The first slap

The first slap
This photo was taken the day after I was diagnosed, and it is my first bitch slap at cancer. I'm the one with the icepack symbolically placed on my boob. My teammates changed our team's uniform to pink at the last minute, and I came off the soccer field that night with one goal and a whole lot of love. Several of these women are my close friends, but they are all warriors, and they all helped me set the tone for this fight.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Treatment update: Bye bye, Taxol

I'm writing this post as I sit here in the chemo suite at Carle Hospital in Urbana, getting my premedications for my final dose of Taxol. (I can already hear the collective cheer ringing in from family and friends near and far.) I'm feeling good knowing that my first course of chemo is coming to an end. Also, the anxiety that I wrote about last week has subsided (although it hasn't gone away entirely).

This may seem obvious, but I will not miss Taxol. After all, it has done a fairly good job of stripping me of head hair, annoying my immune system, and jerking my digestive tract around. I have to say, though, that at the very least, Taxol has become a known quantity, and one that is also relatively mild on my system. I'm not expecting to be so pampered during my post-surgery course of chemo in April and May, when I'll get Adriamycin and Cyclophosphamide (A/C). Here's a link to some general info regarding A/C: http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Cancerinformation/Cancertreatment/Treatmenttypes/Chemotherapy/Combinationregimen/AC.aspx, which I'll be getting infused every two weeks over an eight week period (four cycles).

In other news, my surgery (modified radical mastectomy on the right side) is coming right up, scheduled for March 7th, and mom is coming for a couple of weeks to help out (yay, Mom!). I know it is considered a big milestone, but the surgery itself is not causing me any particular worry or anxiety. I'm mostly anxious to know to what extent the tumors have shrunk or gone away. I will be getting an MRI in the next few days, which will help determine that. However, the pathology to be conducted on what is removed--breast and lymph nodes, including any remaining tumors or scar tissue--will provide a definitive answer regarding the extent to which the bitchslaps that made up the first round of chemo have done their job. We know that there has been rapid and extensive tumor shrinkage, but my oncologist is still able to feel something at the tumor sites during physical examination. That said, what she feels is very poorly defined, and when I try to feel around in the same locations, I can't feel much at all. So, my doc and I are hopeful that what is still there is scar tissue and not actually the tumors. The MRI will help, but that only goes so far in helping doctors know what's what when things show up in the images. We just won't know the status of shrinkage/disappearance until the post-surgery pathology is complete.

Alright--the Benadryl buzz is setting in fast, so I'm signing off.

1 comment:

  1. I was fighting against a cancer stage 4.I think it is very important that family support to win, because i was very weak;really helped me participate in one group of victims of cancer, so my mood improved, also helped me a lot a medical adviser in advisercancer-diseases.com (they are doctors),this is important .I recomended not surrender, because sometimes the first treatment does not work as me, and sometimes change doctors it is necessary.Read positive thinking books gave me more energy.During my cancer,i changed my diet,now i eat vegetarian organic food(now i not eat meat).I think is a set of things that help me.
    Xoxo
    Linda

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