280 pills later…

Since my last post, a lot has happened.

 

I’ve been popping pills.

Investigational

I’ve swallowed 280 pills, most of which are experimental; umm I guess “investigational” is the PC term.  I’ve taken 10 pills in the morning and 10 pills at night every day for 14 days.  Now I have one week off to let my body recover.  It’s hard to tell what side effects are from the drugs and what symptoms are from having metastatic breast cancer because…

 

I’ve been drained…literally.

drained

We’ve known for awhile that there is fluid in my lungs, especially in my right lung.  This is common for someone with metastatic cancer.  The fluid takes up space in the lung, making it impossible to fully inhale and causing me to be short of breath.  After becoming short of breath going up one flight of stairs, I decided to call my oncologist and ask for my lung to be drained.  Above is the 1050 cc’s (over a liter) that they drained before I started having coughing spasms.  They had to stop at that point, but estimated there was another 400 cc’s still in my lung.  Since my lung was drained on Friday, I’ve continued to have these coughing spasms leaving me with a head ache and feeling like I’ve been kicked in the ribs from coughing so hard.  I’m worn out from exerting so much energy.  Yesterday at my doctor’s appointment, she prescribed something to help—pills.  So now even though I’m off the clinical trial pills, I have to take pills to keep me from having coughing spasms as my lung “learns” how to fully re-inflate.

 

I’ve celebrated!

cake

My favorite nephew turned 2 this weekend!  It was such a joy to celebrate his birthday and have time with the entire family!

 

I’ve mourned.

Stage IV

When I meet someone that is also a young mom with Stage IV cancer, there is an instant bond.  But, with that bond comes a double edge sword as I’ve watched and mourned numerous friends stolen by this vile disease.  In the past 10 days, I’ve lost two that are close to me.  Genevieve (front, pink) died unexpectedly due to complications from treatment.  Lorri (front, middle) died early this morning after cancer ravaged her body.  Both were my age, have young children, and both were diagnosed AFTER me.  The picture above is our gang out to dinner after a metastatic breast cancer conference in October.  It is heartbreaking each time a friend dies as I mourn the loss of the friend and am reminded of my own mortality.

 

For now, I am taking things day by day.  I appreciate all the prayers, support, love, and friendship as I continue on this journey.  I am so thankful for all who gave to my fundraiser.  Yesterday when I went to pick up the prescription for the coughing pills, it was over $100.  I’m so thankful that I didn’t have to think twice about whether or not I could afford it.  I go back to Indy a week from tomorrow to start another round of chemo.  I’ll take another 280 pills (14 days) then will have a scan in mid-August.

Xoxo

Jen

Jen

Living legendary as a mom with Stage IV breast cancer. Author of Learning to Live Legendary and What You Might Not Know: My Life as a Stage IV Cancer Patient.