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Beach Therapy and Living Life After Cancer...so far!

Quilter_1's picture
Quilter_1
Posts: 48
Joined: Mar 2019

It’s been 6 months since my last chemo and radiation treatments.  I felt so weak and awful for about 10 weeks after, tired, achy and wrung out.  I was ,also, just an emotional mess.  I had terrible neuropathy in my feet and slight neuropathy in my fingertips.  I often thought that I may have beaten cancer, but, at a great cost to my quality of life.  We had a family wedding at the end of May, in Lexington, KY, about a 5 hour drive from home.  It was filled with family and fun and some tours of the area.  While I enjoyed myself, it was difficult to walk, and I felt like I had aged 10 years or more.  I actually was thinking that my traveling days were over.  After we returned home I began walking and riding my bicycle just a bit each day.  It seemed to help.  I had my first 3 month checkup the middle of June, my bloodwork and ct scan were both great.  My dh, md, and myself were all very happy.  Dr. said to try acupuncture with a local chiropractor for my neuropathy, so I began in July. At first we did 3 times a week for 3 weeks, then 2 times a week for 3 week then 1 time a week for 3 weeks.  It improved my neuropathy remarkably, it’s gone in my hands and about 60% improved in my feet.  I can now wear all of my cute summer sandals and walk pretty comfortably all day.  I love to run around my house barefoot, that is still uncomfortable, but, for the most part my feet no longer stop me from doing what I want to do.  I’m going to continue with the acupuncture treatments  once a month for a while, I’m still optimistic about improving even more. 

Now, beach therapy time.  We have been many places, but, never to Destin, FL, and I love the beach and warm water.  We just returned home today after spending 5 perfect beach days on the most beautiful white sand beach I have ever seen.  We relaxed in beach chairs, bobbEd in the water, drand fruity drinks and ate gulf seafood.  It was the best therapy any doctor could have ordered.  Life is good, again.

On the way home from the airport, we stopped by the lab for bloodwork, I see the dr. Tuesday.  As good as I feel, I can’t imagine getting bad news.  But, if I do I will just put on my armour and fight again.  (With a lot of whining.  Wish me luck.)

Linda 

 

CheeseQueen57's picture
CheeseQueen57
Posts: 814
Joined: Feb 2016

You‘re doing surviving well!  

Forherself's picture
Forherself
Posts: 226
Joined: Jan 2019

What a nice story to read.  Thanks for sharing it.  You earned your lovely holiday!   I hope your neuropathy continues to imrpove.  From your name quilter I bet you do a bit of sewing. I do too, and would not like neuropathy in my hands, but as you said we can all imagine this.   Good luck

Sue

Quilter_1's picture
Quilter_1
Posts: 48
Joined: Mar 2019

Thanks ladies, I’m trying to live my best life.  You’re right, Sue, I have been sewing since age 16.  I also quilt, self taught.  I wish we could post pictures, I have made some pretty quilts.  Cheers to all of us trying to live our best lives.

Linda

Jairoldi's picture
Jairoldi
Posts: 214
Joined: May 2017

I loved reading your encouraging post.

ConnieSW's picture
ConnieSW
Posts: 1456
Joined: Jun 2012

BTW, you can post pictures in the my space section. I think it's under expressions-images. I have no idea how but I remember someone putting several up years ago. 

Just remembered. It was Double Whammy. I went to her my space but apparently all her pictures disappeared when we lost so much early this year. You can see where they were. 

Northwoodsgirl
Posts: 536
Joined: Oct 2009

Linda, It sounds like your recovery is going better with time. So glad your time at the Destin Florida beach was so wonderful for you and your husband. The neuropathic pain is hard to adjust to but it sounds like the acupuncture, riding your bike and time is helping with regeneration of some of the nerves damaged by the chemo. Life and good health is a gift as we know so well! 

Lori

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1358
Joined: Oct 2015

I'm with you!! We decided to sell our business of 30 years and retire after my ordeal with chemo. I will be NED for four years as of September 30th and living the life of leisure here in Florida. We're less than two miles from the beach, have tons of activities provided at our 55+ community and I've got something going on every weekday afternoon - cards, luncheons, knitting, dominoes, etc. We're just living the good life and I hope you do for many, many years!

Love,

Eldri

Quilter_1's picture
Quilter_1
Posts: 48
Joined: Mar 2019

My dear Eldri,  I hope that you live the beach life for a long, long time.  Cheers to all of us living the good life.

Linda

Feelingalone74
Posts: 236
Joined: Jun 2019

Quilter1 thanks so much for sharing. I'm sorry that you had to deal with so much neuropathy but glad to hear that you're back in your cute little sandals and most of all that you've been living the good life, enjoyed some beautiful beach time and enjoying yourself since being NED!!! 

I am just in the beginning stages of treatment and I keep asking will my life ever be normal again. Your story gives me hope and inspiration !!!

 Wishing u all the best on Tuesday at your doctor visit!

 

Quilter_1's picture
Quilter_1
Posts: 48
Joined: Mar 2019

I was thinking, earlier this summer, that my life would never be normal again.  It just snuck up on me a little at a time, and before I knew it, normal was back.  You will get your normal back, too, it just takes a while.  Don’t give up.

Linda

Feelingalone74
Posts: 236
Joined: Jun 2019

This is so wonderful to hear!

zsazsa1
Posts: 344
Joined: Oct 2018

Bobbi, hang in there!  I promise you, it gets better.  I am about 6 months out from last chemo, and about 4 months out from finishing whole pelvic IMRT radiation, and I feel FANTASTIC!  It's at the point where if I have sudden exhaustion, I think, "Why am I tired?  Oh, I had chemo and radiation not that long ago."  But I often now forget I ever had it, and I'm only 4 months out from finishing (most) of the treatment.  Sitll on Herceptin, but no side effects.  I'm walking the dog, sailing, even run a tiny bit with the dog, walked around a new city all day for a couple of days in a row, planning travel.

And I am ashamed to admit that I spent the entire first week after every infusion lying on the couch, binge watching shows to get through.  I don't know how people keep working through chemo and radiation.  I was a total wreck, and an absolute sloth.  And now I feel wonderful!

I think that icing my hands and feet diligently did help me - I have very little neuropathy.  So keep icing during the Taxol infusion.

Please let us know how that the platelets have come up this week.

Zsazsa

suzycruise76's picture
suzycruise76
Posts: 98
Joined: Mar 2019

there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of! On the opposite-I am a strong believer that rest is very helpful in healing process,and after going through what all of us had,we have a right and need to rest and enjoy some quiet,peaceful time before we get back to normal life.

And I aplaud everyone who is able to do what they love to do;and having a great time at a beach is one of most healing moments.

Suzy

Feelingalone74
Posts: 236
Joined: Jun 2019

So good to hear zsazsa1 that u feel fantastic and wonderful!!!

RoseGirl's picture
RoseGirl
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2019

I am brand new to this site.  Diagnosed with Endometrial cancer in August, have undergone the hysterectomy, and am now waiting to being chemo in October.  So, I am not even sure what questions to ask about the chemo drugs, etc. except what previous patients have told me.  And I know all situations are different.  What do you mean by "icing"?  Were your hands and feet hot?  Sorry if this sounds stupid, but maybe you can explain further.  Thank you.

Forherself's picture
Forherself
Posts: 226
Joined: Jan 2019

And at the same time wish you didn't have to be here.   If you create a new post you will receive lots of advice about chemo.  Many women have walked before you and are so helpful. 

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1554
Joined: Jun 2015

Hey Rose Girl. Glad you joined us and so sorry you needed to. There are no stupid questions here! Some of the ladies used ice packs on their hands and feet during chemo to help prevent or minimize neuropathy. Neuropathy is nerve damage typically experienced in our fingers and toes with chemo. I personally did not ice and do have some damage in my toes. Nothing bad, but it is there 4 years later. There is a thread titled 'Ladies Going through chemo' that I think you will find very informative. I hope you have time to read through it.

Also, I'm sure other ladies will be along shortly to address your specific icing question.

Please come back and let us know how you are doing.

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

Forherself's picture
Forherself
Posts: 226
Joined: Jan 2019

the words Uterine Cancer there is a place to create a new top.

Quilter_1's picture
Quilter_1
Posts: 48
Joined: Mar 2019

If you know the names of your chemo drugs, you can look them up on the internet.  Your nurse coordonator will probably give you a booklet and a “ Chemo 101” course before treatment begin.  No one told me about icing my hands and feet and I have some neuropathy , maybe if I had done that I wouldn’t have neuropathy.  Now, I will never know.  Oh well, I try to live my best life even with annoying feet.  I hope someone here chimes in with information for you.  Read these threads, they are full of information and support.  You can always use Google, too. Best of luck to you.

Armywife's picture
Armywife
Posts: 317
Joined: Feb 2018

I am the poster child for icing!  I learned here on this board to use ice packs on my hands and feet during chemo infusion.  The theory is that the ice narrows the blood vessels in your extremities and prevents the chemo from causing permanent nerve damage, which causes pain and numbness in your hands and feet.  I didn't know about it during my first infusion and had an allergic reaction to the taxol, which caused acute onset neuropathy on my legs up to my knees and hands up to my elbows, as well as two heart arrhythmias.  I landed in the hospital, and my gyn/onc removed the taxol from my next infusion.  She said that regular neuropathy is gradual onset, and that the acute kind often dissipated quickly.  Mercifully, mine did.  I bought icepacks at Target and wrapped my hands and feet in kitchen towels and rubber bands to hold the icepacks on.  I am almost two years out from treatment and very blessed to report that I have no neuropathy at all.  I will be forever grateful to the ladies here for all the tips and knowledge and support.  Please don't think I'm trying to scare you about the taxol - that reaction doesn't happen often, and you will be closely monitored.  It happened to me two days after infusion and I got good care.  My doctor did not mention icing, nor did my chemo nurse.  I did it on my own and I am so glad.  

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1554
Joined: Jun 2015

Great post Linda! So glad to hear things are better for you. I will hit 4 years post treatment in Jan. 2020. I have to say, exercise was critical for me to make progress in getting back to normal. It was slow going in the beginning.  While I will never be back to the before cancer normal, I feel my health and life are very close to being there. Especially considering I'm 4 years older too. :-)

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

Quilter_1's picture
Quilter_1
Posts: 48
Joined: Mar 2019

Thank you, Cindi, love and hugs back to you.

Linda

Armywife's picture
Armywife
Posts: 317
Joined: Feb 2018

You're awesome!  So happy to see that you're feeling perky!  And Eldri, all those activities!  All of you who have come through the fire, I'm so proud!  I am approaching my 2-year anniversary from the end of treatment, and though I don't know what that scan will bring next month, I'm thankful that my hair has come back, some of my eyebrows and most of my eyelashes have come back, and some of my strength and energy are back.  I'm still weak, and despite physical therapy after I broke my ankle last year, I can't run or jump or walk far or fast.  I spend too much time on the sofa on the laptop, and don't have the attention span to be productive at crafts or hobbies.  I'm praying God will make me useful in some way.  Meanwhile, cheering you all on!  Makes me want a beach vacation!  (not really because I look absolutely horrible in a swimsuit.)

Feelingalone74
Posts: 236
Joined: Jun 2019

So good to hear your 2 years out Armywife and wishing u the best for your appointment at the end of the month!

janaes
Posts: 775
Joined: May 2016

Quiter1, Its great your making such good progress. It does take time to get back. Im not going to be back were i was before surgery. I remember having back problems during my last part of chemo. I definstly felt at least 10 years older. It took time for me to recover physically and emotionally I would say my back at least feels as good as it did before. I have some neropathy. I bearly notice it in my fingers but feel it in my toes more. It got to the ball of one of my feet befire the meds were changed. It doesnt hurt it just bugs me at times. I will be 4 years out this november.

Im glad your seeing progress.

Feelingalone74
Posts: 236
Joined: Jun 2019

So wonderful to hear your 4 years out Jane!!!

 

Feelingalone74
Posts: 236
Joined: Jun 2019

You ladies have given me so much hope that your all feeling great since treatment ended!!!

Can't wait until mine is over and my life starts to feel normal! My husband promises to take me to the ocean....winter or not I'm going! LOL

suzycruise76's picture
suzycruise76
Posts: 98
Joined: Mar 2019

hold him to his promise Wink! I know that feeling to be on a beach,and the whole ocean is in front of you...heavenly!

Feelingalone74
Posts: 236
Joined: Jun 2019

I intend too! Even if it is winter! It sure is heavenly.  So peaceful!

Quilter_1's picture
Quilter_1
Posts: 48
Joined: Mar 2019

Today was my second 3 month follow up appointment, Doc said I was doing great, better than most at this time frame after treatment.  Next visit is December and will include a scan.  I truly feel great. 

Jairoldi's picture
Jairoldi
Posts: 214
Joined: May 2017

That's great. Glad to hear your check up went well.

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1358
Joined: Oct 2015

I'm so glad to hear this! Those appointments can sure be nerve-racking. I remember going through that every three months. Please keep us updated and let us know how that December appointment and scan goes.

Love,

Eldri 

Feelingalone74
Posts: 236
Joined: Jun 2019

Yay!!! Such great news!!! :-)

Mercorby
Posts: 12
Joined: Jan 2017

It's very uplifting to hear about your recovery.  Keep up the positive attitude.

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