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If there is anything I can do, just let me know

If there is anything I can do, just let me know

Posted by cancertakesflight on Jul 23, 2018 10:30 pm

We've all heard the statement, "If there is anything I can do, just let me know." The person who actually needs help may not get it and the person making the offer is frustrated without any answer. This is something that we can fix by being prepared for the statement (question). 

Here is a link to my most recent blog post. Jennie Dale of Dense Breasts Canada suggested the topic and it seems to be a topic that people can identify with. 




Re: If there is anything I can do, just let me know

Posted by Essjay on Aug 31, 2018 10:37 pm

Since I told people of my IDC diagnosis, I've heard this so many times.

ive actually started thinking of practical things we need help with. With a garden to close down before winter, and so much produce to process, this isn't too hard at the moment, especially with no kitchen (a kitchen Reno seemed a good idea as a distraction project when I was going for tests, but I currently have no counters or sink).
Today I got people coming up with books, podcasts, films and tv shows to line up when I'm recovering from my lumpectomy in a few weeks and whatever follows.
ive put out a call for freezer space to take the produce I can't get processed before my surgery.
ive got friends lined up to take my husband out hiking, winter camping, ice fishing etc.
its hard to actually ask for help, but small things do help!

Re: If there is anything I can do, just let me know

Posted by cancertakesflight on Feb 17, 2019 7:52 am

Essjay‍ I'm sorry I didn't see your response. You sound like you are very organized. I especially like that you lined up activities for your husband. At a time when there will be a lot of focus on you, it's great that you are taking the time to focus on your husband. 

So how did everything go? How are you and your family doing now? 

You sound like an amazing person with your gardening and your great attitude both towards yourself and the people around you. So I don't miss your reply, can you tag me cancertakesflight‍  (use the @ sign with cancertakesflight after it). I've seen you other places on the site, so you probably know how to do this. :-)

Cancertakesflight (Debbie)

Re: If there is anything I can do, just let me know

Posted by Essjay on Feb 17, 2019 10:06 am

hi cancertakesflight‍  good to hear from you!

the kitchen Reno is not quite finished but I do have a fully functioning kitchen, and best of all a dishwasher. Makes a difference going through chemo. We got most of the garden closed down, and we have been enjoying the produce. Thankfully my appetite has been good, and I have felt up to cooking too - we eat very little processed food. I definitely found it helped to be organized and hav8ng plans helped me deal with the anxiety.

im doing ok so far. My lumpectomy went well and I went back to work after 10 days and was back in the gym straight away (gently). I’ve had complications - web auxiliary syndrome, but I’m getting massage for that.

im halfway through chemo - 4 doses of AC done, and I escaped with few side effects. Fatigue has been the worst. I’ve had one dose of Paclitaxel and that has hit me hard. Numb fingers, joint pain, fatigue much worse, keep falling asleep! I’ve sent hubby away for the long weekend for some respite (he’s gone camping in the boreal with friends and the dog). I have friends on call if I need them, but I quite like having the time to myself. I went grocery shopping yesterday and couldn’t get my credit card out of my wallet - the cashier helped me, but for the first time I felt pitying looks. I’m going to have to work out a system that gets round my numb fingers for the next few weeks.

Not up to much today - some tv, some reading, podcasts and sleeping I think. Crafty things are out with these fingers 😟, but I’m hoping to feel up to some exercise tomorrow - best painkiller I know for joint pain!

Enjoy your weekend and thanks for posting. 


Re: If there is anything I can do, just let me know

Posted by cancertakesflight on Apr 14, 2019 8:11 am

Essjay‍ I'm sorry that I have not checked in for a while. My only excuse is that life got in the way. 

So tell me, how is your web axillary syndrome? Have you found any relief? I hope so. 

I envy your commitment to exercise to help relieve some of the pain. I'm finally going to start some classes that are specific to breast cancer survivors. I'm hoping that once I'm in motion I will continue to stay in motion. Physics has to be good for something. :-)

Like you, Taxol was what got me. AC was much easier. After I had my first treatment I had full-body contractions. I made a comment about being able to deliver a baby without as many contractions. Thankfully, it only lasted a day or two after each treatment. 

Please keep me posted about how you are doing and whether the kitchen renovations are done. I would hope so, but I've had renovations that have gone on for years and they still aren't done. I've been told to hire someone, but my husband is a perfectionist and I know that nothing would be good enough so everything would be taken down again. He even redid the patio door that we had installed. :-)

Each step forward is another step towards the end of active treatments. 

Hang in there.

cancertakesflight (Debbie)

Re: If there is anything I can do, just let me know

Posted by Essjay on Apr 14, 2019 11:34 am

Hey cancertakesflight‍ Debbie!

im pleased to say the web auxiliary syndrome is much improved. The big cord that ran down my arm through my armpit and down my chest has been broken down through massage by a therapist through the Breast Health Centre here in Winnipeg. I had a lot of scar tissue and she has reduced this too. She taught me how to do self-massage which I continue, and I can tell the scarring around my surgery area is much improved. They took a good chunk out of my tiny breast 15cm x 8x 5, so I’m pretty misshapen (losing the scar tissue has worsened this a bit). I’m expecting some increased scarring through the radiation which gets started in a few weeks, so who knows what shape I’ll end up...

i did buy buy new bras this week - first since surgery. And I totally recommend the service and products at Victoria’s Secret - I have uplift and padding to hide the misshapen one and I’m pleased to have some shape back!

The kitchen Reno is slow... while going through chemo I got trades in to do our tiled backsplash, and replace the lights. And my hubby has actually looked at the hanging racks we bought six months ago and investigated the walls for fixing. I still have painting to do (have been waiting for warmer temps to have doors and windows open) - woodwork and ceiling, and we still have baseboards to do (my hubbys excuse has been that he didn’t want to transport wood through winter). I love it, and every visitor has been impressed and envious! We are now discussing the bathroom renovation...Having had trades in, my hubby has been fairly impressed by their efficiency and the job they do. He knows he couldn’t do better. He just has to get through the barrier of paying for it!

Paclitaxel was hard for me - joint pain and neuropathy and fatigue. I managed dog walking and yoga as far as exercises were concerned.  My feet are pretty bad, I find walking painful. I have a lot of balance work - working one arm or one leg - in my exercise routine which I am sure will help with proprioreception.

Thanks for checking in!

Essjay (Selena)