Saudi Arabia: Cancer and its Side Effects

 

I wish to apologize to all American Bedu followers for my lapse away from the blog and not having daily postings.  Since there are many subscribers to this blog I strive to follow through on what I have promised that my blog will deliver.  I am back and daily postings will be resumed.  Unfortunately as a cancer patient and in active treatment it can not be predicted how one is going to react from resulting side effects of chemotherapy treatment.  The last several weeks had been an uphill challenge for me with battling multiple side effects at once and took its toll on my energy and ability to maintain the blog.

 

Ironically for many stage IV cancer patients it is not the cancer which brings them down but more often the reaction to the side effects of the treatment to fight the cancer.  In my case I have been plagued most by low blood cell counts (both white and red) which result in having no energy and feeling very lethargic in spite of injections which are to help boost the counts.  The other side effect of treatment which I’ve had to deal with often has been mouth and throat ulcers which can be painful and make it difficult to eat.  Thankfully on the positive side there are many other side effects which I’ve been fortunate to not have, especially severe nausea, so I can’t complain.

 

My doctor has decreased the amount of chemo that I’m receiving in the hopes that my body will better tolerate the treatments.  The low blood counts make me very susceptible to infections and viruses.  As a result I’ve been quarantined in that I cannot go to public places like malls, theatres or restaurants.  Fortunately there is a light at the end of this tunnel I’m currently traversing.  If my body will respond better to the reduction of chemo my treatments should be finished in two months.  I’m doing all I can to make that a reality.

 

I want to say I’ve been blessed by so many of my blogging friends with emails and support.  This touches my heart.  I am a realist and know that with the exception of a miracle from God, stage IV cancer patients are not cured.  However the treatment options which are available do help to prolong life.  Each day I wake up the first thing I do is thank God for the day.

 

A cancer patient has to roll with the punches.   Another side effect not uncommon to cancer patients is also depression.  I’ll be candid and admit that I have had my spells with depression, particularly when my counts are low.  That’s when I have to give myself pep talks.

 

So again in closing, I am sorry for the spell away from the blog and hope that any future incidents will be few and far between.

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11 Responses

  1. I’m sorry to hear you haven’t been feeling up to par. Are you able to have a nice high protein milkshake or something? It would taste good AND help give you a little boost. I’m always thinking about you and I’m pulling for you. 🙂

    Feel better soon.

  2. so good to hear from you! loving thoughts sent your way, Carol!

  3. I suspected you were having difficulties. You have been faithful thus far with your postings. I want you to know I am grateful for the work you have done. As for how you do my prayer is simply
    24 ‘May the Lord bless you
    and protect you.
    25 May the Lord smile on you
    and be gracious to you.
    26 May the Lord show you his favor
    and give you his peace.’
    Numbers 6: 24-26 from the New Living Translation

  4. Good to hear from you Carol!! I was worried the long chemo treatment had taken its toll on your body but I’m glad to hear that at least you don’t have the dreaded nausea and you’re up to writing posts again!
    Hugs

  5. Thank you everyone! I really feel like I’m ‘back.’

    Yes, Lynn, I am pushing protein with shakes, drinks, bars and of course simple foods high in protein!

  6. Thank you for your blog. It has been a wonderful source of information these last few years. Positive thoughts comng your way.

  7. I knew you were not feeling so well. It’s such a difficult illness in all ways. Hopefully you will be on the upswing again!

  8. Hi Carol, nothing to be sorry about…I’m sure I speak for all of the readers when I say I totally understand. Hope you feel better soon, and you are in my prayers.

  9. Carol, you are an inspiration to all of us. Your positive spirit and ability to always keep pushing forward is uplifting and encouraging. I’m praying for your health, your spirit and your comfort.

  10. Dear Carol, I was introduced to your blog when I inquired about cancer treatment in Saudi Arabia because I was considering a teaching position there, and you were kind enough to answer me. To get to the point, I have had breast cancer 4 times in the past 15 years the latest was 7 years ago. Do not think of cure Carol think of control. I say this because if you are told you are cancer free and it returns you almost give up, I know because this happened to me and some others I know. The trick is to stay alive until the next bigger and better treatment come along. Think of it as having diabetes. I get Herceptin every three weeks and have since my last reoccurrence 7 years ago and sometimes it gets me down but I consider it maintenance. My point, do not give up stage is only a classification and as long as the cancer does not take over a vital organ do what the doctors say, get a second opinion if you feel you have to, and last but not least never give up. PMA (Positive Mental Attitude.)

  11. I like PMA – Positive Mental Attitude! Attitude is a significant factor when battling cancer. I am so pleased so say I am feeling better now than I have had in quite a while.

    I am always willing to share my experiences of my battle (good and bad) in the hopes of helping and encouraging someone else, particularly in Saudi Arabia where there is not yet the same degree of openness to discuss and get the broader support such as in the US.

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