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Oncologist Update

Very tired this morning; we had a minor mishap that woke me at 4:40 after a restless night, so please excuse all the spelling mistakes (I'm not kidding anyone; the grammar mistakes would probably be there anyway - no excuse).

So on Wednesday I want to see Dr. F, my oncologist. I hadn't been to his office in over two weeks - the longest stretch since I started to go in November and for as natural as going there had become, it seemed unnatural already, to be back. Had to give more blood, but no simple finger prick for me this time - they wanted three tubes. So, yes, I have a honking bruise on my arm.

I went into the office with my list of questions (which actually wasn't as long as I expected) and we went through them all.

1) First the biggie question. Am I good to go? Do we need to run tests to verify is fine? What's the follow-up?

Basically, three months after radiation, I'll need to get another ultrasound of the right breast, and b/c the timing works out to be almost a year, they'll do the left breast at that time too. After that, I see him every three months, have my right breast mammogrammed every six months, and my left once a year. They'll also do another Muga scan of my heart, three - four months after radiation, and he's checking with the other docs on my team (Dr. M and Dr. C) to see if they agree with him about waiting for the MRI of my left breast until after radiation (remember, that blip they saw), or whether I should have the MRI done now. In general though, no more tests and life goes to the new normal. He did say though no more stoic Kim. If I get an unusual symptom or something like a back pain that persists for more than a day or two, not to chalk it up to a strenuous workout but to call them. So I guess I must get over my fear of appearing to be a hypochondriac; they really do want to know about each ache and pain.

2) Can I eat sushi?

Some of you maybe saw the answer to this one - yes!! And we wasted no time, going out for sushi Wednesday night. Chris, Becky, Mom and I enjoyed a huge boat (six different types of excellent rolls). Oh, and the Japanese restaurant still had my secret stash of Sake in the back (it's a bring your own), after my four month absence, so we kicked that bottle.

3) Can I go to the dentist?

Yes! Which is good because I've been living with a broken tooth since the first round of chemo, so now I can get that fixed and a good cleaning too.

4) Will my eyelashes grow back?

Yes. Glad about this - didn't realize how ridiculous that looks (and my thinning eye brows) until I got dressed last night in my fancy duds to take Sammi's bat mitzvah pictures.

5) Are there any exercise restrictions?

No heavy weight lifting with my left arm. Other than that, I'm good to go. I told him I was already back at the gym and had signed up to do the Avon Walk for the Cure in October and he was genuinely excited for me and happy that I chose a goal to help me get back into shape.

6) He asked me about the fatigue and I told him I peter out every afternoon (which isn't really too new for me, it's just harsher). I asked him if I should be fighting through it to which he replied, "If I said, 'no' would you listen?" I said maybe. And basically he said, when I'm tired I should rest, and that this may get worse during radiation and last for months. He also said, I shouldn't get frustrated or depressed and have lead to long bouts of laying about. So basically, learn the difference between my body needing rest, and the fatigue that comes from depression. I think I have that covered.

Then he examined me and commented on my converse (I was wearing my multi-colored high-tops as opposed to my purple ones from our last visit). He wanted to know if I had a collection. To which I replied, I have three pairs. And he says, "Kim, three pairs is not a collection." So I tell him I'm not really a "shoe person." And he gets another big grin and says, "I don't think most women consider Chuck Taylor All-Stars shoes." Ah, he finally gets me!

So that's it - the last thing we talked about is my next visit - not for eight weeks! At that time, we'll schedule my port removal. He doesn't want to start with that during my radiation treatment, and that's fine with me.

So that's it. Radiation starts Monday afternoon and I'll write more about that another time. But I do already have my tatoos (tiny little dots they give you so they know how to align the machines). I offered my Tech, Frank, $20 if he'd make them butterflies, but he wouldn't do it. Oh well.

Oh, and on the hair front, I've got a light dusting, like early snow, which is either white or blond, too early to tell.

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Other Thinks (17)

All of this sounds very positive and optimistic and I'm very pleased for you, Kim.

Just be patient with your recovery and know that you may need to find "a new normal" for yourself, which may be somewhat different (or even quite different) from pre-cancer Kim.

As my friend Gaelen says ... strong thoughts!

Easy goes it. Piano Piano, Kim. Stai tranquilla. Everything will be fine. And if you are one of the people that fatigues during radiation, then go with it and rest, rest, rest. This is all good, and your body will continue to let you know what it needs, as much as you might want the opposite. Baci.

Barb Cabot:

Kim it's good to read about the Dr's update. He really is a cool sounding guy and I love the shoe collection comments and that he gets you! That really made me smile. There are so many positives from this visit. I continue to marvel at your honesty and the way you face this challenge. You are such a wonderful role model for all of us. Have a great weekend. PS The sushi okay is such a big "YES".

Thanks for the update.
Since my grammer is poor and I can't spell, it looked good to me.
Should we start a ST pool now, (before more evidence comes in) about the hair color?

Kim [TypeKey Profile Page]:

Yeah, if you want to start a pool, now's the time. But you know, not many choices on color. I think a different pool you might consider, "When will Kim get her first haircut?" That way tons of possibilities - but don't let me know the picks. Wouldn't want it to influence my decision.

Kim [TypeKey Profile Page]:

Hey - you know - seriously - I think you should do that. Five dollars an entry maybe - 1/2 the money goes towards a cancer charity of some sort, and the winner gets the other half!


Kim, thanks so much for the update. This all sounds so positive! I know what you mean about trying to be stoic but I don't think there is anything ridiculous about checking out unusual aches and pains - especially after all that you have been through.

Your doctor really sounds fabulous.


I'm in for the pool! But other than that, I want to echo Diana, and just say, listen to your body. Radiation does bring fatigue and you need to conserve all that energy for all those fab trips ahead. Thinking of you this weekend - have a great time!

It does sound positive and I'm glad you've got such a cool doctor. Hang in there!

I hope your minor morning mishap not a mishap or a problem anymore. Your doctor sounds wonderful. I am so glad you have a doctor you feel comfortable with who is so supportive and also is able to throw in a bit of humor. I hope the radiation therapy goes well. Didn't realize or remember that you were not able to eat sushi. You will have plenty of sushi choices here to choose from. The pool sounds like a great idea. I think all the money should go to a cancer charity.

Sounds like a very good update! I am so happy for you that chemo is over. Good luck with the next steps and more importantly - all the best for the Bat Mitzva today!!


Kim, it is great to hear your update. It sounds very positive to me. I am cheering you from here on...( well, always really)and on to the Breast Cancer Walk. Way to go!!!

Kim-Thanks for keeping us updated. I'm glad that you have such a caring doctor. And also that you can go back to enjoying some of those things you love, like eating sushi!

Good report! Thanks for the update. Big (soft) hugs. :)

Take it easy, girl!
If your body says nap, then nap, dammit!
Do what you need to do and build up your body's reserves again.
Chemo sucks the energy right out of ya, as you well know, so have that afternoon nap until you don't need to anymore! That'll happen sooner than you think.
A trip to Paris ought to take care of that low energy level!!!

I think you should take the good doctor's advice... and get new pink high tops for the Walk!!

Rest, radiate, and re-energize!

Anita Fiessi:

Hi Kim,

I want to wish you all the best with your Avon Walk, you are truly incredible!!

All my love,


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 27, 2009 5:14 AM.

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