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Aug 22, 2017 08:00PM
I understand completely. I often described my first experience with BC as a curse and a blessing rolled into one. I was fortunate not to be extremely sick while going through aggressive chemo and radiation (with the exception of a couple of blood infections) and continued to work full time throughout. My job was very flexible and there was no requirement to interact with the public so it provided a necessary distraction. Having said that, for the first time in my life I cut myself some slack. My expectations of myself were significantly lower, I listened to my body, resting when I needed to and didn't drive myself as hard as I typically do. When I was tired, I napped. I also walked a great deal. That gave me the "me time" that you spoke of.
Unfortunately, as the years went by I slipped more and more into the old habits. I did maintain some things, my haircut being one of them. I used to joke about the MacPherson buzz cut (after my oncologist). I have very fine hair which I used to perm. Each day was spent with the blow dryer, curling iron and tons of hairspray to hold it all in place. I would never have had the guts to go super short but when it came back in after chemo I quite liked it. Since that time I have kept it short and easy - wash and a bit of gel to get me through the day. (Well, now I'm back to fuzzy duckling hair but it is coming back.)
I really hope you stick to your guns and maintain that space for yourself. It's easy to forget "me time" in our busy lives and with all the demands placed on us. Now I'm in a different place, and to be honest, I'm finding it difficult to carve out that space. One challenge is my 86 year old mother who is doing great for the most part but tends to be the "Queen of Can't" in many ways. I feel the pressure of trying to meet her needs while trying to take care of myself. And then there is work... But slowly I am also trying to cut extraneous things from my life and looking for ways to offload responsibilities where I can (i.e. doggy daycare, hiring a gardener, etc.).
As to the Hb, it was still very low last week when I had my blood work. Increased from 81 to 82 over a two week period but that was after a month off Ibrance. I'm on day 9 of my fourth cycle of Ibrance so suspect that it will start dropping again. My MO just returned from two weeks away and indicated he would get back to me once he reviewed my blood work, etc. He may decide the toxicity of the Ibrance is a problem but I may suggest we play with the protocol a bit, perhaps two weeks on and two weeks off. I firmly believe that there is much to learn still with this drug.
I'm also following the discussions on Abemaciclib, immunotherapy and cfDNA. Lots of interesting information. I'm particularly interested in the Abemaciclib. I think it may prove to be a much better option. The question I have, if I need to switch to Fulvestrant down the road, would Abemaciclib be an option now that I have been on Ibrance? Interesting regardless.
Wishing you all a stress free week. Cheers. Pat
4/2001, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/10 nodes, ER+
5/10/2001 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary
12/17/2001 Whole-breast: Breast
12/20/2001 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
1/2/2007 Femara (letrozole)
10/21/2007 Arimidex (anastrozole)
1/3/2017, IDC, Right, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/lungs/other, ER+/PR+, HER2-
1/27/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel)
3/28/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole)
4/20/2017 Ibrance (palbociclib)
10/20/2017 Xeloda (capecitabine)