitive skin?)

At 9:08 AM, Blogger paulandjoan said...


I'm a 41 year old, white woman who has just finished treatment for triple negative breast cancer. In fact, my husband and I had a bottle of champagne last night -- celebrating my 1 year survivorship anniversary (I was diagnosed 9/20/06).

I've read the article you referenced, and more. It is discouraging, but you have to have some savvy when reading the articles. I think the survival rate for trip-neg cancers is 82% versus 85% for the other breast cancers. So yes, the words say that we have a more dangerous cancer, but only by 3-percentage points. In some studies, that would be "statistically insignficant."

I had the nerve pain you mentioned. I hated it. But it did go away, completely. Try working the arm exercises, a little bit each day. Over time, it will get better. Even without nerve pills.

I'm not a granola, organic kind of person, but I sincerely believe our bodies want to heal themselves. It takes time -- your body has been assaulted with the surgery, etc. Take care of yourself and your body will respond.

Have you checked out any of the on-line websites? There are some great ones. A new one just for trip-neg cancers is www.tnbcfoundation.org. Also, www.lostahelpinghands.com lets you create a blog-like entry AND put out requests for help, meals, car-rides, etc. It is a great way for you to say "Hey, we need help!" and for your friends to check their schedules and be able to help. It s something I wish I had had when my cancer was diagnosised (I have two teenagers and a 7 year old).

Finally, sounds like you need to find time to rest and recharge. Take care of yourself. Humor releases endorphins which boost the immune system -- rent all the funny videos you can. Laugh. Cry. Pray. Believe. You can beat this, and you will! Hang in there!

Chemotherapy... went through it. Twice. Lost my hair only once (bonus!).

At 6:07 PM, Blogger LH said...

I wish you had taken a foto of that salamander. How big was it?

At 6:04 PM, Blogger mi said...

What a crappy day. I hope you can have your wine. That would just be the last straw.


Post a Comment

<< Home