April 7, 2009
Oh crap, I didn’t even realize we were already in April!!
Just thought I would drop a post about how I’m doing…. I have finished 3 out of my 8 chemo sessions. My 4th session will be my last of the AC drug (thank God!!!). Actually I don’t think that the chemo drugs are that bad to me, I take enough nausea daily that I really don’t feel that nauseous, but between the Nuelasta shot (the shot to increase my white blood cells) which makes every bone in my body (especially my upper body) burn and ache, and the constipation I get from the nausea medicines. I am sooo ready to be done with this drug.
My next drug is called Taxo (of course that is the short name for it). It has a different set of side-effects. Hair loss (my remaining) and muscle aches are the major ones. It also has a chance of anaphylactic shock while getting the drug (they will be watching me a lot during my first dosing, April 23rd). But there is suppose to be no nausea with this one (no constipation medication) and it doesn’t effect the white blood cells as harshly, so no shot afterwards… Can I here an AMEN!!!!! It is still an ugly drug, but I’m hoping that it is not so bad.
So the run-down of how I’m doing…
Hair Loss – I had to shave my head to bald. The itchiness of my fine 100 hairs that were left on my head was just too much! I know many of you wonder about my “other” hair? Well, it hasn’t fallen out, but a lot of it has seized to grow. I shaved my armpits last week and haven’t had to all week, same with my legs and other places ;-). I am slowly loosing my nose hair too, so my nose is a slow leaky faucet. I do still have my eyebrows and eyelashes for the time being.
Body – It seems to take me longer and longer to bounce back and feel good after a chemo treatment. This past treatment, I didn’t get the heart palpitations (that is good), but it seemed to take most the week before I actually felt better. When speaking about this to my doctor, I found out that it is normal. Because the drugs are accumulative, each time I have a chemo treatment they compound on each other and it will take longer to feel better.
Mind – I went to see a clinical counselor that is offered through Suburban Hospital’s Breast Center. I spent two hours crying… It was really good. There is so much to deal with sometimes I just don’t think that I can keep it together. It was really nice to talk to her and she told me of some things that I can do to lighten my load a bit.
Family – Everyone is doing good as well. All of us cannot wait for spring!
Let me see… I think that is about it.
I got some great news the other day. Two weeks ago, I met with my oncologist to have genetic counseling. When she sees a breast cancer patient who is not yet 40 years old, she will recommend genetic testing. It sounds easy enough, but everything changes if you are found to have the BRAC1 or BRAC2 genetic mutation, and not only for you, but also for your family members as well. For me, it would give my cancer a 40% – 60% chance of returning (regardless of my precautionary cancers I am doing now). To lessen that chance it would be recommended to have a double mastectomy and have my ovaries removed. I know it sounds a little extreme, so you can see why it is a tough decision. Fortunately, I found out that I DO NOT have the genetic mutation!!! Yeah!!! What does that mean? It means that my cancer is what I like to refer to as the “What the Hell” cancer. No rhyme or reason, just what the hell. But a HUGE sigh of relief for not only my sister, but also my daughters. Of course me having breast cancer puts them at higher risk than the average woman, but they don’t have the mutated gene. Yeah!!!!