I will be starting chemo on Thursday October 25th. It’s an all day thing. I only have to go in for it one day every three weeks, 6 times. (18 weeks total) That will take me through to February 7th. After that I will continue on one of the medications, Herceptin, every 3 weeks for an entire year.
The day will start with bloodwork and a visit to my medical oncologist then to an infusion chair. I have opted to try a therapy called dignicap. It is a cold cap that is placed on my head to blow cold air to constrict blood flow to my hair follicles in hopes of saving my hair. It’s expensive and not covered by insurance. 😕But I want to try it and see if I tolerate it and if it works for me. They have to start it 30min before and run it 2 hours after the 6 hour long infusion. Like I said, it will be an all day thing.
I will most likely still loose my eyebrows and eyelashes! 😫 I’m sad about that!
I had my portacath (central venous line) placed on Tuesday just below my right clavicle and it is healing. This will make infusions and blood draws easier.
My bone scan came back all clear! 🎉🎉🎉
The MRI of my breasts showed the tumor has almost doubled in size since they found it. (HER2+ is aggressive). A few other little areas of suspicion could not be found on the follow up ultrasound and so I did not have to be biopsied again. (IF there IS anything there, I’m assured, chemo will knock it out!)
The MRI of my brain is pending (I just did it yesterday) Whole new meaning to “having your head examined!” 🤕
My CT scan showed a couple things, mostly clear:
Possible ovarian cysts (probably no big deal), I am being referred to gynecology next week.
A tiny 5mm nodule on my thyroid (95% of thyroid nodules are benign) I will be having an ultrasound next Tuesday of my thyroid.
Tiny cysts on my liver that weren’t even worth measuring because I’m told they are that common and insignificant.
Oh and my gall bladder is missing!!! 😜😜😜
Yesterday I had a baseline echocardiogram because one side effect of the drug Herceptin, that I will be on for the next year, is cardiac side effects. The echo tech was excellent and thorough and found that I have mild aortic insufficiency (regurgitation). He said it most likely will not effect me being put on chemo and Herceptin because the drug won’t effect that part of my heart. But I imagine that this will mean a cardiac consult and follow up throughout my life, if not future surgery if the condition worsens, which it can over time.
I will wait to get official word from my doctor. Cross that bridge when I come to it. I am asymptomatic at this point and it is mild.
Also, I will be having echocardiograms every 3 months for the entire year I am on Herceptin anyways, so my heart will be very closely monitored. ❤️
Moral of the story: when they start scanning and imaging every inch of your body…they find stuff!!! 😬🙄😉🤔😮
…and I’m no spring chick anymore! 🐥
I also met with one of my care coordinators yesterday for chemo teaching. I have 7 prescribed meds. Two that I have to take the day before chemo, day of and day after. A steroid and an antacid. One is Emla cream (numbing cream) for my port usage. The other 4 are all PRN (as needed) for the expected common side effects of the chemo. Day 2 & 3 after are supposed to be the toughest. Day 7-10 after is when my white count bottoms out and it is most important that I stay away from sick people and crowds. 😷🤒🤧🤮🤢
I was told that it is highly suggested I DO NOT fly ✈️ or go near (uncontrolled) crowded places during the entire 18 weeks. That means my dream trip to NYC at Christmas time will most likely have to be postponed to next year! 😢 That made me super sad! I haven’t cried much throughout all this, but that news required a Kleenex. 😢😢😢
TMI: I was also told this chemo regimen will most likely screw with my cycles if not stop them altogether. Which due to my age could possibly induce early menopause, which could mean the symptoms that come with that also! 😰😰😰
As if 18 weeks of chemo wasn’t enough and all that comes with that, surgery will most likely be in March once my white count has recovered after my final chemo infusion. I haven’t shared this with everyone yet because it’s the part no one likes to talk about or hear about, but I’ve opted for a double mastectomy with reconstruction. It is an intense and long surgery, over 10 hours. With a 3 month recovery. But most likely means I won’t have to have radiation and it is my best option to reduce any chances of reoccurrence. I don’t want to do any of this again if possible. And I have researched all the options thoroughly.
It will be a long and trying year!
So this is the plan!
Thank you for walking beside me. Thank you for your prayers, please keep them coming. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 I will take all prayers but if you want to get specific, I would love for my husband and my family to be lifted up and receive the same peace that God has supernaturally given me. I’d like to keep my hair, my eyebrows and my eyelashes. I’d love to have little to no side effects. I would love to not be in pain throughout the next year! I would love for God to miraculously heal my whole body and “remove this cup from me.” That’s all. 😬
You all have been incredible and I feel the love from all of you. ❤️ God has a plan for good in all of this! I’m part of that good plan! 😊 He is bigger than cancer! He is bigger than side effects! He is big enough! He loves me intimately and He is carrying me through this! I’m peacefully ok. 😇
This life throws curveballs, that is why we need a Savior to depend on and to give us hope in and beyond this life because of all the curveballs and wrenches that change our “perfect” plans. We may make our plans but it is God that directs our steps. Living separated from God is not living at all. Count it all joy! That doesn’t mean it won’t be hard, but I choose to find the joy in the process. I choose to cling to Jesus, the author and perfector of my faith.
I will take it one day at a time because tomorrow has enough worries of its own! I’m standing on His Word!
I’ve overcome tough stuff before and I will again!
Gods got this!
All for Gods glory!
There is hope beyond this!