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Radiation recovery

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Comments

  • edwards750
    edwards750 Member Posts: 1,568
    edited March 2020

    Thanks Josie. The priests at our church are streaming SundayMass.

    Diane

  • brooksidevt
    brooksidevt Member Posts: 1,432
    edited March 2020

    Thanks, ladies. They are livestreaming daily Mass here, but at 12:05. Drives me nuts! They do record it, but I'm oriented toward a morning worship experience.

    I've been watching the recorded 6:00 AM Diocesan Mass, and did so yesterday. The churches have all been closed for several days, but at this Mass, there were about a dozen children, including two lectors who stood right together at the lectern. What were they thinking?

    I hadn't realized how many gatherings, programs, events I normally attend until they all were cancelled. I'm fine at home, and, weather permitting, will be able to get going with the garden in the next day or two. (A late snowfall just mostly melted away two days ago, but we have plenty of it in the woods.)

    My three kids (NY, CT, VT) are all doing fine with homeschooling, and so forth. One of my daughters-in-law is a school nurse who will continue to be paid. She has offered to be active several times, but thus far has been ignored. They must be so freaked out with organizing the home program that the nurse is just not on their radar. She was an ICU nurse just a few years ago. I was wondering whether the hospital might have called her to see if she would be willing to come back as their burden increases, but not so far.

  • edwards750
    edwards750 Member Posts: 1,568
    edited March 2020

    Same here Brookside. Handling the confinement by spring cleaning. Ugh. Also DH - who is working remote - and I have been working in the garden. He digs; I spread the mulch. Lots of work but gotta take advantage of the “free" time.

    Glad your family is doing okay. Mine is too. I'm surprised they haven't called your DIL to help. A number of retired doctors have volunteered here. My SIL is a RN in labor and delivery. Another lady I know is a RN in critical care. They are on the front lines. I have even more respect for the medical profession now.

    I don't like the streaming Mass either but is what it is. I feel bad for all the graduates out there. It's a day you really look forward to. No prom - no graduation procession unless the situation changes drastically in the next month.

    Stay safe.

    Diane

  • brooksidevt
    brooksidevt Member Posts: 1,432
    edited April 2020

    Happy Easter, Passover, and winter's end, everyone! We're on stay-at-home orders through the end of May, so no kids and grandkids in person. However, this afternoon, we're planning a ZOOM conference. As I understand it, basic ZOOM is free, with low-ish price options for more involved stuff. One of my community meetings had a ZOOM conference last week. Whomever was speaking appeared on the full computer screen; everyone else was in a little square on top of the screen. Anyone could chime in at any time.

    Do look into this for your family and the various groups and meetings you normally attend.

    Here in Vermont, the governor just extended stay-at-home until May 30. Ugh. Thanks to second home owners who keep travelling back and forth, it seems.



  • 53nancy
    53nancy Member Posts: 295
    edited May 2020

    Just taking time today to say hello and hope to do some catching up. It’s hard to believe that life can be so very busy without going anywhere. I hope that things are going well, and that you are managing okay in these sad times.

  • joan811
    joan811 Member Posts: 1,980
    edited June 2020

    Hi to my friends here...
    I am checking in...I wrote a long-ish post last week and apparently it did not send as my laptop was not plugged in and turned off before sending.
    Anyway, I am still doing well...in remission for 15 months now. I am blessed to have this time of health. The hard part is the quarantine...I have this urgency to visit with my kids who are spread across the country from Boston to CT, NYC to DC, and Boulder CO. I miss them. Other than feeling isolated, we are doing fine with staying close to home. Our town is not affected much. Much of New York City has moved to Eastern Long Island to their summer homes. And now that our restaurants have opened for outdoor dining, town is pretty crowded. We avoid the week ends. During the week we can go to the beach or hike on a trail with very few interactions with others. We can drive anywhere, and there are no lines or shortages in my area. It could be worse.
    I hope everyone is well and holding up during these restrictions. No one really knows what the future holds; so as in most of life, it's one day at a time.

    For the newer ladies here, I do hope you are doing well during and after radiation treatment. For me, radiation was not too bad. I think I had about 37 days total. I worked 4 days a week and took off Fridays. The worst for me was a very itchy, bumpy rash at the site of radiation. It cleared about 2 weeks after treatment was done. I remember finishing rads during winter break from my job. And I rested and slept for about 10 days. Healing was pretty fast.

    Be safe, be well, and be happy...
    Joan

  • brooksidevt
    brooksidevt Member Posts: 1,432
    edited June 2020

    So glad to hear from you, Joan and Nancy, and very happy that all is well with both of you. Like most of my friends, I'm spending an inordinate amount of time in my garden, and am slowly easing covid isolation, seeing just a few people. As of today's posting, there have been zero cases in our town, which is encouraging. A retired priest is staying with a friend, so three of us have been going to daily Mass. I'm now so spoiled I can't quite fathom joining a large group at a local church, but I am glad the opportunity is, once again, there. I'm even happier that online options abound.

    I did see all my sons and their families a couple of weeks ago. The two "city" kids came north and spent a weekend with my Vermont middle son. I came up just for the day. We all sat outside, kept our distance, and had a wonderful time. It was hard for my kids to invite me, but I'm really glad they did.

  • josie123
    josie123 Member Posts: 1,749
    edited June 2020

    Joan , so glad to hear from you and that your doing well. That seems good that your able to go to the beach or restaurants during the week to avoid the crowds . I guess I didn’t realize that most of of New York City has summer homes on the east coast of Long Island. I am so tired of city living and it’s crowded rude people. They drive like they have the right of way all the time. No one can even social distance in lines and some aren’t wearing masks. I couldn’t even get out of my neighborhood yesterday hardly. They were paving the road and it blocked 2 out of 3 entrances to the neighborhood. I didn’t know the bank closed at 1:00 due to Juneteenth. So yes it’s frustrating. And although I had the day off I preferred not to even leave the house.

    Nancy, nice to hear from you also and glad your doing well.

    Brookside,

    Glad you got to have a visit with your sons and their families. And how lucky is that to have a retired priest staying with a friend. Private mass is great!!! We haven’t been back to church since they reopened and not in a big hurry to either.We have been watching it on You tube. Kind of melancholy about our old church closing due to lack of parishioners. We had stopped going there a few years ago due to the Pastor calling the parishioners a bunch of deadbeats for not turning in their ADA appeals so they had to mail them. But I think they replaced him after we left.

    Josie

  • brooksidevt
    brooksidevt Member Posts: 1,432
    edited June 2020

    Josie, it seems those NYC people without homes on eastern Long Island must all have homes in southern Vermont. As so many people can work from home (two out of three of my kinds, for instance, and also, two out of three daughters-in-law), a lot of them are livng in their VT condos, at least until the covid thing is over. We locals felt these guys really contributed to the shortages we had--most of the "flatlanders" had just closed up their ski houses, leaving almost no supplies. When they came back to stay, they had to completely re-provision their shelves, pantries, fridges, and freezers..

  • josie123
    josie123 Member Posts: 1,749
    edited June 2020

    Brookside,

    Wow 😳 I had no idea they have moved up your way too. I always pictured Vermont as such a quiet, tranquil place, but also cold in the winter

  • joan811
    joan811 Member Posts: 1,980
    edited June 2020

    Hi,
    People started coming from New York City to Eastern Long Island in March, as soon as the quarantine was proposed. For the homeowners, I don't blame them. I would do the same. And they pay taxes. But yes, they do tax our services and the stores get busy. We have to go really early to be safer and less stressed. DH does the shopping and I do not go.
    Vermont is a beautiful peaceful countryside state. But it is a summer, fall and winter attraction for New Yorkers and southern New Englanders. New Hampshire seems to attract the Boston crowds.
    It is during any national crisis in the past 30 years that I see the population swelling out here. If there are flying restrictions, people decided to spend their vacation plans out here. When there has been an economic downturn, it is always busy out here. The rentals are just about gone along the ocean and in town. If we had somewhere to go, we could rent our house and benefit. But we are staying home.
    My son is moving today from New York City to Connecticut, one town over from my daughter & family. It will now take over 2 hours to see him, or longer by ferry. At least I can visit them all in one trip. I am happy for him...he is working from home. His office is in Manhattan; so if they need him to work in the city, he will have a long-ish commute. But he's single and young enough, and can figure it all out.
    Josie, It's good to hear from you. Sorry to hear that the locals are not being considerate of the conditions needed to stay safe. And being road-blocked is not fun when there is not much to do!!! I hope your family is doing well...and those grandchildren are so precious. Make the best of it. It has to get better.
    Brookside, It is so good that you got to see your family together. I will have family visits over the 4th and the week after. They will not stay here. It's nice that we can visit and spread out at the beach, or even do takeout dinners in my yard. Everyone is well so far. We just never know, do we?
    I am wanting to travel, to fly again; but with all the states with increasing cases, I am resisting. It's not easy! I am retired now, no schedule, and due to the random restrictions cannot visit or travel.
    But I have good health right now, so I must be positive and enjoy what I have.
    (What I really have is a house that contains 30 years of accumulations, that needs purging, and some renovations...this should keep me busy for the long term!!!)Happy

    Sending hugs to the ladies here today.
    Joan

  • gigil
    gigil Member Posts: 896
    edited June 2020

    Hello old friends. GiGi here. I haven't checked in for a long while. I have been avoiding the subject and the idea of breast cancer these past few years - hoping I would be done with it and could just go on with my life. Sadly, breast cancer caught up to me again. After suffering a broken rib for almost no reason and many tests later, I now find I am dealing with diffuse bone mets. I have no organ involvement, but as of now my bones are like chalk. I just got lined up with a good oncologist and we are working on a treatment plan. They say they treat this as a chronic illness these days, but I am still very much struggling with it. It is nice to pop in here and see so many of the same old friends. Joan, I have kept in touch with the most. Brookside, Josie and everyone else. I have gone back and caught up a bit. I will definitely pop in again as I navigate through these uncharted waters. Love to all of you, GiGi

  • brooksidevt
    brooksidevt Member Posts: 1,432
    edited July 2020

    Love to you too, Gigil. So very sorry to hear your news. I guess none of us can ever fully relax, but it sure must be a shock to find a recurrence after nine years. I have not been following the medical developments, but am happy to hear they are treating it like a chronic illness. I hope they have made giant strides in managing your exact condition and that they will assemble exactly the right plan for you.

  • joan811
    joan811 Member Posts: 1,980
    edited July 2020

    Hi Brookside, and welcome back Gigi.
    Gigi, I am sorry to hear about your recurrence. I'm not sure about the "chronic illness" perspective; but I guess it is one way of looking at it.
    I do hope you can be comfortable and experience a treatment plan that you can tolerate and continue your "normal" life.Smile

    I know what you mean about not thinking about BC for so many years. So many of the threads on BCO are composed of survivors who are doing well and just living life after BC. That is what we have all expected to be doing.
    I have known too many with recurrences after 8 to 14 years. Some, like myself, get new cancers. It's just not predictable.
    I say enjoy each day. My new perspective is when I feel well, I'll live well. Live the best we can in spite of our histories or setbacks.
    I wish everyone here continued health and happiness.

    I am enjoying a week of visits from my 3 daughters and 6 grandkids. Two have come and gone (shorter stays) and one is staying the week. We have had a great time, just hanging out, going to the beach, fishing, playing cards and board games, watching movies, and having dinners together. Just the simple things we miss...they live in Washington DC. The other girls came from Connecticut and Massachusetts.
    I am very tired from the non-stop activities, lots of walking, stairs, carrying, driving back and forth, etc. I will miss them and do not know what I'll focus on when they leave Sunday.

    These times can be really tough. I am grateful for the relative ease of getting through and having some happy moments. With no end in sight for this virus, we have to remain strong.
    Sending hug

    Joan

  • gigil
    gigil Member Posts: 896
    edited July 2020

    Thank you so much Brookside and Joan. I am still reeling here and evaluating available therapies and treatments. My family is pushing me to hurry and get something started. I am working hard to study and get a feeling for how to proceed. I am enjoying some normal time in the interim. I am learning a lot.

    Joan, it sounds like you have had a wonderful week. I have had a dinner with daughter and family and last night a yard visit and fireworks display on their farm. The skies in NW Minnesota were so star filled. We stared at them for an extra while before we headed home. We had to go to the yard visit because three of us were exposed either to clinic visits or flights this past week.

    Brookside so good to talk to you again.

  • joan811
    joan811 Member Posts: 1,980
    edited July 2020

    Gigi, I know what it's like to have family urging me to move on decisions and treatments. My doctors gave me a little space to choose the time when I was ready to commit to all that was needed. You will get there. Doing normal things was so important to me. After my cancer surgery, I traveled to visit my son and my DD took me to the World Series in Boston. I knew when I eventually started treatment that I'd have some common sense restrictions. I was glad for the normal things. Be strong, and be wise.

    What a nice evening you had with your daughter and family. I love star-gazing. Right now Jupiter and Saturn are so bright in the southern sky. My grandson and I like to share our love for the stars. And we track the ISS and remind each other when it's visible in the east.
    My DD leaves tomorrow and I feel so grateful for her visit but sad to see her go.
    Our last beach day today was warm, foggy, very breezy, and with very huge waves from yesterday's tropical storm passing by.
    We had ice cream outside in our village tonight and took some more fun photos. I will miss them!

  • joan811
    joan811 Member Posts: 1,980
    edited July 2020

    Hi everyone,
    Just checking in...
    I love summer, heat, humidity and all...of course, it helps that we finally got central AC about 5 years ago. It changes the deal.
    My kitty and I like to sit outside under the umbrella on the deck for shade. There is often a little breeze. Summer is short so I try not to complain about the hot weather. It is cold and gray a long time, it seems!

    We had a 4 day trip to the mountains in Maine. We needed a change of scenery. Maine is currently welcoming New Yorkers (and New England residents) without quarantine restrictions.
    We had a quiet room with a balcony and view. We hiked to waterfalls, dug through mine tailings for minerals, and went to an amazing brand new mineral museum with huge meteorite collection. The founder of the new museum ran into us, and he was carrying a briefcase with some rock samples in it. It turned out to be a huge meteorite from the moon. We got to hold it and take photos. I had told Larry (founder) that I had previously touched a lunar meteorite and had one in my home for a few weeks until I had to mail it back to my professor friend. Larry said nobody he has met has ever said they touched the moon before, and I was a first. Then he took out a piece of Mars that had fallen to earth. Now, I was excited about holding that, and did not want to give it back.

    This has been my profession, in the earth sciences. So I get really excited about it. I also worked with the astronomers and ran the planetarium at our college. There is a comet visible in the northern hemisphere, but it is getting dimmer each night. I tried to see it tonight but it was too hazy and cloudy. I will try again tomorrow night.
    So we came home Saturday - it took us 12 hours as we stopped at DD #3 near Boston. We had a short visit with her & grandkids. With the detour, it took 12 hours to get home, including a 1.5 hour ferry ride.

    It is taking me a few days to recover from that drive...so I am taking it easy.

    Retirement is the greatest gift I have given myself this year. I am very glad I do not have to go back to work with the uncertainty, the exposure to many people, the remote teaching, the inability to prevent students cheating, and the extra long hours of planning and grading everything online. I don't know if I will take a part time course for the spring...it is unlikely.

    I hope you are all healthy and enjoying a beautiful summer. It has been hot here this week, but evenings cool down. Soon enough, days will be shorter and cooler and then the long gray winter will set in.
    I love all the seasons; but summer is my favorite.
    Hugs all around!
    Joan

  • april485
    april485 Member Posts: 1,983
    edited September 2020

    Looks like no one has been here for a spell. Wanted to say Hi and let you know I have a new title which I am very sad about - I am a widow since July 1st. My husband passed away. I am trying to cope but not doing great at this. I am not sleeping much but still working. Not a great combination. Anyway, hope all of you are well.


  • ctmbsikia
    ctmbsikia Member Posts: 749
    edited September 2020

    Oh april I am so sorry for the loss of your husband. My husband's birthday was July 1st. He would have turned 61 but I lost him back on May 24th. Hard. So far, the only thing I like about my new identity of being of widow is a lot less laundry, less messes to clean up, and making the coffee whenever the heck I want to. Other than that, it's waking up alone and an almost endless feeling of dread to carry on. I do it for my kids and I am hoping in time this dreadful feeling gets less.

  • rmlulu
    rmlulu Member Posts: 1,501
    edited September 2020

    April

    I am so sorry for your loss.

    Please be kind to yourself. Grief is overwhelming. Accept support when offered, ask for help from family and friends. Be specific in expressing your needs. Many just do not know how or what...so speak up and share your need. People really do wish to help.

    Grief is not something you get through...you learn to accept and live with it. The price of loving well.

    When my husband passed in 2015, I was numb. But a neighbor introduced me to another widow a few weeks ahead on the path of widowhood...that introduction was a blessing. We bonded and met a few other widows. We all walkedtogether those first months and years. Sharing our fears and heart aches...and our dreams of what our futures might look like. We still look out for each other and share life.

    I pray you will find someone you can trust to walk with you. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    (((Hugs)))

    Cindy

  • mistyeyes
    mistyeyes Member Posts: 562
    edited September 2020

    April,

    My heart hurts for you. My husband died Sept of 2018. I miss him very much. I went to "Grief Share" it is held in many Churches and it is religious based, but would still has a lot helpful points even if someone is not religious. It has helped me a lot with dealing with some of my feelings, and helped that a lot of what I was going through was touched on in the meetings. It was a video you watched and then discussion if you wanted to share what you got out of video and how it related to you.

    I echo the remarks from Cindy. Grief is overwhelming.

  • joan811
    joan811 Member Posts: 1,980
    edited September 2020

    April, I am very sorry to hear the sad news of your husband's passing. The days and months ahead will be different and challenging. This endless need to quarantine and be cautious adds such uncertainty and restrictions to getting the necessities and support we need at times. I hope you and your children will find ways to support one another during this difficult time. We are never prepared for this.
    Sending love and hugsHeart

    My heart goes out to each of you who has shared such a loss.
    ctmbsikia, Your husband was young and the loss so great. You are right that focusing on your family may be what you need to keep going. I can only imagine how difficult this is.
    Cindy, your experience was tough as you and your husband had such an active live together. Your suggestion about seeking out other women for support is a good one. There is no better place to share your thoughts and feelings than with someone who has been through it.
    mistyeyes, it must have been hard for you so soon after dealing with breast cancer. Your reaching out to Grief Share sounds like a very helpful experience.

    Hugs to all,
    Joan

  • joan811
    joan811 Member Posts: 1,980
    edited September 2020

    Just thinking out loud today...
    My breast cancer diagnosis was in July, 2011. My surgery was August 29th, 2011. Stage 1; no chemo.
    I started radiation in November and finished in January (holidays swallowed up a few days). I worked through it all.
    I took Arimidex, then switched to Letrozole for over 5 years.
    After that, I hardly gave my BC a thought. I expected good reports and was always relieved when I got them.
    I am grateful for the 9 years that have passed by mostly uneventful.

    I have mentioned that in 2018, just 2 years ago this week, I was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer, Stage 3. It was more challenging than my breast cancer, and it will probably be part of my life forever.
    September is Ovarian cancer awareness month. I am joining a special group called TEAL which stands for Tell Every Amazing Lady. This is to get the word out to women to be aware and not ignore the symptoms of ovarian cancer. We may even have to ask our provider to test for this disease.
    The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often so subtle until the cancer is advanced. Symptoms such as pelvic discomfort, bloating, and constipation and eventual bad pain may be the only signs. Well, what woman doesn't have these things at some time in her life?
    Younger pre-menopausal women may fare better and survive the disease. More typically, the disease attacks women age 60+ and it can be far more serious, with high recurrence statistics.

    My GI doctor had decided my bad pain was irritable bowel disease. He never tested me for cancer. I went to my GYN. CT scans and internal sonograms did not detect my cancer. My intestines were blocked, I went to the ER, and the doctors did not see the cause.
    Finally, a blood test specific for ovarian cancer tumor markers was done and came back highly positive. Surgery, chemo, and remission followed. I am OK today...17 months after chemo.
    I am just passing on this information, not to scare anyone, but to raise awareness.
    Joan


  • april485
    april485 Member Posts: 1,983
    edited September 2020

    Thanks for all of the condolences. My husband was 64 years old and would have turned 65 on July 8th, just one week after he died. I miss him so very much. He was my second marriage and we were together for 17 wonderful years and married for 13 of those years. I never thought I would feel so happy again after my divorce (which I initiated due to severe alcoholism of my husband of 27 years at the time) but God decided to send David my way and I am so happy for my short years with him. He was a fantastic man and I was blessed.

    Thanks for the information Joan. I am glad you are doing well post treatment for this disease which takes far too many lives. Hugs!

  • mistyeyes
    mistyeyes Member Posts: 562
    edited September 2020

    Joan - Thank-you for sharing the ovarian cancer information with us.

  • joan811
    joan811 Member Posts: 1,980
    edited October 2020

    April, I can't imagine how hard it is for you...having those good years with a loving husband is a precious gift. I hope as time goes on your memories will be sweet and sustaining as you grieve.

    I just had my oncology check and blood work and all is normal! It's two years tomorrow since my most recent diagnosis, and about 9 years since my breast cancer diagnosis. I am very grateful for the many healthy months and years that I have been granted.

    Happy October!

    image

  • brooksidevt
    brooksidevt Member Posts: 1,432
    edited October 2020

    So nice to hear your good news, Joan. It gives me a lovely happy feeling to know all is well. April, I'm very sorry for your loss.

    I haven't been here in a while, probably reminded by my recent onc visit. All is well. I was impressed that all the doctors and nurses wore just regular cloth or paper masks, and either street clothes or scrubs. My doctor wore a surgical mask and face shield. I think this was the first time I've seen him not wear a lab coat. The hospital is a major one, a regional resource, and right now has only one covid inpatient. This is such welcome progress.

    I've been spending an inordinate amount of time in my garden, as has just about everyone I know. Not looking forward to the cool weather, as I've been feeling pretty comfortable seeing friends outdoors, with chairs plopped at significant distances.


  • edwards750
    edwards750 Member Posts: 1,568
    edited October 2020

    So good to see some of my sisters posting again.

    April - so sorry for your loss. When my sister died last year from breast cancer I was devastated and the emotional toll was constant. I still miss her terribly so I try to focus on and treasure the time we had and the wonderful memories. I’m sure you have a lot of those too.

    Joan - so far so good for you. Thanks for the awareness tips on ovarian cancer. I’ve never been tested.

    Gigil - sorry about your DX too. My BS told me if there is a recurrence of BC the bones areas are the most treatable. Still this insidious disease is a gift that keeps on giving. Ugh.

    Brookside, Cindy and Josie -nice to see you guys post. Hope all is good. Hello to mistyeyes.

    I’m doing well. Babysitting the twins a lot. DS has a different schedule every week. They turned 5 September 18. Hard to believe. I’ll post pics.

    Stay safe everyone.

    Diane

  • edwards750
    edwards750 Member Posts: 1,568
    edited October 2020

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  • gigil
    gigil Member Posts: 896
    edited October 2020

    Nice to check in here and read posts from familiar friends. April so sorry to hear about your loss. Time seems to be the only balm for the soul and spending time with family and friends. I know that is more difficult these days. I pray we find some relief from this pandemic in the months to come.

    Joan I am so glad to hear your latest test results were normal. I know that helps you to breathe easier. It is so much more difficult to go to medical appointments these days. I go into my oncologist's office and there is a sink where we stop to wash hands before we even approach the check in desk. I wash my hands on the way out also. They are being so cautious. I appreciate that.

    Brookside, good to see your post and thank you for your support. Cindy glad to see you on here and doing so well. Edwards I enjoyed your photos and seeing your post.

    I am moving along. I am taking Letrozole and tolerating it very well. My last labs look to be improving. My tumor marker values have gone down by half. I have my next appointment in December, complete with scans. My achy, breaky bones feel better as well. I have gone from shock and desolation to determination and hope. I didn't think I could cope with these developments, but I am coping. Wouldn't it be so much easier if we could go out to movies, eat at restaurants, and travel? We have a place in Florida that we can't visit for the foreseeable future. We had planned to drive our car down for my birthday at the end of this month, but it just feels too risky to do that and then fly back to Minnesota. The garden is all harvested and put away for the winter. The last of the tomatoes are on the counter. They are forecasting snow for tomorrow! Snow! Oh the joys of northern Minnesota!

    Hello to everyone else. Happy fall!