The ABC Cancer Diaries

A young, American-Born-Chinese woman living with metastatic breast cancer

Blech. May 20, 2009

Filed under: Side Effects,Treatment,Uncategorized — wenren @ 9:47 pm

Chemo is kicking my arse as they say in British speak. Before my red blood counts were down, now my white cell counts are down. Two shots of neulasta just this week. I’ve been to the doctor’s office everyday since Monday. So the question to ask is not how often do I go to the doctor, but when do I NOT go. I beginning to feel like I work there.


I need to be a vampire May 8, 2009

Filed under: Side Effects,Treatment,Uncategorized — wenren @ 12:35 am

No this is not an early Halloween post, but rather the unfortunate side effects of my current treatment, navelbine.

Navelbine has been lowering my red blood cell count or hemoglobin, thereby making me anemic, which in turn makes me tired. It’s tough. No amount of eating red meat can remedy this (Believe me, I’ve tried!), and at my last treatment (Tuesday, May 5th) I had to get a shot of Procrit to help boost my red blood cells. I’ve also started to take an iron supplement, but this is just part of the side effects.

Being tired is a strange side effect. It’s not quite debilitating, but also makes me no fun to go out with. Because on top of my low energy, I also¬† have a cough that I can’t shake. Lately, when I go into restaurants and bars I notice how loud it is because sometimes I have to yell and strain my voice to be heard. Five minutes of this is enough to make me just want to go home and plunk myself in front of the tv. It also makes me feel old — (In old person’s whiny voice: “Do they hafta make it so loud?!?” Or “Oh, look at the time it’s almost 10 pm,” or the ever popular “Oy am I tired!”)

But, I’m 34 years old, and I really am tired because I work all day, and I’m anemic, so I have less energy. I look at these young whipper-snappers heading to bars, and wonder “Who are these people?!?!”

Alas, I’m still managing, and am making myself exercise, but it’s no fun running and realizing that I used to be able to run faster, and feel less tired, and less out of breathe. And that I used to be able to run/swim further, etc…I know this gets me no where, but cancer once again reminds who’s really in control.

So I’ve got another treatment coming up this Tuesday, the 12th of May. Soon I will be up for a CT scan which will get us a better sense of how this navelbine is really working.


Noteworthy Article-PLEASE READ

Filed under: Uncategorized — wenren @ 12:23 am

Why finding a cure for cancer has been so difficult. This article also explains why it is so hard dealing with metastatic breast cancer, and the lack of understanding for it.  I am glad to see this article out there for more people to understand, I hope that there will be more focus on finding better treatments.