Sunday, July 29, 2012

Chemo #3

Good Evening all,

We had a wonderful weekend even though it started out rocky on Friday.  Friday was chemo #3 and meeting with Dr. Hantel.  It started on Thursday evening, after having a great week, towards the end of my work day, I was dreading going home and to my appointment on Friday.  Yes, I still cried almost every day, but I felt in control and was happy the majority of the week, until Thursday evening.  I knew I had not felt much of a change in the tumor size and I was getting scared to go on Friday and the anxiety just took over me.  I prayed a lot on Thursday that I could ask the hard questions and get through the appointment.

Friday, we first met with a genetic counselor.  Most of the information she gave us was already discussed with us through Dr. Hantel and the Dr. at Northwestern.  They are going to do testing on the BRCA gene 1 and 2.  If I am a carrier of the scarier one, I will not only need a mastectomy, but probably a hysterectomy will be in my near future.  This does not worry me, I am all for removing whatever is necessary to put this behind me once and for all.  I think I surprise them all when I don't flinch with these big decisions.  But I have a wonderful supportive husband and 2 wonderful children.  Take it!

Then was the dreaded meet with Dr. Hantel.  He and I both agreed there was not much change if any in the tumor size.  He decided with cycle #3 of the previous chemo concoction, but we came up with a plan.  If this cycle there is still not much change, we will skip cycle 4 of the current concoction and move on to a weekly regiment instead of bi-weekly.  1 week will be 1 drug and a 2nd drug added in every other week.  This will prolong chemo an extra 4 weeks putting the surgery off as well.  He still said the next set of drugs should be easier on my blood counts, but obviously chemo every week will cause the dreaded fatigue.  

Even after this discussion, I had the strength and courage to ask some tough questions.  1.  Should I be staying as active as I currently am: working, kids, home life, etc?  His answer was still yes.  2.  How do we guarantee if we aren't seeing results this is not spreading?  He still is confident the drug is working, just not enough, so is not concerned.  3.  Why not just skip to surgery?  I knew the answer, to ensure they get it all, they need this tumor to shrink.  I just needed to hear this again, even though it hurts to hear every time.  4.  My emotions.  This last chemo really played a number on my emotions.  I'm hoping it had a lot to do with the hair loss.  He really put it into perspective....Cancer is a life changing event (DUH) but not only am I going through that, I am going through raising 2 young children, 1 being only 4 months old and some of the emotions could be chalked up to postpartum.  On top of that, a majority of you know, my company is relocating in June of 2013.  So even though my work is being highly supportive and WONDERFUL, it still is on our mind....Moving and keeping my wonderful job, staying and losing a wonderful job and eventually losing insurance and trying to find a new full time job.  Pretty scary stuff!  So talking this out with him, really helped a lot and made me realize, this roller coaster of emotions is expected and probably won't go away anytime soon.  

Chemo was uneventful.  Friday evening, Don and Justin headed up to my in-laws lake house.  Whitney, Ryan and I stayed back so I could get my shot on Saturday morning.  After my shot, we headed up and it was great for all of us.  Whitney enjoyed a relaxing break while my mother in law stepped in with Ryan and Justin played with the neighbors grand son who is 10 months younger than him.  They really get a long well and I just relaxed and had a chance to catch up with Justin some and enjoyed watching him play with his friend.  

Today I have felt good still.  A little on the tired side, but that is to be expected.  I still agree that the new anti-nausea drugs are way better than cycle 1.  I did get a nap in and kind of wonder if the nap makes me a little more tired and cranky than before.  My patience are short and I hate that!!!

So this week and next, it is important that this tumor gets the hint and starts to shrink.  I still have faith that it will and we won't have to move to the weekly treatments.  I think my body is just a little slow to get the hint.  But I do need extra prayers for this to shrink.  Also for my strength and emotions to stay in tact this week and next.  And of course for my family members who are enduring just as much stress as I am through this.  So I have a lot to ask with this blog!  

Have a great week.  I am off to eat some dinner and give baths to a sandy little boy named Justin!

Lots of Love,


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