Thursday, April 18, 2019

Day 192

Time to make lemonade.

I’ve got to be honest everyone.  Today did not go how I wanted it to go.  I think I am supposed to be happy about it though.  I think I should at least be happier.

I’m not.  I got home today and just cried.

What I wanted to happen today was to be told “congrats, you're done with chemo!”, we’ll see you in a few months, and get a figurative swat on my ass on the way out the door.   I didn’t expect it to happen, but I REALLY wanted it to.

Instead, I was told that because the cancer in my body only shrunk, but was not killed by the chemo, (which would have been remission), the chances of recurrence are higher.  Which is yet another layer of fantastic, because I am already batting 1000 on the recurrence field due to my cancer being of the triple negative variety, along with the gene mutation.  I am such an overachiever.


They want to do another round of chemo as an additional layer of “insurance” against recurrence and to kill any cancer cells that may still be in my body.  I’m trying not to feel too special about all that; apparently it’s the standard of care for nasty tumors like mine.  I guess I am still a bit confused because I thought I would have only needed more chemo if there was lymph node involvement, which there was not.

But, I did get the Doc aligned with me on having the hysterectomy done first and waiting for the pathology on my cervix, ovaries, uterus, and Fallopian tubes to come back before we start chemo back up, because let's be real, who knows what they will find.  Odds are 48% there could be something interesting in there, and I am already 10 years past the recommended age of a BRCA-1 carrier to still have their girly parts.  I am a ticking time bomb.

So let’s get this show on the road, right?!?!  Right!!  As of today, I have a call out to my gynecological oncologist (say that ten times fast) to get my hysterectomy scheduled.  A few weeks after I get that done, I’ll start chemo again.  

Wait. I just realized I have three oncologists now.  That’s kind of a moment.



Also wanted you to meet my new friend for the upcoming four months of chemo, Xeloda (aka Capecitabine).  This will be an oral chemo so thank you for the little things in life, I don’t have to get my port put back in.  Either way, it’s still chemo and although it is touted to be ‘easier”, it still has a long and nasty list of side effects.  It’s kind of hard to get excited about chemo, but I am going to give it a try here:

Xeloda is fairly new to the adjuvant treatment scene.  How it works is actually very cool.  (I’d explain it, but I’m not Google.)  I can tell you that it’s has been tested particularly on triple negative breast cancer and has shown a significant decrease in recurrence.  I was on the fence about doing more chemo but that sold me.  I am all about time, and the more of it that I can own and not borrow, the better.

So treatment is a little more than I thought or wanted.  I am sure that it’ll all go fast, just like the past few months have flown by.  Today was hard to hear.  I am so looking forward to moving on and perhaps I got a little ahead of myself.  Plus, I selfishly don’t want to give cancer another four months of my life.  I know the trade is worth it but.

And that’s the latest and greatest.  Pretty rough day.

Love to you guys, thanks for the ear.


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Day 183

I mean I know I'm not a doctor, but really?

Just when I was ready to look at cancer in the rear-view mirror and move forward, I got the hard-to-hear news today that I may need to get my port put back in and do more chemo. Welcome to the cancer roller coaster. 

My surgical oncologist told me today that, "there is a nasty little comment in your pathology report that says there was no evidence that the tumor had been affected by treatment".  What was translated to me last week when I got the call with my results was that the tumor was still alive, which is pretty common. 

But "unaffected"?? Um no. Hell no. That doesn't sound right. It can't be right. Maybe the pathologist just didn't use all the words. How can there possibly be that finding without considering that the tumor shrunk. I'm pretty sure that was a direct result of the chemo and not me wishing it away.

But today I was like, what? Wait a minute.

Me: "Didn't the tumor shrink?"

Doc: "Yes, a lot."

Me: "Didn't you get it all"

Doc: "Yes, we got really great margins."

Me: "And it didn't spread anywhere?"

Doc: "Correct, there was no lymph node involvement or any other cancer in your breasts."

Forgive my language/ignorance/anger/horror, but what the shit are we going to treat then?  The tumor is gone. Why are we even discussing this? I am pretty sure that all of the above is supposed to be good news and the end of the chemo chapter.  And don't you actually have to have cancer to do chemo? I mean it seems obvious, though I'll admit, I don't know what I don't know.

Here's the deal. Until next week it's a maybe, a might, a possibility, an unknown. These are the words that very much describe the space that I do not do well in. I'm struggling. Plus it just doesn't make any goddamn sense. 

So yeah. That happened today. Going to try and cruise through this next week without lingering too much on it. But right now I'm super frustrated and confused.  

But!! You'll be happy to hear that the day was not a complete loss! I had a pretty significant post-surgical seroma and they were finally able to drain 300ccs from the left side and 100ccs on the right. Sounds pretty awesome, right?? (You're like, I'll take the chemo, thanks.)  I know it sounds totally gross but I feel so much more comfortable now so I'll take it!  Look at me, being all positive and shit =)

Cross your fingers that chemo and I have parted ways forever and I'll make sure to keep you updated! I know I'm going to be OK, just even the idea of chemo again. It's hard.

Goodnight my friends.


Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Day 176

Well that's done.

And guess what???  I am officially cancer free!  Yep. 

The pathology report came in yesterday and there was no additional cancer found in either breast or any of my lymph nodes.  The tumor on the left side was substantially smaller than it's pre-chemo size, but was still "alive".  Honestly, I would have really loved for it to be dead, but whatever.  I will still celebrate because I know for sure it didn't spread and they got really great margins since I had the DMX.


I win.