Saturday, December 6, 2008

Last Chemo Pics

Christy came to the last chemo to see what I had gone through. It was nice to have her there as it made the time go by fast. Thank you Christy!

We have a pic of Vic in his "position", the hard chair next to the chemo recliner chair. He has been a wonderful support and my Rock during this. He would often rub my feet, which is a dream!

I received a graduation song - can't remember the words but something about side effects, including diarrhea. Dr. Pinder is in the green shirt. The nuns are Mary Ann and Jill who are actually Oncology nurses. They are a hoot. . ..just part of the craziness of saying goodbye. Sweet Cory is the other oncology nurse next to my chair.

It was a pretty emotional and high anxiety visit for me on this last chemo. All the fears of if we did enough to kill the cancer cells, getting the port out by the surgeon, etc. etc. where floating in the brain. It is hard to keep a positive mental 100% of the time. We do our best, but sometimes you just have to address those fears. Otherwise, they grow bigger than they really are. That's why it's good to NOT tell cancer patients to think positive all the time. We need to work it out.

Dr. P confirmed that I did no harm IF I had taken the supplements before and during Chemo #3. She said that since we had reviewed the list, she was okay. She had removed the ones that would cause trouble (high dose of Vitamin C is what I can remember). Whew! I did volunteer to come in for a few more treatments if necessary.

Did you know that there are no "markers" for breast cancer. Only if you get to metastasis do the markers come up. Please click on the link above. We need more research on these markers!

We did talk about my fears of metastasis since I've read about women who have had my same size and grade of tumor who are now with brain cancer. I do agree with her that quite a few of the metastatic women do participate more on the online support groups. We should create one for those that are Stage 1 to support each other with positives and decrease the negatives.

I asked Dr. P when I should call her if I have an ache or pain - a sign of metastasis. She said that if Tylenol and rest do not relieve the pain after a few days, then I should call. Even if it's to put my mind at rest.

I will also see her every 4-6 months, reviewing blood results. I'll have my first breast imaging 4-6 months after radiation is finished as radiation causes some changes in breast tissue and causes some inflammation so imaging is not very accurate.

Now is the time to schedule a meeting with a new Radiation Oncologist. I'm still not 100% sure I want to do this. But, I need to hit the Triple Negative Breast Cancer with everything there is. I did question why radiation is needed - wouldn't the chemo kill everything floating around? Dr. P said that the radiation targets the tumor site Chemo works best on microscopic deposits of tumor cells throughout the body. If there are any cancer cells remaining, one of the most likely would be in the tumor area of the breast. Radiation sterilizes this and can help to prevent second cancers.

I am so glad that this Segment 2 of 3 is done. I've come out of the chemo with my eyebrows and eyelashes intact - a little thin, but they remained. My fuzz is growing and I have about 1/2 inch in many places . . .white and curly! My hairdresser should be happy for some curl/body.

Having chemo is sort of like morning sickness, drinking too much and a touch of the flu all rolled into one! The actual "getting chemo" is really pretty easy. This morning I have a little nausea and need to go back to bed for a nap already.

Whoever and wherever you are, thank you for reading my thoughts and being part of this with me. I hope that if you are having to go through a breast cancer journey, that my words have validated your concerns and fears so that you feel "normal". And that I have given you some things to ask your doctors about, more importantly!

Let's see what we learn with Segment #3 - radiation!!

Hugs and peace to you and your home!


1 comment:

  1. Thank you Renee for this blog, it sure helps your family keep up on what is going on with you on this very difficult phase of your life. We are so glad you are through with chemo and we pray that you are cancer free.

    Much love -

    Sandy, Chuck and Ashley