Warning: This post is nothing but a long, aching, grumpy, ranting complaint.

I've been slogging through this treatment mire for ten and a half months, and I am starting to feel really tired. My life is starting to feel like an endurance contest between me and the oncogene. I can only hope the cancer feels tireder than I do and gives up and ships out - before I give out.

I have photos of my super-complicated "breath holding" daily radiation treatments on my camera, and will do my best to post them here over the weekend. They're really shocking. Today was treatment #4, and so far I am still surviving. (One week down, five more to go.)

In a nutshell, radiation is about as fun as a visit to the dentist, without the plastic prize at the end. It involves 40 minutes of driving, followed by 40 minutes of being gowned, immobilized, gagged, fussed over, written on, irradiated, and basically made miserable. Then 40 minutes of driving back again. All in the middle of my day. Every. Single. Day.

Which probably would have been more than enough to trash my week all by itself. But I also had a chemo treatment (!!!) on Wednesday that blasted to smithereens whatever calm and sanity the radiation had left me. That involved leaving the house at 7:00 AM to get irradiated early, then fighting traffic all the way down to Boston to have TDMI poured into my chest, then finally crawling home again through more traffic well after 7:00 PM.

(Thank God it wasn't Taxotere again. It was TDM1, which is not a walk in the park, but at least it's not the horrendous hell-ride through Hades that Taxotere is.)

To complete my rant about this awful week, just two days out from chemo, today I woke up aching, nauseated, exhausted, and sick, barely able to move, much less get out of bed -- and desperately wanting to sleep. But instead, I had to get up, shower, put on makeup and nice clothes, and go in for more radiation, and THEN attend-an obligatory, eight-hour, all-day family event. Meanwhile my regular support systems have all been re-routed to other tasks, so I'm out on this leaky raft alone.

Apologies to anyone to whom I owed deliverables this week. I can usually juggle nimbly, regardless of my circumstances, but this week a few balls leaped out of my hands. (That's the Spanish idiom for "dropped.")

Blessings to all and to all a good night.

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16 Comments
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  • Johnny Goyen
    5 years, 3 months ago - Reply - Link

    Good Morning Katherine. I missed your blog entry earlt this AM. IMy days & nights are upside down. Went to sleep listening to your replay at around 6AM & got up to hear you this Saturday Morning. I'm sorry for your rough week. You DO sound GREAT. Hang in there. You've got many out here who are right there with you. Your Sleepy Friend, Johnny

  • sandy o.
    5 years, 3 months ago - Reply - Link

    Dr. Stan Burzynski. Perhaps, a Plan B.

  • Andrew
    5 years, 3 months ago - Reply - Link

    It is hard to avoid speaking in cliches of support. But one thing is true enough. The passing of each day means not one day more of this ordeal but one day less.

  • Teresa McElhinny
    5 years, 3 months ago - Reply - Link

    Our continued prayers are with you.
    Regrettably, I can rant and carry on worse than this when I feel slighted by someone or ignored or ...
    Rant away, friend.

  • M Ken
    5 years, 3 months ago - Reply - Link

    Radiation and chemo treatments are you crazy? this treatment has been around for 40 years with a 98% failure rate who are the quacks that are treating you? If you want to survive this the cure has been available for 15 years. The FDA and FBI has tried to shut down the Doctor that has the cure he's in Texas and has won all his cases against the FDA and spent over $3 million in defense. The pharmaceutical companies have tried to steal his cure but he stopped them. The courts only let him practice medicine in Texas so you need to go there immediately! Just lookup Stanislaw R. Burzynski, MD, PhD. You are a smart woman now do some research.

  • Jill
    5 years, 3 months ago - Reply - Link

    I sent you a private emaill. Subkect: Re your Dec 10th blog posting

  • Claire
    5 years, 3 months ago - Reply - Link

    Katherine, you have every bloody right to bitch, rant, whine or whatever you need to do. And if it alleviates even a tiny bit of your misery to do so -- then just go for it. You're still a hero to a lot of us out here.

  • Angela
    5 years, 3 months ago - Reply - Link

    Hang in there. By the end of your radiation you'll feel like you're 20 years older. Afterwards as the weeks pass you'll feel your strength coming back. If you have access to a hot tub, and your skin is holding up well, try it to help the aching joints. A nurse told me it takes 2 years for your body to heal from all this, so take it easy as you can. Continued prayers for you and your medical team.


  • 5 years, 3 months ago - Reply - Link

    Angela: Thanks for the warning. I already feel ten year older than when I began this year, so it's good to know I only have ten more to go! *laugh*

    When do you get the spring back in your step? I am like a shuffling old lady lately, with stiffness, ache and pains when I get up from a chair, and using both hands on both handrails to get down the stairs.

    Fortunately, the radiation burn aren't bad yet, just a bit of pinknes. Hopefully that part doesn't get too bad.


  • 5 years, 3 months ago - Reply - Link

    I find it very disappointing that you are ranting about your treatment and disease. There are pleanty of diseases that are way worse than what you have, and for anyone that reads this you are only instilling fear in them. I am very familiar with the field and I know the therapists and doctors to plenty more than making you feel "miserable". Why not talk about they accomidate to your every need like warm blankets, letting you take pictures and spending above and beyond time with you? For the sad people that read this and have cancer and are looking for treatment they will be fearful about what is to come. No one ever writes about how quick or easy it can be or how all the side effects you have can be managed easily. After 4 treatments you are making a huge deal over nothing. I'm not saying its easy to go through but you could have it way worse and the fear you are putting in others and the sympathy you are wanting is kind of pathetic for someone of your position.

  • Katherine Albrecht
    5 years, 2 months ago - Reply - Link

    Addressed in detail here:
    http://wordpress.katherinealbrecht.com/?p=560

  • 1916home.net
    5 years, 2 months ago - Reply - Link

    You are an ass. And a Happy New Year to you too.

  • Gilles
    5 years, 1 month ago - Reply - Link

    Courage..
    I am an avid Coast to Coast listener and have become a fan of yours over the years. More so now. My father died of cancer (melanoma) and my sister has been fighting breast cancer for the last 6 years. She is one tough cooky, I am immensly proud of her.She has uindergone numerous treatments and is beetingh the odds.
    Thankyou for bringing hope and strength. You are a source of inspiration and courage. God bless you.

  • wake up
    5 years, 1 month ago - Reply - Link

    Anonymous,
    You are a very unkind person, this is the worst of worst a women can go through. Are you a human?
    I was in a similar position but did not choose conventional treatment.
    I helped my body healing with the Gerson Therapy.
    The side effect of this treatment is rejuvenation.

    I do not believe that breast cancer etc. is caused by a deficiency of Chemo and Radiation.
    God and nature has more wisdom as all professors of the world.

    Give the body a chance to heal, and the innate intelligence will do the rest.
    Like in the book CANCER WINNER, I also did, and a lot of people which are now healthier than before.
    There are thousands of people who did this way, but it is not mainstream news, because cancer is big business.
    and big business owns the media.

    They only report when a person which gets first poisoned by chemo Radiation by the school medicine and then tries alternative and it fails that is what they only report.

    Lets get it straight a person which is poisoned by chemo and radiation, has a very slim change with any alternative,
    only a miracle and God intervention can help here.

    The millions of people which die with the school medicine that is ok, because they have a license to kill.

    A friend of mine with had breast cancer in Europe did the Dr Beck and Dr Hulda Clark protocol with healthy lifestyle she refused chemo and radiation, that is why alternative helped.

    One doctor screamed at her you will die.
    Now 10 years later her husband says she has never been so healthy, she was before very sickly.

    My prediction is that in not so far future, we will look back to this barbaric medication and mutilation with horror

    May God help us.

  • Camilla
    5 years, 1 month ago - Reply - Link

    Hi Katherine and Anonymous: First, to anonymous, please have the guts to attach a name to your awful, venomous post. Second, having been almost exactly where Katherine is, she knows of which she speaks (writes). Does anonymous know how it feels to have one chemo treatment? Does anonymous know the gut wrenching fear of facing one's mortality at a young age? Does anonymous know how it feels to have to tell ( in my case) a 12 and 16 year old that their mother has cancer? How it feels after one shot of Neulasta? Sores in the mouth after chemo? Most of all, especially after treatment, the constant fear of "what if it comes back?"

    After listening to Katherine onCoast to Coast for the first time last night, I nodded and relived almost all of what she is going through. I learned of her balanced approach to traditional treatment mixed with supplements and new interesting ideas ( the mushrooms) I'd never tried. Thank you for giving a clear voice to many many breast cancer patients as well as a very well thought out approach to your treatment. Much luck, Camilla

  • corinne f.
    5 years, 1 month ago - Reply - Link

    Hang in there Pray each day in Jesus name for rich oxygenated blood.

    thanks for all the hard work you do on privacy. I have beeen surveillanced for 9+ yrs multiple injuries neck, thoracic, rotated pelvis, hips, low back. I pray for rich oxygenated blood the last 2007 or so it was 98 percent o2.
    best to you you are great! coast listener.

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