Today went well. The drive down over the pass this morning was beautiful. Charlie threw up and we once again stopped for new clothes at Wal-mart. I met my Mom who took Charlie while I went to my appointments.
My first appointment was with my radiation oncologist. I was taken back today by a nurse who I previously worked with at Middle Park Medical Center in Granby. It was great to see a familiar face. My oncologist explained how the tumor board met yesterday and decided I would benefit from chemotherapy, radiation, and endocrine therapy. He told me they would allow me to do the brachytherapy also known as the SAVI implant for my radiation. (I went into detail about this type of radiation in my April 11 post.)
There is not much research on women under the age of 45 receiving this type of treatment but my oncologist believes I will get the same benefit from it the same as the traditional therapy. The best thing about it, is that it is completed in 5 days (twice a day) vs. 6 weeks (5 times a week). I will have an implant inserted directly into my breast where the tumor was removed and then will come for treatment twice a day M-F and be done with radiation. The plan is to start Monday May 23rd as long as my surgeon is available to do the initial procedure for the implant.
Next, I met with my medical oncologist. He took his time to go over my Oncodx results and percentages and explain how I would greatly benefit from chemotherapy because of many factors. 1. My Ki-67 score was 70% (anything over 20% is unfavorable) that is the rate at which my cells are multiplying. 2. My OncoDx score being 27 indicating a high intermediate recurrence rate. 3. My age, younger people with cancer benefit more from chemotherapy. He wanted to start chemotherapy one week after my radiation treatment would be completed and I ask if there was anyway we could push it until after June 9th. He had to calculate the days and didn’t want to push it any farther and said I could start June 10th a Friday… Oh geez.. I then had to explain I was moving and if there was anyway we could start possibly the following Monday June 13th. He said I needed to start then and no later. So my first chemotherapy session will be June 13th. We also close on our house June 13th, and our kitchen remodel begins on June 13th. It will definitely be a full day, but I am thankful we could wait until the kids were out of school, the big move was complete and I would only be minutes away from where I will receive the treatment. He explained he would like to see me have 6 treatments; 1 treatment every 3 weeks. He explained many people can only tolerate 4 treatments. With each treatment the intensity of side effects increases and by 4 treatments some people’s bodies can not tolerate any more. He said his goal for me is 5 if not 6. Younger people can tolerate the chemo a bit better than older people he said. However, I don’t seem to tolerate anesthesia well, pain medicine, I can’t even take tylenol PM because I experience sleep paralysis, so I have no idea how my body will take unknown chemicals pumped through it for hours. Yikes! What was a shock to me is each treatment will last 4-5 hours. He went into the biggest side effects being nausea/vomiting, fatigue, hair loss and the loss of finger nails and toe nails.
He also explained after chemotherapy I will start endocrine therapy for 10 years. This will entail taking a pill daily. I will have ultrasounds of my uterus once every 3 months for the first year then twice a year after that to monitor for uterine cancer. With endocrine therapy also comes the concern of bone density loss because it can force me through menopause early (only for 10 years and then my body may have regular cycles again until I reach menopausal age and get to go through it a second time.. oh yippee). Just being on one type of drug for endocrine therapy should reduce my risk of osteoporosis and hopefully won’t be a concern he explained.
After my appointment I went to meet my Mom and Charlie and headed to our new house to meet with the kitchen contractor. I then had almost two hours to remove more wallpaper. As much as its been tedious, I enjoyed it today. It was something I didn’t have to put any thought into and could do while listening to music and having Charlie play near me.
I just looked at a calendar and I should be completed with chemotherapy by the week of September 26th. Just in time hopefully to go on a trip to celebrate Lenny’s 40th birthday. (October 15) Yah!! (although I may not have any hair, it will be time to celebrate a few wonderful events.)
I’m not sure exactly what to think of everything but I know I will get through it all. It truly has amazed me how God is working in my life. Its hard to explain it but he has provided me with wondrous strength to rise above the muck and mundane. I can personally attest that He’s real and He is powerful. I thank everyone who is reading this and again thank everyone for their continued support and prayers.
“When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” Psalm 94:18-19