4 down, 2 to go.

Had round 4 of chemo yesterday.. 4 down, just 2 more to go! 6 short weeks and I’ll be done with this portion of my journey.

Mike had that SharePoint 2013 Upgrade over the weekend at work, and a health assessment as well as his flu shot appointment at work yesterday morning, so he biked in to work as usual, but then biked over to 100 Oaks in time for my oncologist appointment and then for my infusion. It worked out perfectly, because I had to wait (as is expected by now) to see Dr. Mayer, so he wasn’t late for anything and got to miss out on all the waiting.

The visit with Dr. Mayer went well, she was happy to see my blood results looking good. My white blood count wasn’t even below normal range, which was nice. I know I felt better this round than I had the last 2 rounds. My taste buds weren’t even doing the funky thing they normally do. I considered that a gift!

I finally got into infusion at about 1:00 (only 2 hours later than the time I was supposed to but only waited at infusion to be called back for 20-30 minutes as opposed to 2 1/2 hours last time.) Anyway, once I got back and got my pre-meds going, chemo finally started around 1:30. We were done with my chemo in 2 hours, then another 30 minutes for the Herceptin. We were both so sleepy that we fell asleep during my last infusion. I only woke up because I had to use the bathroom, and woke Mike up in the process because we had fallen asleep holding hands (awww) I am so very thankful for this man I married. I see women coming in for treatment alone and it makes me sad. He always wants to be there with me for treatment especially, and I tell him “thank you for being here with me” every time we go. His response is always, “Of course, baby!” Words just can’t express my gratitude for him. Although I do try daily to show it to him 🙂

We finally got home a bit after 5pm and had dinner. Mike and I were both so tired that after dinner we just zoned out with TV and kindle.

I started reading a book the night before last. It’s called “Breast Left Unsaid” and written by Jude Callirgos (@judecallirgos on Twitter) We met on Twitter after I did a search for “Breast Cancer” which I do now and then, and followed. She followed back and we have chatted a few times on there. Her book is only 2.99 for Kindle edition so I quickly grabbed it. She was first diagnosed 6 years ago with stage 2B DCIS but it had also started to invade her breast a tiny bit and also her lymph nodes. I’m not yet done with the book, so I don’t know how she is now stage 4 but she is. Reading her book and all the pain she’s been through, the multitude of tests and painful procedures, the emotions (which I can so strongly relate to) has brought tears to my eyes many times, but it also has validated me so much in my decision to just be rid of my natural born breasts from the onset. The what ifs of doing a lumpectomy (especially with my family history) scared me. There is still no guarantee regarding recurrence chances, but I believe my docs and I have the best plan in place for heading this nasty disease off at the pass.

Anyhoo.. day 1 of Round 4 has been tiresome thus far. I woke up feeling DRAINED. Like total crap. Mike got me some more water, I took my meds and went back to sleep. The boys got off to school just fine without me having to leave the bed, which was a bonus. I got up around 10:45 and had some toast, but it’s not sustaining me.  I’m going to scrounge for some lunch now.

The hunt for a wig

I went to the wig shop the other day and tried some on. The person helping me wasn’t the normal wig expert.. it was the hairstylist that worked there. I loved her and appreciated her helping me as much as she could, and fell in love with one of the wigs, but haven’t heard from the person that runs the shop yet. I left my name and # with them too. I’m impatient and now that I have the funds to buy one, I’m frustrated. They’re closed today. So I’m researching another store. It’s frustrating that my insurance won’t pay anything toward a wig. The first place I went to was one of those hair restoration places and everything there is human hair and very expensive. Of course I won’t pay full price for one of those. Even with the cancer patient discount it was going to be $900. No way. I called another place and they actually answered the phone, are closer, and have a discount. So, off to another wig shop for me today.

I went to visit Mike again for lunch today, and was telling him how I thought obtaining a wig would be a quicker/easier process. Here I am about to have my third treatment and I don’t have a wig. I should have shopped a lot sooner, and wish I had known about my insurance not paying anything. I wouldn’t have bothered with the first place and maybe would have gone straight to the local wig shop that I’m going to visit this afternoon. More lessons learned.

I’m also cruising for a new dentist for us. We’re getting due for our cleanings. Mike & the boys already have appointments with new primary care physicians, so I’m glad we have those things established. I still need to find us a new eye doctor too. Moving and getting new healthcare providers as well as going through this cancer stuff is a lot.

I go in the morning for my labs, then see my oncologist, then get chemo, THEN see Dr. Braun again. Full day for sure, but at least the process isn’t starting at 1pm. Tomorrow I’ll be able to say I’m halfway done with chemo. w00t!

 

I love my surgeon

I went to see Dr. Braun today, and I thought I was getting my last fill up. After discussing it with him and having another 100ccs added to my expanders (now up to 670cc) his advice is to err on the side of bigger if I’m on the fence about when to stop.

Also because of how I’m shaped and how I was before surgery (which I was happy with by the way), he says I can still go bigger and it wouldn’t be too big, would be aesthetically pleasing/shaped and all that.

The tissue expanders are hard, and the implants are not. So it’s really tough to know what it’ll look like after all is said and done, but I trust his professional judgment. He said rarely has he had anyone say, “I wish I would have gone smaller.” It’s usually the opposite.

I figure with what I’ve been & still have to go through, this is one of the few perks (haha) and I get to have a say in this. I also asked about surgery, and he said surgery during Herceptin shouldn’t be an issue. I will ask my oncologist about this next week also. Since Herceptin is bio therapy, my immune system should be in good shape and not put me at the same risk for infection as when I’m on chemo.

Wow! Two updates in one day. I’m on a roll!

PS one of these days I am going to put a slide show together of my appearance evolution. Should be interesting 🙂

Blog Schmog

Already I’m slacking off on what I had planned to be a regularly updated blog. No, I’m not giving up on it. Also, I don’t want to just blog about blogging and things I intend to do then never get around to actually doing them. How lame is that?

Today I have an appointment with the plastic surgeon. I’ve been debating for 2 weeks now whether I should get one more saline fill in my tissue expanders, or stop. I think I’ve decided to go for one more. They may overshoot where I want to be a little bit, then will let the expanders and my skin rest for 3 months before surgery to swap out for permanent implants. I’m hoping I can still have surgery done while getting herceptin treatments. I’m not positive if that can happen though. Not sure what the risks would be. If I can’t get that surgery while on Herceptin, I’ll have to wait until next August or September to have that surgery! That seems so far away. 🙁 I’ll have the port in until then too though, so they may want to save the port removal and implant swap for one combined surgery.

I need to figure out a to do list for each day, hopefully involving some activity that gets me out of the house. I have better mental health when I go out of the house. Being cooped up is no good for me at all. I have to make a trip to the grocery store today. I might just make a Target trip instead because there are a couple things I need to get for the boys, and Kroger may not have them.

Update since I walked away to get ready for my outing:  I probably can skip Target and do a CVS run instead, because I found one major item on my list that I thought was missing. Yay and TTFN!