I'm back and on Xeloda

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 12/4/2004 4:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone!
I'm finally able to tolerate the computer again, our family has had it rough since I came home from the bilateral and lymph node surgery.  Unfortunately, my surgeon could not remove all of the cancer - a giant tumor replaced the lymph nodes under my left arm.  WHat he took out was the size of an orange, but what he had to leave was wrapped around the nerves and the cancer had also become the wall of the vein, and maybe the artery.  Removing all of the cancer would mean they'd have to amputate my arm - I was told they can't graft the vein, and scraping cancer from the nerves would result in nerve damage (can't move arm).  From what the surgeon could see, what he left in was 4.5 cm in diameter and at least 2.5cm back under my arm.    All of my post op scans (PET, MRI, CT) reported a size like 8.6cm x 6.4cm x 9.6cm, not sure how much is post op swellling or cancer, and my shoulder blade is thinning from the pressure of the tumor. Oct. 13 and Nov. 3 I had more AC. The blood tests showed I was anemic (hemoglobin at 7.3)and I got the bonus of going into menopause at 33. 
Our two bigger kids had respiratory infections that lasted six weeks, and shared with me when I came home from surgery, then DH came down with pneumonia just after Halloween, then I came down with pneumonia a couple weeks later, too, but I had the pleasure of staying at St. Joe's hospital for four days. The nurses there are so great.
I came home Tuesday night before Thanksgiving, and thankfully am doing better, but I'm at about 45% of myself, which is better than the 0% I was for all of November. I was supposed to have two more AC (which would have been 7&8 of AC), but my heart scan showed my ejection ratio went down from 78% to 65%. 
My onc switched me to Xeloda, I'll do two cycles and then see onc in January, as long as I can behave while I'm on it.  So far, it's been three days, and the worst I have is being tired, which could be from the pneumonia.
Thanks to the ladies who sent cards - it was so nice of you!  I had no idea I could be this sick.
The baby (Angelina) has been at my mom's since Halloween, since we've been so sick - I hadn't seen her for three weeks, but I did get to see her last night.  It is sad that she doesn't know me, but when we're well enough she'll be home and get to know everyone all over again.  I'm still working on getting a home health aid, which my insurance company will pay for 4 hours per day.  Because of where the cancer is, I'm not allowed to lift anything over 5 pounds or drive.  The problem is when I tell the nursing company what I need, they won't do the work because a baby is involved.  So I'm still calling companies.
Anybody bored to death of this post?  I am.  I can't wait to feel good enough to be funny again!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 12/4/2004 5:23 PM (GMT -7)   
OH Jen it is good to see you post even if you only feel 45%. I am so sorry for all you have had to endure, but you sound good, considering all you have been through. You have my prayers and I am sure those of many others here. Take care of yourself and get to feeling better. Hugs, Mary K.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 214
   Posted 12/5/2004 12:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Goodness Jen! You sound like me. One thing after another. I too was pregnant when some cancer decided to spread and I went on Xeloda. For me, I had NO side effects. But then again it stopped working 6 months later. I did that along with Navelbine and I thought * Wow, this stuff is a breeze * until it stopped working and went on Doxil! Doxil is adriamycian's cousin. That was not fun. But for me, Xeloda was easy. But some women will have loose bowel problems where they need Depends, fingernails can become brittle and peel off. Ask about taking B6. That helps prevent the tingels, redness, cracking, dryness, and numbness of the feet/hands. If you have a Bath and Body works you can go there and get this stuff called healing therapy. It really thick and in a small container, but it's great. Or something with shea butter or anything that is a thick cream lotion. Not thin, that doesn't help at all.
I hope you tolerate Xeloda well. I was on 5000 mg twice a day for 6 months. You know you can email me if you have more questions. You know the address! I just saw this post after replying to your email! See, I said I was going to bed, but I couldn't rest without checking in on my ladies first! LOL

L&H, Shelley
*Just keep swimming*   Dory....Finding Nemo

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 741
   Posted 12/5/2004 8:20 AM (GMT -7)   
I am so sorry to hear of your struggles in the last few months. You & your family have sure been through the wringer. I pray that the treatment plan your doc has laid out works wonders and you can get stronger. I know you miss Angelina and I pray she is back with you soon.
Please know that you will remain in my thoughts and prayers...
Do not go gentle into that goodnight,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
~Dylan Thomas

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 826
   Posted 12/5/2004 8:07 PM (GMT -7)   
OMG, you certainly are going through a lot!  You seem to have a great attitude, though.  I will be keeping you in my thoughts and hoping that you get better every day.

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