Miss Jeanne picked me up bright and early (7 a.m.) this morning for our commute to the city. It was a long day, but very informative, and everything lined up perfectly. Shelly met us down there and there was a nice surprise visit from Miss Jenn. We were back home just after 3.
This is Kristy – the beautiful young oncology nurse who takes such good care of me and has the BEST sense of humor. She sports a HUGE blue hazmat suit when delivers the poison to me, which we’ve lovingly called, “the blue body condom.”
My meeting with Dr. R (Oncologist) was very enlightening. I had lots of questions for how things go after round 6 – the final round. The answers unveiled themselves throughout treatment, but it went something like this:
She didn’t have any details on the surgery process so she set up meetings for me with both the surgeon and the plastic surgeon for the day before next treatment – May 4. The plastic surgeon is in LaGrange. My questions are all about process – what’s he going to do if I pick A/B or C surgery options. A= Double Mastectomy B=Single mastectomy C= Lumpectomy. My intention is just to get head wrapped around what it all means before I have to make a decision about it on May 11th, the meeting to discuss the MRI outcome.
I learned that A/B = 2 night stay in the hospital only. And C= Outpatient.
The same meeting will happen with my surgeon on May 4th at Rush downtown. I want to know what happens to me in all 3 scenarios – how long is recovery, how will I be able to function / care for my kids once they are out of school. How much extra help will I need. Planning questions for answers I don’t yet have.
I will also drop my final 24 hour urine on the 4th, have my port opened and blood work done for the last time – for chemo.
After the chemo is over I will continue infusions for the HER+ drugs – at least for Herceptin – Pertuzumab is still out for debate if I need to have it. No more benedryl or steriods. No more allergic reactions. No more blood draws / urine samples before treatment. The infusions are only 1/2 hour each. I can drive my self. All welcome news. The 3 week schedule remains the same, I will only meet with Dr. R every 3rd visit and the side effects for these target drugs are minimal if at all. I will continue this infusion until January 2017.
My hair should start to return after a month off the chemo – mid June.
Couple of bits of less than happy news I received – I’m becoming anemic (low red blood cell count). Making me really tired. If the exhaustion continues I’ll need a blood transfusion. They gave me a list of all the possible side effects to watch out for, in case I need to go in. I also have developed neuropathy in my hands and feet. Tingling like pins and needles. I drop things sometimes – annoying. But doesn’t last more than a few minutes. Could last a while – couple months. And my ankles are swollen – a side effect of the chemo drugs. But since my heart is so healthy, Dr. R is just going to let me live with it. It should reabsorb once the chemo is out of me, sometime in June.
I have to have surgery (TBD) within 4 weeks of my last chemo infusion.
So – here’s what’s next.
The next 3-4 days will be ugly flu-like days. I have the nulasta (white blood cell booster) on my arm. Will inject tomorrow around 5pm. That’s about when the sickness sets in.
May 4 – Planning/Learning meetings with Dr. M (Surgeon) and Dr. C (Plastic surgeon) Plus normal lab work at Rush downtown
May 5 – 6th and FINAL chemo infusion
May 10 – Breast MRI to check progress to help determine surgery options
May 11 – Meeting with surgeons and radiologist / nurses to determine best course of action
Either May 19 or May 24 – Surgery – TBD
Sorry for long post – lots to think about and learn these last few days of the chemo Phase.
Miss Jenn sent over a plum basket of organics and seeds. Thank you. Beautiful
Miss Jeanne’s senior class drew me cards and letters. So were really beautiful. This is just a little sampling. They are spectacular. Several graphic designers in the mix to be sure.