Welcome to Shelley's Update Page
Posted 7/4/2015
This is the second pretty good day in a row!  Not totally normal, but feeling pretty good,
despite the fatigue that creeps in as the day wears on.  Saw my primary on Thursday
and  went over lots of stuff.  I hope we are better prepared for the next round coming
up on Tuesday.  Have a great holiday weekend.

Love, Shelley
Posted 7/2/2015
So far today has been quite good, considering the last week!  I am conserving energy to make
it to the doc appt later this afternoon though, and taking it very slowly.  The fatigue that comes with
chemo is amazing.  Steve got the dogs out and fed and made me something to eat before going
to work for a few hours.  He will come back and go to the appt with me later.  
I still have very low energy and am not getting up to answer the phone, and I'm not up to chatting
anyway. Talking can be exhausting! I had to make some more appts this morning and that's all
I can handle for today!
You can always call or text Steve's cell # 716-481-1643 if you need to get in touch with us.
He is my "on call" person!

Love, Shelley

Posted 7/1/2015
I can't believe it's July already!  The last month and 1/2 was so chaotic with the diagnosis and
all the tests, Dr. visits, etc.  Today actually has been pretty good overall.
(That's kind of funny since I'm in pj type clothes still.) My back is throbbing from couch
and bed for the past week. Maybe I will be able to stretch it on the floor a little bit.
One of today's goals was met with great enthusiasm and that was a real, true SHOWER.
I had a mediport installed last Tues morning at Suburban as an outpatient and it had
to stay dry for at least 7-10 days. It is installed under the skin of your chest and secured
with dissolvable stitiches, so infection at this point would be a very bad thing!
So the day began on a high note!  Made me feel like new. Steve then went into work for
about 4 hours while I rested. I was tired, (from just a shower!) and fell asleep for about an hour this
afternoon.  My second goal is to get to my Dad's, but one accomplishment was enough for today.
Steve is there now. Still wrestling with some digestive problems, but bananas, toast,
chicken soup and eggs seem to be keeping me well fed.  The queasiness has subsided alot,
which helps immensely.  Eating small amounts spread out over the day is best.
Tomorrow I have an appt with my primary doc to follow up on the ER visit and all the side effect
problems. Steve will be going too.

Love, Shell

POSTED 6/30/15
Well, the first week did not go so well!  Now that we have a (slightly) better idea what to expect,
maybe we can do better next time.  We spent yesterday (Monday, 6/29) in the ER at Suburban as
things tumbled downward. I have had terrible stomach/digestion issues that led to passing out in
the middle of the night on Sunday. I hit my head on the bathroom floor and had to get it checked
out properly.  No bad injuries were found. It's hard to stay properly hydrated (with chemo you are
supposed to have 2-4 liters of water) when you can't stomach it. The IV fluids they gave me helped
alot.  Since receiving the chemo I have felt like one does with the stomach flu on the day after the
worst is over. Weak, queasy, headache, no appetite, bad digestive function, cramping/gut pain,
and just SICK.  I have realized that the phone, email, and trying to communicate to each individual
who checks in, will just not be possible. This is the first time I have opened my email in over
a week. Just can't do it.  So, this will be the place to come for updates and further info! I'm sorry
I can't get back to each of you, but even talking was too much for me. I have to step back and take
care of me so I can get through this and stay as heathy as possible.  Steve has been doing a great
job of taking care of me and has been trying to work from home as much as he can. There really
isn't anything that we need yet, although offers have been so appreciated. Thank you! And we
might take you up on them at some point in the future as we figure this out. So, the plan is we start
it all over again on Tues July 7, unless my blood counts are too low. Steve made me an egg on
toast, and I ate it, and it was delicious this morning!! So, one day at a time.....and I'm heading
back to the couch now.  
Love, Shelley

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7/6/15
I feel so much better today!  I guess the nurses at the oncology office were right when they said
"you will just start to feel normal again, but then we hit you with the treatment again!"
I am drinking tons of water and eating as well as I can to gear up for the next round.  
We have another batch of chicken soup in the freezer for the week. It was my saving grace
the past 2 weeks!  Thank you all for the well wishes, prayers and cards.  I am saving them all and
read them again when things are low.  It gives me a great feeling of support and love,
which I know surrounds me!!  Believe it or not, I am ready for the 2nd round and just want to get
through it.  I could not say that a few days ago.  Faith and strength will prevail!
So, tomorrow we start again at noon.  Today I plan to go see my Dad with Steve later
this afternoon.  One day at a time......

Love, Shelley
7/8/2015
The second round came and went.  I'm feeling weak and woozy this morning, but good
enough to take a shower and get dressed.  We go back at 12 noon for the Nulasta shot,
anyway.  Steve said if I'm up to it we can go get some lunch.  Not sure what I could eat,
but we'll see!  I'm working hard this time to keep the systems all in balance with
probiotics, food and the meds that have been suggested.  As was last time,
it seems like everything has come to a screeching halt so far.  I had many uncomfortable
hot flashes yesterday and my color was not too good. Slept most of the rest of the
day and evening. So the systems are in shock again.  The headache is back with a
vengence and bothersome aches in my eyes, and believe it or not, my hair follicles
It feels like when you brush your hair backwards or part it on the opposite side.
I don't see how my hair will last much longer.  Gobs have come out just since yesterday.
Totally expected, but still quite alarming!  It's not in patches, more like overall thinning
at this point.  I noticed a familiar face at the clinic yesterday and when she was not busy
I walked over and said hello.  It's Mary Don (Oatmeyer), who grew up nextdoor to the
Nilands (my cousins) on Chateau Terrace.  She is an RN and works there 3 or 4 days a week.
She came over once I was all hooked up and we chatted.  She says hello to all the Niland
cousins and also inquired about Aunt Lois.  It's nice to see familiar faces in the midst of all the
anonymity of the medical stuff.  Everyone at the clinic has been very kind, helpful and
compassionate, though. Time to go get the shot...and I feel a nap coming on for later this
afternoon!

Love, Shelley
7/11/2015
Getting through the tough part of the week, but not feeling so well.  Still, better than the
first time around!  For sure, I am lowest for several days following the treatments.
I give so much credit to those who endure chemo with jobs, families, school, everyday lives.
I cannot imagine even driving a car yet. I am so fuzzy, sometimes dizzy, and the brain fog is
increasing.  (Yes, I am taking meds for all of the side-effects....nothing is perfect!)
Just taking a shower today was all I could muster before I was back on the couch!
I guess our bodies are all so different and mine is not good at "sick".  
So, if I don't write for a day or two, it's not because I am out jogging or grocery shopping :),
it's because I don't feel well enough to stay upright on the ipad for that long.
Please understand, be patient, and I will keep in touch on here as best I can.
Steve would get the word out if something were very wrong, so don't panic if I miss a few days.
Thank you so much for the continued love and support!!
I am so grateful for each new day and for each of you!!

Love, Shelley
7/13/2015
This was one of the busiest weekends of the summer in Buffalo.  Bisons Baseball,
Taste of Buffalo, BBQ and Blues Jazz Fest at River Works, The Rolling Stones at the Ralph,
Toby Keith at Darien Lake, the list goes on and on.  I spent it on the couch with my front
row seat to the Yankees/Red Sox series of 3 games. Yanks took 2 :)
Yes, I'm a Yankees fan.  Anyway, I was so sick of the gobs of hair everywhere that
I finally asked Steve to shave my head.  (You know, take control of it instead of it controlling
you...) Stephen, Jill, and Sam were here for moral support. The Kevin household is getting
over a cold virus, so they did not attend, as I need to be very careful of getting sick on top
of sick.  I don't love the bald look, and it is like sleeping on pins and needles, but everyone
agreed that I have a fairly decent looking coconut - all things considered!  So now I will need to
experiment with hats and scarves.  And the cat is out of the bag....I am pretty gray!
Amy G., save my seat for when it comes back!!  (She's my hair stylist.)
Today we go for the genetic testing (just a blood test and consult) to see if I have any of
the breast cancer genes.  This will help me determine how much surgery I should have when
that time comes. (Just the one side, both sides??) I thought this morning that I was feeling
pretty good, but it's only noon and I'm already having some of the usual stomach problems.
Oh well, I'm getting used to it.  On we go...

Love, Shell