Tuesday, December 30, 2008

How to Prevent Cancer

2008 is almost over, and I'm glad to see it go!  We got through it just fine, though, and hopefully 2009 will bring a new house and a fresh beginning here in St. Louis for the three of us.  In 2009, the focus is making changes in my lifestyle that will lower my odds of dealing with this again.  You know what?  The things that will lower my odds of getting it again are the same things that will lower your risk of getting it in the first place.  So, I thought I'd share.  REMEMBER... 80-85% of women who get breast cancer have NO significant family history, just like me.  It's not "them" who get it, it's "us".  So, let's all be proactive.

The American Institute for Cancer Research has done a huge review of all the cancer research out there and determined what factors contribute MOST to cancer and what things can PREVENT cancer the most.  It's a great summary.  Here's the link to the full report.  There's also a fancy chart that shows how much each possible factor contributes to different kinds of cancer here.

In summary (for those of you who will never go read it, but who I care about very much), for those who are premenopausal, the three things they have listed that have the most convincing evidence of contributing to an increased risk of breast cancer are:  high birth weight, alcohol, and your height.  Seriously.  So, no more wine for me for the most part, and I'm going to start wearing flats.  :)  Since I can't do much about 2 of those 3, I'll check out the list of things that contribute to decreasing the risk of breast cancer.  Those are:  breastfeeding your kids (check), and high activity levels.  Anyone want to go for a walk? 


Monday, December 22, 2008

Almost There

Almost there.

I'm tired. There's just a lot going on, fitting cancer into your life. The holidays are still coming, work is still happening every day, Rory still needs attention. I thought that as I got to the end of my treatment I would be ecstatic, energetic, and jumping up and down. Instead, to be honest, I'm just tired. It's one more thing off my to do list for this week. I'm sure that once I get back to work after the holiday (we're taking a few days to head to my parents' house) and realize that I don't have to go for treatment, as has been my daily schedule for seven weeks, I'll absorb the fact that I'm really done a bit more. Even tomorrow I might get giddy as I walk out. But today, I have a cold that might be bronchitis, a long To Do list at work, and Christmas Eve is two days away. I'd be exhausted even without the whole treatment schedule, I believe.

p.s. Here's my hair. :) All mine.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Light at the End of the Tunnel --- I SEE IT!

Sorry I haven't written much lately.  To say it's been a busy time is an understatement.  I promise to come back and add more soon.

Thanks to those of you who have saent me emails (I've received a few in the last few days) just checking in.  It's nice to know you are thinking of me during the insanity of the holiday season! 

I'm doing very well and am almost done!  I have been in radiation every weekday since the beginning of November.  They are radiating the top quadrant of my chest, basically collarbone to under the breast on my left side.  Those big treatments will be done TOMORROW!  Then, I have just 7 more, "booster treatments" where they radiate just the surgery site.  My last day is December 23!! 

AND, in other big news, TODAY is hopefully my last day wearing my wig!!!  I have to double-check with the doctor today, but if it's ok to head back into haircolor, I have an appointment tomorrow morning!  No idea what color I'm going with, but it's such a symbol of being almost done to get rid of my wig. If I get it done, I'll post a picture over the weekend.