Saturday, January 20, 2007

One down - Five to Go

Yesterday was really quite uneventful. I was pretty nervous going in, but the nurse I had was wonderful. She went through everything she was going to do, and put into me. Then we went over a list of possible side effects, and if I ever had ANY questions she said to call the office had someone running phones 24/7, and they could call in a prescription for pretty mucn anything I could come up with.

They started me with anti-nausea meds before all my chemo drugs, and so far so good on that end. The steroids that I take give me a boost of some energy, so I'm trying to do a bit of straightening up this morning while Logan and Richard went to Lowe's. I might even attempt to take a shower, yikes!!

The worst part of the whole day was the Lupron shot in the butt, that was a bit sore, but better today.

But I'm SO glad that first one is out of the way. About the only things I'm experiencing is some serious cotton mouth, but nothing some liquids and dry mouth toothpaste won't fix.

So, I guess so far so good. The nurse said it will probably be two weeks to the day of my first treatment that my hair will fall out, while I know it's temporary, I'm unsure how I'll really feel about it once it's gone. So I might go look at wigs next week, just as a back-up plan in case I change my mind.

Thanks for all the thoughts and well wishes, they really helped get me through yesterday. Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Losing my chemo virginity

Well, tomorrow's the big day. I am quite nervous, but only because I don't know what to expect or how I'm going to react to anything. People have told me to just sleep through it, so it goes faster, others suggest reading, listening to music, etc. So I just we'll just hang out and "enjoy" the rest time. So lots of good vibes for tomorrow.

I'm sure it will be a lenghty day. I'll be given three of the chemo drugs (TAC), and since my HER2 receptor results came back positive, they're also adding Herceptin to the mix. So three+ bags of liquid could take awhile.

Note to self: All of the effects of these drugs are temporary, and doing their ultimate job of KILLING THE BEAST!!!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

into the unknown

So we officially start chemotherapy this Friday. We met with the oncologist on Monday, who made us feel very comfortable, we never felt rushed, and we asked a TON of questions. One of our concerns was being able to have more children after this is all over. And he gave us the option of a Lupron injection, which will shut down my ovaries to protect them from damage during treatment. He said typically only 20-30% of woman go into permanent menopause. So that low number made us feel pretty good. We were going to look into egg harvesting and such, but the cost is outrageous and it's only a 30-40% guarantee. So we're leaving it up to fate, if we're meant to have more children than great, if not, than we have one awesome little boy who we will cherish forever and give lots of extra hugs and kisses.

I'm running the gamet of emotions. I'm excited to finally be getting starting on attacking this cancer, but terrified of what this shit is going to do to me, and my body. I've heard so many different stories of how people respond, and their side affects, and that everyone responds differently. So I don't know what to expect, maybe expect the worst and hopefully be pleasantly surprised, who knows, that's not in my hands. But my onc assured me that I could pretty much go on with "normal" life, just expect to do things slower. And if I am sick to let him know, and they'd fix it, so that's comforting, I think.

Until next time, keep thinking PINK!
*hugs* to all

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Happy Birthday Logan!

Wow, where did these past two years go? I can't believe he's two today, he's turned into such an amazing little person, that I can't imagine my life without him. Happy Birthday baby, I love you!

Portabella, portable, port wine, Port Au Prince, port authority, Port-a-Potty, portage, portal, portative, porter, portfolio, porthole, Portia, portico.

Okay, that's all of them that come to my mind. As you can see port is on the brain. I had my port put in yesterday. I guess it went well, I don't recall much and the site is covered in bandages. I'm not in too much pain, thanks to the percocet. But really, it doesn't hurt as much as I had prepared for, so that's a good thing. It's more of an uncomfortable ache than anything. So I guess this is really real.

Well, off to see what the boys are "building" in the basement, it sounds quite noisy down there.

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend.

~Cancer is a word, not a sentence. ~John Diamond~

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Finally Some Answers

I met with my doctor (Dr. Kepple) today, and we went over all of my test results. On the good news side all of my scans came back okay which means that the cancer has not spread to any major organs or bone, which is excellent. Also all of my bloodwork came back excellent, kidney functions and liver functions are good, and my white blood count is great.

My pathology reports from my biospy also came back. I have Stage 3, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. A stage 3 only because she feels it is in the skin, despite my skin punch coming back negative. Apparently she just picked a spot without any cancer.

So the next step is to get a port put in on Friday. It is outpatient surgery, so nothing major. It will be used to administer chemo, take blood, give fluids if needed and meds for side affects. Much better than getting poked with a needle all the time.

My appointment with my oncologist is on Monday, she thinks he'll want to start chemo on Wednesday at the earliest, we're still waiting for some HER2 receptor tests to come back which could affect type of chemo drug used.

I feel better finally having a plan in place, I am bummed that I forgot to ask if alcohol can be administered through my port, heck with this having to drink the stuff, straight to the blood for maximum effect, ha ha.

And with all of these big changes, my precious Logan turns two on Saturday, wow where did that time go. Richard's mom will be in town for a small celebration, and I'm sure some welcome extra help for a few days after my port goes in.

I have also put myself in touch with some great support groups here in town, and go to my first meeting on Monday which I am very excited about. And Dr. Kepple called this evening with a name of another one of her patients who gave her permission to give her name and number to me, she is about may age going through the same process, chemo before surgery, she is just a few steps ahead of me in the process. So it could be helpful to connect with her.

Keep thinking PINK!

~that which does not kill us only makes us stronger~

Monday, January 8, 2007

So it begins....

One would think that after almost seven years as a volunteer with the Komen Race for the Cure that it makes you immune to the disease, ha ha! No such luck.

So I'll start at the beginning. During my monthly self-exam in early December I noticed something different in my left breast. I honestly didn't think much of it, and thought I would just monitor it for a week. But than I also had some tenderness, which made me think that I could be pregnant as that was how I felt when we found out about Logan, but no such luck. A day or so later, Richard noticed that my areola and nipple had no color to it, and then I got a swollen spot. That was when I called my OB.

Of course, as nature predicts, by the time I got there the swelling was gone. But she did notice a lump, and scheduled me for a mammogram immediately. Knowing what I know, I told her I certainly wasn't willing to take any chances.

So on Dec. 20th, I went in for my mammogram, which much to my surprise, and my mom's disappointment didn't hurt a bit, sorry mom :) I spoke to the radiologist after she read my films, and said that I actually had two masses and my lymph node lit up on the films, she said her first thought was cancer and suggested I have a biopsy. Lucky for me I had an appt scheduled with my breast specialist the following Friday.

So we went through a wonderul Christmas with Logan, and tried not to think too much about it, as much as humanly possible anyway.

Then Tuesday morning at work I get a call from my doctor's nurse. She says Dr. Kepple is back in town for a surgery today and will see you at 5:30 if that's okay? UM.. YEAH! I wasn't up for waiting until Friday.

We met with her, she noticed some inflammation and did a skin punch (skin sample) to test for inflammatory cancer, which did come back negative, woohoo. She also told us that yes I did have the big "C" word. Which honestly once she said that not much else sunk in. But I got my orders for a bunch of testing for the following week.

I hope you're all hanging in there, I promise future posts won't be as long. I'll update more frequently. :)

So on the 2nd, Happy New Year, I went in for a CT Scan, a bone scan and a Breast MRI, I was injected with so much stuff I probably glowed. I don't recommend a breast MRI by the way, not the most comfortable position to be in for 50 minutes!!

Then my biopsy was on Wed. the 3rd. The radiologist that did it was a hoot, which was good helped me to relax. I didn't feel a thing, three holes, and 5 samples in each hole later and I was on my way.

My doctor called on Thursday and said after looking at my films, that I did have cancer, but it was contained to my left breast and lymph nodes. She was setting up an appointment for me with her on Tuesday (tomorrow the 9th) have my port put in on Friday the 12th, and start my appt with my oncologist for chemo on the 15th. Whew, what a whirlwind!

Then the radiologist who did my MRI called on Friday and said that yes it was cancer! What you're kidding, I had no idea (obviously at that point, it had pretty much sunk in, Hi my name is Jeni, and I have breast cancer)

That brings us to the present, well after a LOT of crying, laughing (thanks, mom, jo, jim and a little help from a puppet), screaming, throwing things, blah blah.

I meet with my doc tomorrow to go over ALL of my results and talk about a treatment schedule. Her plan with the chemo (6 cycles) before any surgery is to use the tumors as a measure of how well the chemo is working, if it's doing it's job they will shrink, if not, it allows them to adjust meds.

I'm feeling pretty strong about the whole thing at this point. I'm just anxious to get a plan of attack together and beat the hell out of this thing.

I will use this blog as a way to keep in touch with everyone, so check back often.