Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I Want a New Drug

In the words of the famous 80's singer, Huey Lewis. I'm having sleep problems. "Brought to you by the cancer wonder-drug, Tamoxifen!!"" Tamoxifen is an antiestrogen.  Antiestrogens bind to estrogen receptor site on cancer cells thus blocking estrogen from going into the cancer cell.  This interferes with cell growth and eventually leads to cell death."

That's all well and good but I wake up like clockwork at 3am, too hot to sleep. It's not a hot flash-I'm just perpetually warmer. 

I'm taking Black Cohosh to reduce the symptoms. Nothing is happening. So, I talked to my oncologist about it. She prescribed Rozerum, a sleeping med. Well, NOW I'm tired. At 3am, I was hot and awake. Bummer. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Two New Cancer Articles to Scare the Poop Out of You

I'm not surprised, in the middle of the recession, that this is occuring. "Study: Millions of Cancer Survivors Put Off Care."

But the second article really got me thinking. Especially since I already have "issues" with estrogen on account of the PCOS. My Inconvenient Truth Sense is tingling...... is it all connected? Or did I just have too much coffee this morning?

BPA Exposure Much Higher in Canned Food Than Plastic Containers

So, I'm not buying Diet Coke in cans anymore. In fact, I'm now totally paranoid and trying to avoid using canned food unless necessary. (Which is really unfortunate, as canned food is cheap. And I've never seen sweetened condensed milk in a carton.)

Why the sudden healthy hissy-fit?

BPA and Breast Cancer Link

Now, I realize it's a day late and a dollar short to prevent me from getting breast cancer. But, gee, I'd sure as heck like to stop it from making a return trip. And I'd like Elizabeth and any future children to have less of chance of getting it.

Thus, my spaghetti-O boycott begins...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

One Headlight....and Other Cancer Fashion Decisions

You know, like the Jakob Dylan song from the 90's. Only I'm talking nipples. Tonight at my Breast Cancer support group I found out that I have the reconstruction option (when the time comes) to either have a new nipple created by either a tattoo or a skin graft. The skin graft option leaves you permanently "on," or your breast is constantly thinking you are in the frozen food aisle of the grocery store with just a tank top.

I have no idea what I'll decide to do. I'm still trying to figure out what to do about my hair.

Now, as I've said, I didn't lose all of it. But I lost enough that it is looking scraggly. Especially below the ears. So, should I buzz it off or just Mia Farrow it? Sorry to go against conventional wisdom (but since I do it all the time anyhow) but I think I'll just chop it short. Why? I've had a bob before, back in the early 90s. My best friend looked at it and asked, "Are you trying to look butch?" Actually, no, I wasn't. And to be politically correct, butch is A.OK. with me. And my friend. But since I am a girly-type person when it comes to make-up, fashion, my friend was doing her best Miss Manners to let me know that that look wasn't working for me.

I was going for Louise Brooks. Clearly, not what it ended up looking like on me. Sigh.

This is why I fear the Short (or is it Shorn?) Haircut on me. Cancer really doesn't do much for your looks to begin with-and I think I got off easy by the fact I had already decided to have the girls reduced. Lefty is much more manageable now. And so darn perky!! But the rest of cancer doesn't help. I didn't even lose weight from chemo. I gained 5 lbs. from the steroids. Life is cruel. Actually, life wasn't cruel-people are weird. They can't reconcile plus size, young women as chemo patients. We don't "look" the part. I guess my life will never be a Lifetime for Women movie. (This and many other reasons. The first being my response when told by my Gyn that my biopsy had come back positive. Instead of the typical Lifetime music playing in the background and the dignified sniffle and welling tears, I sounded pissed and said, "Oh, SHIT." And some other four letter words.)

I don't want to look any uglier than I have to-so, I'm avoiding the buzz cut. I'll post what it looks like when I get it done. For now, I have my uber-expensive, hand-tied, European human hair wig to keep me looking good and feeling itchy. (I just tell people it's a bad case of head lice when I scratch in public.)

Possible Breast Cancer Vaccine?

Crossing my fingers on this one!! (No, not for me.) For Elizabeth.

US Developed Vaccine Could "Eliminate Breast Cancer"