Friday, September 28, 2012

I had my consult for the liver biopsy today, and I am so glad that I will knocked out for that procedure.  My actual biopsy will be done on Wed. 10/4.  I also saw the plastic surgeon today, and he thinks the infection is healing well and should be okay by the time of chemo.  Hopefully I won't see him again for a month.  I will see the oncologist, get the liver biopsy results,  and begin chemo on Tuesday 10/9 if things go as planned.  In the meantime, I will continue to hope and pray for the best while preparing for the other, and hopefully have some time to escape from thinking about everything this weekend.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bad news

It is never good when a doctor comes in and looks at you with the "I'm sorry" eyes.  Hopefully, you've never encountered them, but some of you probably know the look, unfortunately.  I found out today that my PETscan showed multiple areas in the liver that have as the oncologist put it a 95% probability of being the breast cancer and a 99% probability of being some form of cancer.  I will be having a liver biopsy as soon as they can get it scheduled. (Doesn't that sound fun?)  I'm hoping and praying that there is some way that this falls into that 1%, but if not this definitely changes things as it moves the cancer from curable with chemo wiping out any possible random stray cell to only treatable to try to suppress growth and shrink tumors as much as possible.

There are 2 aspects of this finding that are scary to me.  The first is that the general guidelines for stage 1 breast cancer is to do a chest X-ray and bloodwork, but if those don't show anything, you are supposedly "good".  I'm thankful that my oncologist did do the PETscan because she felt it was important to have every possible bit of information before starting chemo.  The second is that there are spots there but my blood work is clear, and I have no symptoms of liver problems. Again, I guess I can just be thankful that everything was found in the timing that it has been, and that it still is treatable.  But right now, the silver linings are a bit harder to see through the tears that keep falling.

I'd really appreciate any thoughts and prayers for strength, a positive attitude, and falling into that 1% if all possible.  

Friday, September 21, 2012

A little setback

As luck would have it, I've had a little setback with one of the surgery sites getting a small infection or possibly beginning a seroma(sp?) and running a low-grade fever.  Antibiotics have been called in to see if that will clear it up, and I go back to the plastic surgeon on Friday so that we have a better idea of what is going on.  If it is an infection, then it was caught early at least.  This will delay the chemo for a couple of weeks.  There is a part of me that is like "whew! a little reprieve", but then that just puts me back to waiting which is the worst part of all of this stuff.    Just trying to remember that it is better that it was found now so that we can deal with it before the chemo makes all of my blood counts and system go wacky.   I will still go in to the oncologist on Tuesday to get the PETscan results and to figure out what to do with my low iron.  They wanted me to take iron pills with vitamin C pills, but that isn't possible  because of my bladder autoimmune.  At least maybe this setback will give us time to get that issue better before the chemo starts too.

Please pray that this will resolve quickly so that this whole process can get back on track and BE OVER soon!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

So I've gotten my "chemo haircut", and I'm glad to know that once my hair starts growing out some once chemo is done that I will like the short hair okay.  Hair seems like such a silly thing to worry about, but if that keeps me from stressing about other aspects I'll take it.

This has been a crazy week.  I have definitely been feeling stronger which is a good thing since I've had lots of appointments.  I am just so happy that I was cleared to drive again.  I am a horrible passenger, and hate to ride with others, so the 3 weeks & 5 days of being unable to drive was torture both for me and for those stuck having to drive me everywhere!   I had my PETscan on Monday, and I should find out those results from the oncologist on next Tuesday before the chemo treatment.  Still keeping fingers crossed and saying prayers that the scan will be clear.  Tuesday was the plastic surgeon appointment that cleared me to drive but still not to lift more than a gallon of milk or to sweat when exercising or to do much more than walking. This is Florida so that means being very creative to get some exercising in and still meet that requirement.  Wednesday was meeting with a cardiologist since one of the chemo drugs can cause heart problems, but thankfully the echocardiogram that was done today shows that everything is starting off in good shape.  Throw in a dentist appointment and eating with some people a couple of times, and I feel like I've done a lot.

I'm glad to have been busy this week, because I'm back in the waiting game with waiting for the chemo to start.  That can get a bit overwhelming so I've had a few moments, but I know it will pass just as everything else has.  I know that chemo won't be fun, but hopefully the anticipation is worse than the reality and it will go as well as it possibly can. At least I'm already armed with a bunch of meds for side effects if it does go badly.   

I'm hoping to get to church this Sunday and to have some fun this weekend before the chemo zaps my energy again.   Hoping  I will remember to be still & that this too shall pass, and a happy weekend to all!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Getting ready for chemo

I went to the oncologist yesterday and found out more about my pathology, etc. Due to multiple factors, it does appear that having aggressive treatment would be beneficial.  So now, I'm making PETscan and echocardiogram appointments so that we have those results prior to chemo starting.  As long as everything go well in the next week or so, I will start chemo on Tuesday 9/25.  I will have 2 drugs, adriamycin and cytoxan, once every 2 weeks for  four cycles, and then have 1 drug, taxol, once every 2 weeks for four cycles.  So hopefully I will be through with this part by early January if things go as planned.

Besides the medical appointments, I've also got a haircut appointment next week. I figure since I don't have to worry about the "growing out" and maintaining phases, I can get a short haircut that I've always wanted but worried that I wouldn't like.  Hey, if I hate it, I'll only have to deal with if for a few weeks.  Plus, it will be easier to do my wig shopping with short hair, and so I get to try new hairstyles on that way too, lol.  

I am definitely getting a bit stir crazy in my house so I'm glad that I should be cleared to drive by next Tuesday at the latest and can get out a little bit.  Of course, right now I can't last very long out of the house even with others driving, so I probably won't really be painting the town red even then, but right now even the ability to run to CVS or anywhere sounds wonderful.

Thanks again for the cards, messages, calls, and prayers! I really appreciate them, and would appreciate you remembering me as I get ready for this next phase of treatment!