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Staring Down Cancer

Vacation offers short reprieve - and pampering

I have made it through my first week of Abraxane.  I had a horrible few days with bone pain.  I saw it listed as one of the side effects but it did not strike me as anything to worry about.  Well, that was a miscalculation.  

I felt like every joint in my body was being squeezed by a vice.  It was amazing.  It was hard for me to imagine there would be a "pain" I have never felt before.  I'm 58, I've been through every childhood disease, childbirth, biopsies, radiation, C-section, but this was truly unique.  I was up all night and eight Advils had no effect.  It's actually not gone, but now feels like aching.  I can't imagine no breaks from this drug.

I did get a small reprieve for which I am quite grateful.  I was not allowed to travel to my daughter's 21st birthday because of my low white blood cell count, but five days later, the count was up, and I got the thumbs up for my annual trip with my girlfriends.  We all met when our girls were in preschool together and have never missed a monthly lunch or dinner together since.  I love these women and am so blessed to have them in my life. Over the next six months, all of our daughters will be turning 21.  We share so many incredible memories.

We are staying in a 3-bedroom timeshare on the ocean, and my girls are pampering the heck out of me.  They insisted I take the master bedroom so I can sleep in longer.  They are making all my meals.  I spend every morning alone on the beach meditating and doing yoga while they do powerhouse workouts in the gym.  Then, we meet at the pool, walk on the beach, go to dinner and watch a movie.  Tonight is Iron Lady with Meryl Streep.  My Oscar vote goes to her.

I keep trying to push forward keeping my life as normal as I can.  I had my hair colored the other day knowing that it would be gone in three weeks.  It would have been abnormal to have white roots for 3 weeks.  Yuck!  Anyhow, I haven't decided if I will use my own hair for a wig, but if I do, that wig should be root-free, don't you think?  

I have also developed this crazy laryngitis which I need to look up on the Internet.  It may be one of the side effects.  Life is a lot more restful when you can't talk—but frustrating as well. I'm trying not to let it get to me.  My next dose of Abraxane will be the week after you read this.  I will keep you posted.

Noreen Fraser is living with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. She is the Founder and CEO of the Noreen Fraser Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to funding groundbreaking women's cancer research. To stay in touch with Noreen, please 'LIKE' The Noreen Fraser Foundation on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.  Noreen can be contacted via email at noreen@noreenfraserfoundation.org.