February 14, 2016

Another setback

I saw the dentist on February 2 and she pulled that annoyingly loose tooth by my ONJ spot. Thankfully, it no longer hurts but there is a big gap where the tooth was and it might never heal.

On February 5, I was curled up on the sofa (something I hardly ever do). When I got up, my ankles and knees hurt. The next day, they hurt even more. And so on, throughout the next week.

I went to chemo on Monday Feb.8 and reported this pain to the nurse. She spoke with Dr G's office, but with a substitute nurse. I'm not sure the message got through to Jacque, but when I sent her a message on Feb. 11, we spoke the same day. Dr G recommended taking ibuprofen to bring down the inflammation. The next day I went in for a special blood draw to confirm the widespread inflammation. By now the pain had been going on for a week. Dr G approved taking ibuprofen around the clock, more than the bottle says, and it seemed to help. But my other labs showed I was very anemic. That explained why I was so tired! I guess I'll hear on Monday if Dr G wants me to have another blood transfusion.

I did nothing this weekend, but in the wee hours of this morning I googled "what to eat when you're anemic." Many sites all recommend the same things: peanut butter, meat. poultry, eggs, legumes. Some places also list pomegranate juice and other super foods. I ate some peanut butter before going back to bed.

Today Rik went to the grocery store and picked up some goodies for us. We have a freshly roasted chicken for dinner with which I'll make some mashed potatoes. D & P brought over apple cake and stayed for an hour's visit. I had hard-boiled some eggs and ate one on toast for lunch. I hadn't had energy to talk with friends for a week, and it was great to have company.

All in all, this setback meant another week of doing almost nothing except lying in bed. I hope that by Thursday, when I see Dr Julie Gralow at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance for a second opinion on next steps, I'll have energy to get there and have an interesting talk.

And that's the news.


  1. My mother's counts were too low for her last chemo. They've been borderline since starting AC for bone mets progression in Oct. It was a combination of the bone mets, radiation for pain, and the chemo. This past week she got her counts up by 6 points! (Not sure if they're measured the same in the US as they are here in Canada). They cancelled her transfusion and let her have her chemo. She upped her intake of meat, beans, cereal (cereal is very high in iron!). Her favorite new go-to meal to help her anemia is a soup of kale, beans, and meat-- ground chicken or beef meatballs. Good luck!

  2. Dearest Jill,
    The good news is you posted something.
    The bad news is that you hurt.

    On Valentine's Day when I am thinking so intensely of my loved ones you are foremost in my heart. I am sorry not to see you as usual before I take off into the wild blue yonder for 3 months. Fortunately prayers and good wishes are not space-bound, so mine will be with you as always.
    And of course our mantrum...

  3. Dear Jill,
    We don't know each other but we are sisters. I am recovering from triple negative breast cancer. I agree with Shira - The good news is you're able to post something. He will remain in my prayers. I do understand the frustration with lying in bed doing what feels like nothing.though I'm finished with treatment, neuropathy keeps me in bed, or at least off my feet. The fact of the matter is you're doing something, you're fighting for your life. To be honest however when my friends and family would tell me that, I want to stick my tongue out at them! :-) Thank you for your blog and for sharing your journey.

  4. Anonymous1:38 PM

    Hi Jill, I'm with you on the anaemia - have the same here. I'm on Docetaxol fighting breast cancer in lungs, liver, lymphs and chest cavity but I'm still up there confounding my medics by doing so much better than expected. It's great to have such a good excuse to woof down spoonfuls of peanut butter, a real favourite of mine. And while my mouth is full of peanut butter, I can be heard in a muffled sort of way saying "it's medicinal, honest!"

  5. Hi Jill, I love your website. As a male, I realized during the past year, breast cancer affects everyone including myself. My mother got done with her chemotherapy and just had a mastectomy. Each day I hope it gets better. Please support---https://www.gofundme.com/9qpf6vvj Thanks.

  6. Nicole.lascurain@healthline.com9:26 AM

    Hi Jill,

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    Thank you again for providing a great resource to the Metastatic breast cancer community! I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.


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