Showing posts with label Living with Colon Cancer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Living with Colon Cancer. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Stepping it up in the world

 This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here



Shopping for exercise equipment can be really hard when you are trying to stay within a budget, making sure it will fit in your home, will be low impact, can be moved or stored easily, as well as finding something that fits your weight range. I have fought with weight since I was 11 years old and became very ill. At my highest weight, I was 460 something pounds and at my lowest when I met my husband I was 190 pounds. Last year I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Colon Cancer and had several surgeries, and chemotherapy treatments after having gotten more ill over the past few years to the point that I was sleeping pretty much the whole day away. 

I am now done with treatments, my first set of tests as well as scans have come back and I am getting stronger every day. Instead of using a wheelchair pretty much all of the time I am now using my rollator much more often. I had a physical therapist for a while after each operation and then again after everything because I have Neuropathy (for me that is nonstop pins and needles in both my hands, feet, and legs). I am considered a high risk to fall so I have to be really careful. Between the Neuropathy and other health issues, I have to stick to a low-impact exercise routine. 

I have exercises I do most days for my legs, I added in arm, shoulder, and neck exercises as well once my abdomen was healed. Being in bed I wanted to make sure my muscles did not atrophy, so I have been doing bed exercises since day 2 after the first operation. Most days I am still upset with where I am but if I honestly look back I am in much better shape than I was at the beginning, so I am moving forward. 

I have been wanting to add an elliptical to my routine but sticking to an exercise routine has always been really hard for me. I found that most ellipticals would take up way too much real estate in my home.  Then I found out about desk exercise equipment and my choices greatly expanded. The Cubii is what I decided on. To be honest I have been looking at this particular under-dek elliptical for a while and had it on my wishlist. I was recently contacted by a company to give it a whirl and I almost literally jumped at the chance since it was on the top of my desk exercise equipment list. 

The only pieces of exercise equipment that we had before were a set of aerobic steps (which I can't use presently), one-pound weights, exercise bands (which have gone missing), an exercise ball, a pilates ring, and a recumbent exercise bike which I have yet to get back on to. I have added a Summers Gym MagicFITNATION Rock N Fit, and now an under-desk elliptical. 

When you get to the Cubii Site you can take a Quiz to see which Cubii is right for you. My Quiz results said that the Cubii Go would be best for me. The Cubii Go has a retractable handle so you can move it and store it easily. Our couches are raised because we are tall so we keep the Cubii right under our couch so it is easy to pull out and use. For me, if it is easy to move and store I am more apt to use it and keep using it. There are blue tooth models but mine is not so I have to manually add my workouts into the app which is free with your Cubii. 



This is how your box will come so if it is a gift make sure you are able to get it wrapped or put it away for later gift-giving. I am very happy with the way it was shipped and packed.



When you take all of the pieces out of the box this is what you should have. Instructions were clear to understand and made it super easy to assemble the Cubii Go. It took under 5 minutes total to put together although my husband said it was more like 2 minutes. It took me longer to download the app and set my profile up than it did to unbox and put the Cubii Go together. The app is included with the purchase. 







Once I was set up with my profile I noticed they have a Gratitude is the Attitude November Wellness Journi which I joined right away. Today's challenge was pretty easy. I had to use the Cubii for 20 minutes while reading, watching, or listening to something informative. After 20 minutes I added in my time and my first workout was logged in graph form and I got an achievement. Tomorrow's challenge is to drink 80oz of water. I am always struggling with getting enough water in. With challenges, I am more apt to keep doing things because it is more like a game. 



Before getting this I was a little skeptical about the foot surface size but as you can see in my picture at the top of this post, there is plenty of room for your feet both bare or with shoes on. I wear a size 9.5 women's USA and there is plenty of room for a much larger foot to fit onto it comfortably.




If you are in your office and are using this under-desk elliptical you can stick your chair wheel into this pull-out slot which is also the expandable handle so that you aren't rolling backward while trying to those steps in for the day. 








Cubii even has free classes that will step up your workout routine. I will be trying these in the next few days. I am so excited to find something that is so easy to use and fits into our home as well as something I can use that my body is actually capable of doing. I love that the Cubii Go comes with a retractable handle and wheels for easy portability, an easy-to-read digital display, and 8 resistance settings. At the Cubii website, you can even order other accessories like weights, mats, foot straps, etc. If you are interested you can get 30.00 off your first order here.

Our family can use this under-desk elliptical at a desk, on the couch, on the edge of a bed, or even on the porch while enjoying nice weather outside. I am so excited to start this new journey with Cubii and my readers. Here is to stepping up in the world. 

Monday, October 24, 2022

Homeschooling for the second year

 



We aren't new to homeschooling (we homeschooled my nephew who we have had since he was a baby) and wish we really did it with our first child and continued with all of them. With that being said on July 27,2021 we made the decision to homeschool our youngest child. Between Covid -19, remote learning, and the public school system doing a great disservice in teaching my children (at least the last two) we felt we needed to take the reigns so our youngest child would be better prepared for what the future may hold for her.

Little did we know I would find out that soon after that I had cancer and then find out it was Stage 3 Colon Cancer. My immune system was horrible, to begin with, Chemotherapy didn't make it any better so it was the right move at the right time. Even though last year threw us curve balls we made it through, seeing our child start to blossom, and finding out what she really enjoyed and what she hated in school was worth it. 

We are of course better prepared than we were last year and so far the school year is going well. 

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Where I am today

 I thought I would update everyone on how everything is going. One thing I want to reflect on is my fight for disability. I was told when I was 11 years old that I should never work. Did I listen? No, I held down several jobs on farms, babysitting, and working in mom & pop stores as a teenager. Once I was married I worked in a grocery store, mom & pop store, ran my own child care for many years, worked with mentally and physically handicapped children and adults, worked for a movie theater, and did several freelance jobs. 

 When I was pregnant with our 6th biological child my Dr. made me promise once I had her I would not work anymore. I still tried to do freelance jobs which only caused me to get more sick until I just couldn't even do those anymore. 

 As you can see I have tried to make something of my blog but to be honest I don't make very much not enough to pay the bills but enough to get gifts for my family, but that isn't from what I write. That comes from doing surveys which takes time and you don't get rich from that, at least I haven't found a way to. 

 Then I do product reviews which is fun. I get to try out lots of products and introduce my family, friends, and readers to what is available and how I like it. Along with that, I am able to do giveaways for some of the companies as well as work with a whole assortment of bloggers in helping them with their giveaways. Again no payment just free items but it keeps me busy and I can work it around my being ill so often. 

 So back to my disability fight. It took me getting cancer for them to finally put it through. I am considered disabled for the rest of my life. We thought it would be the answer to our financial needs, and I would feel like I was contributing to our family's income. Sadly I was a wee bit short of the points to get SSI on my own. I know I may mess up the different programs up so I apologize, they are confusing enough. So they tried getting me money from another source and they say my husband already brings home too much in his own disability so I am not eligible. I am also not eligible for Medicare so I have to keep applying for Medicaid. 

 It certainly was not the answer we wanted, but it is what it is and has changed our future plans quite a bit, but we are going with it as the path we are supposed to be on and will keep plugging along. The worse part is my lawyer worked for over 7 years on my case and doesn't understand it all either. These are the only cases she does and has never seen one turn out like mine. She was only to get paid if I got money and I didn't so she literally spent years on my case for nothing in return. 

 I had planned to go see the Ocean which I have never seen when I made it through my treatments. We planned to make a big trip next Spring, but I don't think it will happen quite like we wanted it to. We wanted to stop at different places along the way to visit friends, family, and destinations. I know I'll make it to the ocean someday even if that is my children putting my ashes in the Ocean after I am gone. 

Today I awoke so my time here is not done. Thank you to those who stayed long enough to read and hope you will come back again. Hugs. 

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Scan and Test results.

 I haven't really written about my health issues since it all began but will be backtracking and adding in posts and hope to be able to have them in some kind of order if you would like to go back and read from the beginning. If the latter is true then just keep your eyes open for that post. 

 When this all began I wanted to keep an online journal here on my blog but things went so quickly even though at the time it didn't seem quick at all. I thought so many things would happen or I would have time for this or that but to my surprise, it didn't go quite like I would have liked it to. 

 For anyone just hoping on this rollercoaster, I call my life, Welcome, grab something to drink maybe even a snack. My name is Pamela, I have been married to my husband for 32 years and dating him for 33 years. We have 6 children. My son is 31, my daughter Samantha is 28, Bryan is 25, Nesie is 25, Deanna is 19, and Dorothy is 14. We also have 4 grandchildren 2 grandsons and 2 granddaughters. 

 I was adopted by my paternal Uncle and his wife. They are who I take about whenever I write about my parents if I talk about my biological then that will be the term I use while talking about them. My parents received me when I was two weeks old. 

 I hadn't been feeling well for quite some time (although to be honest I have been getting sick from the very day I was born). I kept losing strength and sleep was taking up most of my days and nights leaving me feeling even more tired. I knew something was wrong and when I found out I had diverticulitis we thought that was the answer but during a colonoscopy to check on my diverticulitis and at the time seeking a surgeon to remove my sigmoid from my colon they found a mass which they cut and removed which showed Cancer. 

 They were pretty sure they had it all and that I was at most stage 1 Colon Cancer but once they were able to do the Cancer Removal Surgery my results came back Stage 3 Colon Cancer. It had spread to my lymph nodes. As I said I am working on getting my notes from the last year or so together and adding them here so we are now going to take a big jump to now. 

 I finished my chemotherapy on July 21st. I had a few appointments after that date that will be added as I go along but we are going to keep our attention on my first set of scans and tests since then. 

 I had my colonoscopy in mid-September 2022. I have hemorrhoids, and my diverticulitis is still there, but where they did my surgery has healed well, and looks beautiful they said. My mammogram came back clean, but I am still waiting on the ultrasound they took of my ovaries. No news is good news, right? I see that Dr. later this month.

 I had my cat scans last Thursday. My Oncologists office called today to go over them with me. There is something on my thyroid (I already have hypothyroidism, and growth in the same area but not attached to the thyroid) that I didn't get the name of but will be confirming what action is needed next with my Primary Doctor who was given a copy of the scans. Called today but he had already left for the day so hope to hear from him by tomorrow. My oncologist is monitoring a few nodules on or in my lungs. Do forgive me I will update you when I know which it is. Instead of having a clear scan and being able to go another 6 months till my next scan I will be getting more scans in three months to check on my lungs.

 I had hoped to give everyone the all-clear for the next 6 months but it just isn't the case. I guess once you get Cancer you are always waiting for it to strike again. I didn't worry about it till I had it and now I can't shake the feeling of dread every time there is a test no matter how positive I try to be. I have a hard time sleeping and want to spend as much time with my family as I can. There is just never enough time to do it all. 




Sunday, January 2, 2022

Holiday Excitement

 We had a pretty good Christmas even with stress, illness, and a tree that wouldn't light this year. Our tree that my youngest daughter and oldest granddaughter put up and decorated needed help that was not available this year from the angel who has seen better days that we let go of when they took down the tree to the lights that no longer worked which caused us to toss the tree altogether. We plan on buying a new tree, ornaments, and angel for 2022. 

From all of the stress of the girls, my stomach started acting up and nothing was moving, causing me a lot of pain. Once the stress was removed my body started working and I was on the mend. We had Christmas Eve with my Son's family and boy do I love seeing the boys enjoy their presents. It brings me so much joy to be able to see them and spend time with them. 

Christmas was spent with all of the girls which was great and stressful all at the same time. My oldest daughter is just struggling and the fight is up in your face real, too much for me in my current condition to even get my mind around. I have placed her in God's hands as I need to heal so I can be there for everyone. 

Like I said before my husband only half guessed his pistachios but never guessed his larger presents which he loves by the way. The girls made out like bandits as usual. I got a three their fruit bowl that didn't make our last move, some really nice warm mittens, gloves, and hats, a whole case of chocolate Candy that used to be sold here in America but no longer is that my husband had delivered from England, I got a new Quill pen, wax, and a monogrammed wax stamper and all different kinds of colored wax to seal my letters with, a massager, nail files, and a piece of art with all of our children's names on it. I think there might have been something else but not sure. 

On the 28th I had my appointment with my Primary Care Physician and it was mainly a catch-up visit and setting up my next visit. It went well. I am down 36 lbs from my pre-op weight. I have a phobia of eating so we are keeping a close eye on that to make sure it doesn't get out of hand but this last week I have finished my plate twice which has made my husband happy. 

Our home has come to getting excited if I make a bowel movement and if  I eat. It's like a party up in here at any given time. Whoot Whoot. There are plenty of sad times but we like to focus on the good times as much as possible. 

I had someone cause some undue stress the night before my operation but it has been worked out. I don't think I will ever understand why people do things to hurt others. 

On the 30th I had my surgery to get more port placed. It went well. I was awake the whole time talking with the Dr. and Nurses, although I did sleep well when I finally got home. On the way home, since we know my chemotherapy treatments will cause neuropathy I had a Dairy Queen Banana Split and I enjoyed each and every bite savoring it for all, it's worth as it may be a long time before I can enjoy ice cream again. As for my port, it is still tender and still has a few days to heal. 

Later on the 30th we would find out that two of the people who were helping my daughter move her stuff into storage came back positive for Covid-19. We still rang in the New Year but I have to call my Dr.'s first thing Monday to see how they want to proceed with my care this week. I am thinking they might hold back my chemotherapy a week to see what my daughter's test says. Sadly there are no rapid tests open so we have to wait for the longer test to come back which seems to take forever. So far I still have the dry cough I have since my surgery in November and nothing else so we are taking that as a good sign. 

We are still taking one day at a time and enjoying the time we have together. Holidays can be stressful but please always try to find the happy moments. I know that is what gets me through. Here is to a New Start to a New Year for everyone!



Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Emotional Overload

 Today we had an education day about my Chemotherapy. It went well, we toured the chemotherapy room, and got acquainted with the nurses. I also met with billing and everything is a go from my insurance, at least for now. I also got the date for the operation to get my port put in which is December 30th. 

Before we even left this morning I had a surprise. My daughter Nesie picked up my daughter Samantha and Lilly so they would be here for Christmas. Hugging Samantha is what I needed to get my day started and then I saw her face. Her teeth are in really bad shape. She 27 and there is nothing left to them. How does that even happen? I know her life choices and the fact that she battles with anorexia and bulimia is a big part of it but it was still a shock. I told her she needs to find a surgeon and get all of her teeth pulled and get dentures. To see my baby in pain because of her teeth is heart-wrenching. 

Then we had Nesie she is a mess. She had a breakup and my granddaughter and she both have to be out of the house by December 31st with nowhere to go, and with me being sick. Nesie has had a lot on her plate. Nesie has a lot of decisions to make in a short time and it is putting a toll on her boy and mind. I can suggest things and listen to her but I can't make her decisions for her. Lets just say she isn't having it easy right now. 

Being a mother seeing your children in pain or turmoil is hard to see when you aren't able to fix it for them. Like I said on my Facebook. " I liked it better when they were all really little and we had all the answers for them. A kiss, a hug, or time just with them is all they needed to make things better." It's hard, please remember people who look fine may be going through rough times or have to make a tough decision, be kind.

We had lots of tears on the way up and on the way back from the Clinic. Big note make sure you have tissues on hand in the car for these very moments. We did finish the night off by ordering Chinese for Dinner. Everyone ate together talking and I think the night ended well for everyone before the girls were off till Christmas Day.

Monday, December 20, 2021

Where I am right now

 So I know it has been some time since I have written, but life just flies right by in the blink of an eye. These days even more so. Our family is looking forward to the Holidays. This year my husband and I bought presents for each other which doesn't happen very often. We have been married 31 years and maybe only a handful of times have we bought gifts for each other. It has always been about the kids and family. This year has thrown us a curveball and we took a stand just buying for our children, grandchildren, pets, and for each other.

 I did however not let my husband buy anything for me until I made it through my operation. I made it and he started ordering right away. There is one present, the big one he said but the last time he updated me it was still on the other side of the planet. Time will tell if it makes it here on time. His however have all made it and are wrapped and ready. He is super excited to guess what his presents are and he is dead on good doing it. This year I don't think he will guess. He guessed his large presents were toolboxes. Sorry honey but you're dead wrong. I know he will guess some of the smaller gifts by feel but the larger ones no way not in a million years. 

 I will update everyone more about my health but wanted to try and write a little something each day so that there is a kind of diary for others who may be going through what I am going through or if I pass for my family to look back on. I love them so. I have a great medical team, a supportive family, supportive friends, and many new friends to make along my journey. When I am feeling alone and at my lowest, I feel God's presence and he comforts me. He often sends my husband to me, puts a song into my head,  someone calls,  or messages me. Jesus is awesome and never leaves my side. Thank you to all those who pray for me, message me, or call me. You are all wonderful. Hugs. 

Friday, August 20, 2021

5:16 8-19-2021

The call wasn't really that long and I am not quite sure when it started but once I heard it my eyes went right to the clock on my phone like I could freeze time in place. See I have been sick lately although, I guess you can say I have been sick all of my life with one thing or another.

I had a double procedure on 8/17/2021  that was more than what they had expected to find. They removed pieces and resected me, then sent the pieces off to be tested. 

I thought I wouldn't hear anything till I saw the Surgeon. on Friday but Thursday night at around five in the evening the call came in. It was the Dr. I know a Dr. doesn't call unless it is something, but not that late, good news can always wait. I have had these calls before up to 10:30 pm. 

This time it would be the word I thought I would never hear. The C word, The Big C,  CANCER, they found cancer and they aren't sure they got it all because they had to cut it out of me in little pieces. 

The first thing we did was call our children and branch out from there. Today after two more calls I will be posting on my social media. There are just too many people to contact with the news. Social Media is quicker besides telling everyone the same thing over and over just tires me out more than I already am. 

Of course, almost everyone so far is asking how I am taking it, and how is my husband, and the kids. Well, I don't know we are still processing it. My husband went to bed early, I can't sleep, and the kids are being supportive. 

People ask what the next steps are. Well, the Surgeon tomorrow and then a call to oncology for an appointment to see just what those next steps will be. Of course, I have to call my Primary Doctor as well as my Gynecologist. You see they found a growth on my left ovary right before Covid-19 changed up everything, that they had been watching. Since they will be going in for the Cancer they might do that too.

I suppose I am writing here for myself more than for my readers but hey who knows, something I might say might save someone's life. 

Some people asked did I know? or did I think something was up. When has something not been up with my health? The answer is yes. Even when I am not having Diverticulitis pain I feel something in my stomach which is actually my intestines. It feels like something is eating me alive, gnawing at my insides. It took a while for it happening to say anything to my husband, he even ordered a pregnancy test hoping I was just pregnant. When it came back negative that is when he started to really worry.

Then in June, I had blood tests. I saw the results. It showed my bone marrow had kicked in and my red and white cell counts were all in the wrong places. I am not dumb. I was just hoping it was the infections I kept getting over and over and that the numbers would get better. So did I have an idea I sure did.

My appointments were already set so things couldn't go any quicker. I was supposed to have my procedure back in 2018, but between Dr.'s retiring, cases being shifted, busy schedules with kids, and then Covid-19 we kept putting things off, there is always tomorrow (Isn't that what we tell ourselves?). Last year things began to get worse with infection after infection which is what put my procedures further out finally after being infection free for 8 weeks I had my procedures. So here I am. 


Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Home resting

 I am home in a bit of discomfort but resting. God moved in the situation. Thankfully the Dr. who was there was able to finish if he hadn’t been there they wouldn’t have been able to. He is the one called when something like what was in me is found. They didn’t see it on the scans. I have special surgical clips working with my bleeding medication to keep me from bleeding while I heal.

This is not over yet they sent my biopsies and removals to pathology stat to have them tested. I have damage both in my esophagus and colon as well as what they call a torturous sigmoid. The biggest removal was precancerous 100% but it could also be cancerous that is why they have the stat testing on it.

in there he had to cut and resection different parts of me together. I see the other surgeon on Friday, the gastroenterologist in two weeks and have to go through this all again in 3 months depending on the pathology report. Keep me and my family in prayers please.

Monday, August 16, 2021

All ready for my procedures

 I wanted to be more clear about my operation/procedures tomorrow. I am having a colonoscopy and endoscopy. They want to rule out cancer, as well as check things to make sure they have a clear picture to know just how much of my colon will need to be removed. I see a Surgeon on Friday to talk about my Sigmoid removal to hopefully get rid of the diverticulitis. This is something they found back when they did my emergency appendectomy back in 2018, it has just taken time, compounded diagnosis, and then finally infection on top of infection to get the doctors all on the same page. It has just become dangerous to my life for this to continue so it is time to take care of things. Please keep me in your thoughts as you go about your day tomorrow.

Friday, July 9, 2021

My first Telehealth call

 Just had my telehealth call with my Hematologist and I will be going for more tests next week and a possible iron infusion based on those test results. She gave me a rundown of what I will be given for my operations and that there will be an extra med on board to help me, as well as making sure they have enough of my blood on hand. In our family, my 4th biological child is the only one who can give me blood as she hasn't tested positive for any of my blood diseases and has the same blood type as me, so we always have her on call when I need to go to the hospital just in case. We have other children with the same blood type as me but can't give blood or donate organs because of our blood disorders. Those who don't have my blood disorders all give blood as often as they can, I just can't have their blood. Getting closer to having my procedures done so we can find out what needs to come out so I don't have all of these infections from diverticulitis.



Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Going Back a bit

I went back before my diagnosis and found an update on my Facebook page for June 22,2021. I am sure there are more but I will go from this date. This was before my cancer diagnosis when we thought it was just plain diverticulitis we were dealing with even though my blood results were saying a bit more. 


 "An update on my health for those interested. I had been having multiple issues since my Emergency Appendectomy/Diverticulitis infection on April 1st, 2018. About a year later they found a growth on my ovaries which has been being monitored, but they would like to remove. Infections in my bowel started slowly and now I am getting them one on top of the other. I just got done with my antibiotics on June 13th, 2021 had my cat scan on June 17th, 2021 there was already an infection again so I am going to be starting Antibiotics again today. Now my operations, endoscopy, colonoscopy, colon removal, and whatever else they decide to take while in there have been moved back because they want me to be infection free for at least 8 weeks. Please pray for these Antibiotics to work and that my body will stay infection free so they can do these operations. I am trying to stay optimistic about everything but I am just plain tired and it is taking its toll on the family as well."