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So, one of y’all gently inquired today, and I realized most of you hadn’t heard from me in a while – as a matter of fact, months ago when I was only halfway through radiation. Two things – I think I was enjoying getting back to normal, and work has been very stressful. We got a new administration in January and they are very gung-ho to fix everything instantly.
So – my eyebrows are back! I finished radiation the end of March and had stopped peeling by the end of April. I was prescribed some very fancy organic rejuvenating skin cream – it feels nice, smells wonderful but at $50 a jar. I spent most of an hour (Robert was very patient) in CVS reading the labels on all the body lotions, and decided the key must be the safflower oil – everything on the shelf was glycerin- or mineral oil-based. I got a bottle of Aveeno body lotion based on sesame oil for $4.99 – the only one that used a vegetable oil. I did a half and half test and got identical results – baby-smooth skin.
Started going to work without the wig the week after I finished radiation – everyone was a bit surprised, but the consensus is it is ‘cute’; would prefer it be described as chic. As it has grown out, it curled! They said it often happened – after 55 years of straight-as-a-stick, I have silky curls. Now, of course, I have no idea what to do with it ;-)
I have lost all the weight I gained during chemo, and weigh less than I have for 30 years. All the things I couldn’t wear are now too loose. So I’ve done some shopping.
I’m going to taking Femara, to prevent recurrence, for 5 years – just a daily pill. It causes bone loss, so I had a bone scan. Turns out I already have the bone density of a 90-year-old. Since I fell off the deck (twice), pretty hard, when we were rebuilding it last year, I am not too concerned that my bones are real fragile yet. My oncologist prescribed Fosamax, but I read up and decided I wasn’t ready to go there yet – it stops bone loss, but it also stops bone regeneration – and it stays in your body for at least 10 years, so it is irreversible once you start it. I had made an appointment for a physical, ’cause I figured someone should take a look at the rest of me. My FP said I could just take calcitonin, plus excercise, calcium, Vitamin D, and all that. Then my cholesterol results came back – LDL was high, although everything else was good. Seeing as how we have been drinking 2% milk, eating very little meat, and don’t do junk food, fried food, fat food, processed food, etc., this is distressing.
However, I feel fine. Am going to take vitamins, keep eating right, exercising, and just living. I finished the Herceptin infusions June 20, which was doubly excellent, because it was West Virginia Day.
Arend is home for the summer but will be going to Ox-Bow, an artist’s camp in Michigan affiliated with the Art Institute, the end of July. We may go to WV in August. Have also discussed Romania in the fall, but no real plans yet. Hilde is settled in in Dallas, working lots of weekends, for which she gets overtime pay, so she’s flush, if tired.
Thanks to all y’all for your help, encouragement, and thoughts and prayers over the last year. Knowing you’re all out there thinking about me has been a huge boost.