Cancer – the gift that keeps giving.

I went for my four month check-up with my oncologist and I was given the results of my bone scan.  I was told that I have bone loss in my pelvis/hips and that I am at a moderate risk of a bone fracture.  The bone loss is a result of the chemotherapy and the anti-hormone treatment that I currently take.  The oncologist said that he was not happy with this result and suggested that I begin injections of Prolia (generic name denosumab).  His office was able to obtain the pre-authorization for the injection through our insurance I went back two weeks ago for the injection.  My mom went with me for moral support.  After the nurse gave me the injection (which burned!!) I had to sit while being observed for 10 minutes followed by an additional 20 minutes in the waiting room to make sure I did not have any adverse reactions to the drug.  Thankfully, I had no reactions at the time and was able to go back to work.

For the following two days I experienced some flu-like symptoms such as a headache and muscle weakness and muscle aches.  After that I felt pretty good and then about a week ago I started having increased back pain and burning pain and weakness in my arms and hands, and a general feeling of weakness overall..  Apparently this is a possible side affect.  Compared to the list of possible side effects from this drug I am doing really well.  Just reading the information sheet that the doctors office went over with me before giving me the injection was frightening.

Sometimes I seriously feel like cancer is the gift that just keeps giving.  I feel discouraged at times, and angry at times… but then I have to remind myself that I am alive.  I have to be positive and look on the bright side of things.  There are so many breast cancer sisters who have passed away and I know in my heart that they would give anything to be alive and with their family “suffering” with these little side effects that make me cry sometimes.  It is times when I think of them that makes me straighten up and just be thankful and stop my whining.

On a positive note…I have been named patient representative for our cancer care center.  There are two patient representatives,  me and a gentleman who battled gastric cancer.  We are leaders of the new survivors group at the hospital.  We had our first meeting on the 7th of April and I believe that it went really well.  We meet again on April 21st and I hope that more people attend and that we are able to reach a wide range of cancer survivors.


4 thoughts on “Cancer – the gift that keeps giving.

  1. I’m so sorry Debbie. How much more HELL are you and your family have to go through. My prayers are always with you. I have to say you are the STRONGEST BRAVEST WOMEN I HAVE THE PRIVILEGED OF HAVING IN MY LIFE!!!!! God blessed me to have all of you in my life. I love you and I hope you know that if not I just told you as I have in the past. Stay strong and hug everyone for me then tell Nick to hug you from me.

    • Thank you for the kind words, Diane. I do not feel like I am strong or brave, I just keep doing what I have to do. I hope that you are feeling better. I will try to call you one evening this week after I get out of work. Love you!

  2. Hi Debbie,
    Boy do I relate to this post! Cancer just keeps on ‘giving’ doesn’t it? I’m sorry you have more fallout to deal with. I actually had a doctor say to me one time when I was trying to talk about some nasty lingering side effects, “Well, you’re alive aren’t you?” Speaking about these realities does not mean we are not grateful to be alive. Of course we are. But there is no need to suffer in silence. It’s fantastic that you are now a patient rep. Congrats! I’m sure you’ll be a wonderful resource. Thanks for the post.

    • Nancy,
      I believe that someone who hasn’t actually gone through a cancer diagnosis can not imagine the side effects that we go through as a result of our life saving treatments. I try to keep my bog as my “safe place” where I can document my true feelings no matter what they are without caring how I may look to outsiders. Thank you for understanding that because I vocalize my frustration and anger over the beating that my body has taken, that it does not mean that I am ungrateful. I am beyond grateful to be here with my family, but at the same time I am only human, and the side effects do catch up with you at times.

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