June update – all good

Thank you for your continued interest in Theresa’s health. And Thank you Lord for your continued help each day.

I am behind on my update. Life has been pretty busy with the kids, their school, and graduation. Theresa has been doing well in her new normal. She had her Oncology visit 2-3 weeks ago. Basic lab tests are normal and she doesn’t have any new lumps, so it is felt she is still in remission. She took Letrozole, an anti-estrogen pill, for about two months but found each weak she became more and more fatigued, her bones hurt, and she felt like she was 90+ years old. Finally, as the symptoms made it so she couldn’t sleep or turn over in bed, we looked up the side effects and she had most of them. We called her Oncologist, stopped the medication and about two weeks later her symptoms improved about 50%. She then had to go back on Tamoxifen, an anti-estrogen she had been on before. After a week on Tamoxifen, her fatigue came back again, but not the bone pain.

What we have realized all along is that Theresa is sensitive to most medications she takes. She is one of those people who will get a number of the significant side effects from medications so she tries her best to avoid all that she can. Because the trade off is pretty high, staying on the Tamoxifen is a must do. Fatigue and diminished endurance are hard to deal with. As she was making items for our son’s graduation, what normally took 2-3 hours to do, ended up taking close to 8. She spends a good amount of time in her recliner chair recuperating after doing a task. We took a day trip, with our daughter’s class, to Seattle and did a bit of walking down town. It took a few days for her to recover from that trip. She still struggles with “Chemo Brain”. She gets frustrated at her absentmindedness. Even if she writes it down, she may forget to look at the note. Most things don’t make it to a note, so can easily be forgotten. She has learned to accept this for what it is, her new normal.

She still has frozen shoulders. The left is 70% improved since surgery, while the right is pretty limited. The risk of lymphedema is too great to have surgery on the right. The pain is much less than it used to be. She is having some lymphedema in the right arm now (due to radiation and lack of lymph nodes), which at times makes her arm tight and sore. Some days it is worse than others.

We are so thankful for the opportunity to adapt, to adjust to a new normal together. We can live with this. We have learned to accept these “inconveniences” as a trade off for the joy of being together. There is nothing like togetherness, laying next to each other cuddling at night, holding hands when we are out, and just connecting. For these we are grateful. Life is precious, but doing life together is so much more.

Thank you all for your continued prayers. Thank you for you many kind words. Thank you Father for your generosity toward us, for holding us close, and giving us your peace.

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