So to answer the quick & easy thing, drains didn’t come out today, but Righty was down to 20 cc last night, so if she stays low tonight, I’m calling in the AM. Lefty was 35… we’ll see.
Today I met with my Medical Oncologist, and he confirmed that I really, really don’t have to have radiation (woo hoo!) but that because of the pathology of some of my tumor I do indeed need chemo. I was given two options:
- I could go the traditional chemo route, which includes likely nausea and hair-loss, but would not require me to have a port implanted in my chest and would be delivered in four infusions over 3 months (really, 9 weeks although it will be in my system for 12 weeks)
- I could go with a gentler route, likely keep my hair, but would have to take oral chemo daily and would have to go in for an infusion every single week for 6 months
Being the absolutely not patient sort, knowing people who have had some trouble with long term chemo (including my mom’s continued neuropathy almost 2 years later) and wanting to be on the other side of all of this as soon as possible, I’ve picked door number one.
- Beyond needing to be done ASAP, I know both my mom and a friend of mine who had colon cancer had problems with part of the “gentler” cocktail.
- I do worry that more time means more exposure to the kinds of things that caused mom’s long term side effects. Of course her treatment was different, but the dream of being done with the worst stuff by the time I turn 39… that’s big stuff.
- MAYBE I’ll even be able to do new boobs for my husband’s 38th birthday in March… then he’d have to come up with something REALLY cool for me for MY 40th birthday. I mean how do you top new boobs?
This means I will start this stage my treatment next Friday, 9/21, and my last one will be 11/23… yep, Black Friday for you, Pink Friday for me! As you know, none of this is fun or easy, but I’m a little bit excited to be able to start making long term plans and think past treatment to true recovery. The drugs in this cocktail are Taxotere and Cytoxan (so it’s called TC treatment), and then a bunch of stuff to help with the side effects of those two.
Here’s how my chemo days will look:
- Blood test to check things like my white cell counts and liver function
- First time only, I meet with a nurse for an hour to learn about WTF is about to happen to my body
- Sometimes there’s a break, then I do 90 min of Taxotere
- Maybe a lunch break, then 90 min of Cytoxan
I’ve decided to have the treatments on Fridays so that I’m able to recover over the weekend. On the off days I’ll have things like appointments with my medical oncologist, Dr. G, and more pumping up the water balloons… and working as much as I can handle to stay out of the Honey Boo Boo boredom zone.
I won’t start to lose my hair until I’m a little ways into this, likely not after the first treatment, but the second treatment or so. I’ve got a little bit of time to research hats, scarves and wigs, as well as a local wig maker who will make one out of your own natural hair… although I’m thinking I’ll do something crazy too. Because I can.
What I have less time to pick out is a pair of kick ass boots to wear to chemo. Also, because I can.