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Ann Cronin

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Everything posted by Ann Cronin

  1. Thanks, ladies, I sent an e-mail to the nurse.... you guys are the best!
  2. Hi, all, I had my second chemotherapy treatment last Thursday. Just starting today I feel bruised all over, like I've been beat up. Is this a common side effect? I'm on Cisplatin & Alitma. Thanks in advance for input! Ann
  3. Thanks so much Ro, Tom, all! Sharon, completely forgot to mention... the clothing on skin thing.... YES!!! I can validate how you're feeling! It's not 24/7 for me but often times I am pulling my shirt away from my torso for relief! Yours is the first post I've read in relation to this and I'm grateful I'm not the only one in the world that feels this way. If you're walking 5 miles........ I feel like you're way ahead of the game! Best of the best wishes to you for full recovery! Ann
  4. Hi, Roz, I had upper right lobe removed and my pre-surgery pulmonary eval was excellent. Really had no symptoms of cancer, a bout with pneumonia showed disease.
  5. Hi, Sharon, It's been almost 6 weeks since my traditional open lobectomy. I am also discouraged but I'm told time and again "It's a big surgery". I've also learned from folks, as others have stated here, everyone and every surgery is different so the recovery is different for each of us. I've learned that some will recover within a month or two and others could take a year or more.... so like you, I'm pretty discouraged. I was put on Gabapentin and it works "ok" though I found that it made me very emotional and my legs felt like jelly so I went off. Well, I'm back on because of the discomfort, using that and Advil regularly. One thing that is a comfort.... at first I thought that there was something wrong, perhaps I wasn't healing properly. Now I am pretty comfortable in knowing that what is needed is time... to heal. Tom - Hopefully you see this! I get a general sense that being that I had the traditional, open lobectomy, I could be dealing with the burning/pulling/pain for a solid12-18 months.... would you say that is accurate? (If I'm lucky, I should say, as your experience has been quite the rough road in regards to pain, it seems). It's pretty constant, tolerable sometimes but at other times it's truly painful! A friend of mine who had the surgery told me to expect the 12-18 months.... Also, I understand that having shortness of breath is normal, could you comment on how long that could go on? I'm having shortness of breath even just having a lengthy conversation - can you say if that is normal?? Thanks, Ann
  6. Thanks, all, very much appreciate input and advice as always. The nausea is mostly controlled today... mostly..... already treatment weary and I've only just begun. You all amaze & inspire me, Ann
  7. The only med that is specific is the Dexamethasone (which states 2 tablets on days 2, 3 and 4 of treatment cycle) - the other two are "as needed every 4-6 hours".
  8. Also.... I've been drinking water to stay hydrated. I feel like drinking the water is making me more nauseous, is it terrible if I don't drink a ton of water tonight? Thanks, all...
  9. All, Had chemotherapy today. For some reason I was under the impression that nausea began day 2 or 3. I'm feeling pretty nauseous right now (7 hours after chemo drugs administered). For some reason I can't remember if my doctor addressed if it is safe to take anti nausea meds so soon? Anti nausea meds were given intravenous today prior to the cisplatin & pemetrexed. Is it safe to take this evening? I have Compazine and Zofran. I know the Dexamethasone I can't take until tomorrow. Appreciate feedback!! Ann
  10. Great news! I'm 4 weeks out of an open lobectomy (not as invasive as yours) but a big surgery just the same. Try not to get discouraged in the healing process, it will come. It seemed like each week I turn a corner in regards to not as much pain and the ability to do more. I try to describe it to my daughter, all that's going on in my torso... "It's like a pulling, burning, bruised feeling in addition to zings, zangs and spasms.." SO much going on - apparently all normal. So glad they got it all, keep us posted!
  11. Thanks for the replies, all! Being that chemotherapy tends to bring those white cells down, I would think it would be standard to give the Neulasta (or Neupogen) instead of waiting for a potentially dangerous situation. I'll be inquiring next week.... Thanks, Ann
  12. Hi, All, Has anyone been given Neulasta after chemotherapy treatment? As I understand it, it's to boost your white blood cells. I'm going to ask at my chemo teaching session but I've not seen anyone mention this drug. My co-worker went through nclc treatment last year, she said she was given the drug 24 hours after each treatment. Thanks, Ann
  13. Wow! Thanks for that info.... any fever at all including low grade?
  14. Yikes! 7 sticks! Guess I will see how it goes, there wasn't any mention of a port... I started taking the folic acid today orally. I had asked on my other post about the steroid and wondering why my Doc doesn't have me taking it prior to treatment - only after treatment. I was prescribed the 2 additional nausea meds (same ones you mention) to take as needed. Thanks for the web site reference - I'll check it out!
  15. Hi, Roz, thanks for the response. I will be having treatments closer to home at the Seacoast Cancer Center in Dover NH. Why did they switch your meds from Carboplatin to Cisplatin?
  16. My prescription for the Dexatrone states to take once daily on days 2,3 & 4 of chemo cycle. Didn't realize it was for nausea, that means I have 3 nausea meds.. yikes!! I need to somehow get my mind ready for this because right now I want to run as far away as possible You all are so brave....
  17. Thanks, Judy, really not looking forward to this..... I was hoping I wouldn't need a port? I don't usually have an issue with finding a vein so I guess I'm confused as to why one would benefit. I thought they were used when chemo treatments were more frequent than once every 21 days. The steroid & gaining weight.... wondering what the purpose of that is? In addition to feeling like crap, hair thinning.... now they want to pack a few pounds on us? Dang..... Ann
  18. Hi, all, I'll be starting chemotherapy next Thursday. The chemotherapy drugs are Cisplatin & Pemetrexed. I'm not seeing any references to these 2 drugs in this forum, I'm seeing Cisplatin and Paclitaxel. If anyone out there has any experience with the combo that will be used on me I would appreciate some feedback! I've briefly googled what the differences are in the two combos - not finding much except perhaps the Cisplatin causes more nausea? Thanks in advance for input! Ann
  19. I will be praying for you, Marc! You're not alone, we are all pulling for you and will be anxiously waiting to hear from you as you recover.
  20. Good morning, Mike.... John? I'm a newbie as well so I can't speak to all the medical lingo described from your PET scan. I feel like I've learned quite a bit on some topics since Jan 14th (my D day). Unless I'm completely misinformed, many things can cause areas to "light up" on a PET scan. Infections can cause lymph nodes to swell and light up. I've also learned that the only proof positive way to diagnose cancer is with a pathology report of an actual biopsy. With everything you describe in regards to your GI issues/procedures I would almost expect the PET to reveal something going on related to GI. In just 7 weeks I've learned that even though scans are used as tools in diagnosing cancer and other things, they should not be used as confirmation for cancer. They can confirm suspicion, that's it. I've also learned that once a cancer suspicion rears it's ugly head, many medical professionals can't open their minds to anything else. It's ALL about the cancer. In my case, I had pneumonia due to a lung infection. They didn't treat the infection, it was all about the cancer. (I'm fully aware that an antibiotic isn't going to cure cancer) After 4 weeks I finally, basically begged for an antibiotic to treat the infection (I was in pain and coughing up crap). I was told "Well, your symptoms are probably caused by the mass in your lung". Finally prescribed an antibiotic and In 12 hours I felt amazing... after 3 days I felt completely healthy again. No more pain, no more coughing up crap.... I've had some trying times in my life, a crisis or two that I thought I'd never get through..... but this??? Yeah, this is some serious emotional turmoil. I can only advise based on my own experiences. I have to draw close to God in good times, since my diagnosis I've had to crawl into His lap and stay there. I've already read several books related to dealing with this ugly disease and they've helped quell the feelings of despair and loneliness. As I mentioned, I've been through some rough times but nothing has made me feel so lonely as this damn disease. I have a good support system, 10 supportive people could walk through my door and it wouldn't put a dent in the lonely. My faith lifts me out of the loneliness but I have to be honest, I've been on a rollercoaster........ emotional chaos. I'm hoping once I get past the newness, shock, raw truth and get a final diagnosis and treatment plan in place, the rollercoaster won't have so many steep hills and deep pitches. I expect you'll get some good responses here from some awesome folks, the moderators are truly special folks with a ton of knowledge and insight. I can tell you this with complete confidence, you are NOT alone!! God Bless, Ann
  21. Sounds about right but be sure to let them know you’re available if they get a cancellation! That squeaky wheel got my PET rescheduled 7 days early and also got me scheduled for this second biopsy a whole month sooner... Just keep swimming!!
  22. You sound just like me, I wanted everything done yesterday!! Apparently it is normal although I don't know why. I have found that the squeaky wheel does get the grease! I was a pest, I didn't wait for calls when I thought the call should have come in already. Also, for any appointment or procedure, I made sure they knew that I wanted a call if they had a cancellation, told them I was available no matter what time they gave me even if it was last minute. By nature I am not like this, I'm never pushy so this is new for me. Being diagnosed with cancer gives me a sense of urgency..... geeee.... not sure why? I do have family members who work in Oncology and Radiation therapy (unfortunately not in my area). My sister-in-law is an Oncology nurse and has told me to be a pest, make the calls, don't let up.... and that's what I've been doing. Unfortunately, you have to be your own advocate. I can totally relate... Go get em'! Ann
  23. Thanks for replies, every case sure is unique! I'm under the impression that my nodules are in a place not easy to get to (upper right back of lung). I'm intrigued by the different initial techniques the different doctors navigate to. At this time I'm feeling I would want a confirmation through pathology report before opting for surgery but as you all well know, what we think today does not determine what we think tomorrow!! I actually have another question. If it turns out I need surgery, treatments etc., I will need to apply for short term disability through my employer because I've already used so much of my sick/vacation time. I pay into long term disability insurance as well. I've read that it can sometimes be a challenge to get the disability insurance to approve the leave. Is it common and/or considered acceptable/valid to take a medical leave of absence for cancer treatment? I'm very concerned about the stories I've read where the leave was denied, sometimes simply due to the application with doctor's notes not using the correct language... or something like that..
  24. Good morning, The journey... just updating and I have a couple of questions. I had a PET on Thursday and a Bronchoscopy/EBUS on Friday. They biopsied 2 lymph nodes, Doc states they got plenty of tissue for pathology. I have an appointment scheduled with Doc on Thursday to go over results of both. Prior to the procedure, the Doc said that they do a rapid test here and now and can sometimes confirm the presence of cancer cells but no detail of type etc. He asked if I wanted to know the results of the rapid test, saying 50% of people do want the information and 50% do not. I chose not to be told any rapid test information - 1. I wanted more time for hope that I do not have cancer. 2. For me, confirmation that cancer is present in my body and not having further details would have sent me into a psychological hurricane. It was a solid 14 days to come out of the psychological hurricane brought on by ER visit. I was visualizing my biopsy... a needle puncturing a lymph node that potentially contains cancer cells. Then dragging that tissue/cells back up through "clean" bronchial/airway passage. Common sense tells me that this process could spread the cancer throughout the path that needle took. Does anyone have any knowledge or thoughts on this? My other question is.... I've only been seeing a pulmonologist thus far. After my appointment to go over results of biopsy & PET, if cancer is confirmed, what is the next step? Does the pulmonologist decide on treatment? Still so confused by the process. I'm trying to refrain from general internet searching, I've found that doing so brings me more anxiety & fear. Hoping to hear from some of you wonderful warriors! Last, I want to share a positive testimony. By nature I am an anxious person. I get anxiety when I have to drive to an unknown address. I was incredibly fearful of the PET scan and even more fearful of the bronchoscopy. I spent extra time reading scripture and in prayer. Knowing God's mercy and grace, I knew this would be my best and only chance of having that fear taken from me. I can't even explain the peace that came over me the day of PET scan, it was the peace that Jesus promised to all of us, the peace that surpasses all understanding. That peace carried through my biopsy procedure and as it turns out, the whole experience was SO much easier than I anticipated. Thank you all for your support! You are truly a blessing to so many.. Blessings, Ann
  25. WoW, Tom!! Just read your treatment history, just wow...... I would also like to thank you for your service to our country and I do thank you very much!
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