Well, I have now finished my 10th chemo yesterday afternoon.  I'm not going to lie.  I'm not feeling well.  The past 2-3 weeks have been really hard with my energy levels being in the pot.  I can hardly even workout.  I'm so weak at times that when I walk up the stairs at work my legs feel like they may give out on me.  Currently, I am coughing, have no voice, am sneezing, have a bunch of drainage in my throat, and have burning in my chest when I cough or breath.  I had gone to my oncologist yesterday and saw his nurse practitioner, Donna.  I told her I felt run down and that I might be getting sick, and even with my white blood cell counts and neutrophils being at critical levels she didn't seem concerned.  She said I only have 3 more chemo treatments left and to just try to push through to the end.  Then, all day yesterday including at chemo in the afternoon I felt like crap.  I didn't sleep well last night and was up from about 2 am to 5:30 am.  Then, I tried to go to work all day, but I ended up leaving at lunch and taking the afternoon off.  I tried to rest some this afternoon but with the drainage and coughing, I was only able to sleep about 45 mins.  I called to Dr. Pruitt's office today and his nurse called me back.  I told her I was feeling worse than yesterday, but she said they think it is viral and that Dr. Pruitt doesn't like to use antibiotics on chemo patients if at all possible even if it was bacterial.  I told her that Brenley and Chris have been sick and are getting past it finally with antibiotics, but she said just to take over-the-counter meds for my symptoms.  If it gets worse in the next few days, I can call them back.  I'm kinda concerned because I feel like I have an upper respiratory infection and this usually turns into bronchitis when I'm not taking chemo.  I end up trying to fight this for weeks with a good immune system, so I'm not sure how long I'm going to have to deal with this with a terrible immune system.  I hope it doesn't turn into something bad like pneumonia.  I had been blessed throughout chemo because God has protected me several times when people around me have been sick by not letting me get what they had.  I thank God for this.  I'm praying that he will protect me and give me the strength to fight this and make it these last few weeks through the end of my chemo treatments.  Then, my body can rest a little.  I feel like a marathon runner that has made it to the last few miles of my run and I'm hitting the wall.  I know I can make it to the finish line and I want to sprint it out, but sometimes you just have to pace yourself to make it.  I've pushed hard throughout this journey in the past 6 months, and my body has had it.  It is tired and worn down.  I've tried to work full weeks the whole time, but I think I may have to rest a little more and go home early some days in the next few weeks.  I'm kinda hard-headed when it comes to these things.  I want to do my job well and I want to be a good mom and wife when I get home, but sometimes your body tells you to slow down.  Mine is screaming at me.  Please pray that I will get better so I can finish my chemo and work like I need to while feeling good.

Let's see.  I'm trying to think what I wrote about the last time I did a blog.  I had an ultrasound of my ovaries recently just to check on them and make sure they looked ok.  They appear normal size and the ultrasound tech didn't see any signs of growths or irregular places.  I then met with my gynecologist, Dr. Appel, to talk about my hysterectomy.  You know this is a touchy subject with me and makes me emotional often.  We are so blessed to have Brenley and thank God for her life, but we had been trying to get pregnant right when I found out I had the breast cancer.  Luckily, we didn't get pregnant because I would have been worried sick being pregnant and needing to do the mastectomies and chemo.  Now, unfortunately the chemo treatments usually send women into early menopause and make them sterile.  There is a small possibility that I could still ovulate after all this is over, but I have to be on Tamoxifen or Anastrozole for 5 yrs after chemo. This means I would have to wait until after this time to even try to get pregnant again.  The problem with that is that I would be 38 yrs old, and all the doctors said that they want me to have my ovaries out by age 35 yrs old.  Even if I didn't get them out by 35 and waited, I would probably have a hard time even getting pregnant.  My cancer has a hormone component to it, so having my ovaries in makes me nervous.  I have a higher risk of ovarian cancer too, so we decided that going through with the complete hysterectomy is the right choice.  The plan is possibly on July 10th, I will have my second breast reconstruction with Dr. Proffer combined with my complete laproscopic hysterectomy with Dr. Appel.  I decided to do this because then I only have one time of being under anesthesia (which makes me really sick), one recovery, and one time off from work.  I know this isn't going to be easy to combine these two surgeries as far as recovery goes, but then I will only have one surgery left to do this year instead of two.  Anyway, soon I will have my first appointment with the radiological oncologist, Dr. Stafford, to discuss my upcoming radiation treatments.  I want to get those started as soon as possible after my chemo to get them over with and let my skin heal before my reconstruction surgery.  I heard the radiation is nothing compared to the chemo.  I will do radiation for 5-6 weeks and for 5 days a week.  The initial visit with him will last about 1 1/2 hours because they will place small tatoos on my skin to mark the area of radiation and then set up everything on the machines for each treatment.  Then, each session will only be about 15 mins Monday thru Friday.  I didn't want to have to do radiation, but you gotta do what you gotta do.  I don't want this crap coming back.  I'm kicking it to the curb.  Well, I'm about ready to try to go to bed because I have a continuing education course all day tomorrow to go to here in Amarillo.  Oh what fun!  I pray that each of you are doing well and thanks again for taking interest in reading my blogs and keeping up with me.  That means a lot to me.  God bless and I love y'all.  Shay
Donna phipps
3/30/2012 17:17:10

Shayla, I am blessed to know many women of great strength, but what you've dealt with makes you one of the strongest with the greatest conviction I've ever seen. May God continue to watch over you and your family. dp

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TK
3/30/2012 21:38:40

Hey Girl,
You just keep a kicking and kicking until you get this stuff all the way to the curb!!! I am so sorry you are feeling terrible! Just makes me hurt for you!!! I will continue to pray for relief, strength and peace!!!! I am so moved by your words every single time I read your blog!!!!! You keep reaching deep and looking up! You can do this!!!!!!! Love ya dearly!!!!!!!!

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Belinda
3/31/2012 04:18:18

I Love ya Shay.... You are so strong, you amaze me in each of your blogs!!! You are such a good mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend, and role model to all of us who are lucky enough to know you, so hang in there girl :-) You will continue to be in my prayers, and I hope you feel better soon. Xoxo~Be

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Connie Kenmore
4/3/2012 15:32:35

Hey Sweet Girl. You are the bravest person I know right now!!! So glad you only have a few chemo treatments left and can start radiation soon and get all the yuck behind you. Kick it to the curb, girl. I'm prayaing God will give you the strength and endurance to get through these last few weeks before the next shoe drops! Peace, Healing and Comfort to you!!

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Cheryl Weatherly
4/12/2012 02:30:51

My computer has been on the blink so I have missed you. I do pray for you every day whether or not I know what is going on. I am sure you are so tired of all this so I just want to encourage you to keep on with your strong will. There is a reason God gave you a hard head! You will see brighter days. Love and prayers for strength and healing--one day at a time.

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