My sister arrived in time from NJ to go with Joe and I to the new medical oncologist who is covered under our insurance plan. We were all really pleased and comfortable with him. He was very positive and talked about curing this. Many people have told me the statistics don't reflect current treatment. They used to treat IBC like other breast cancers. Now, they start out with chemo therapy, then do surgery, then more chemo and radiation. They are experiencing improved results with this regimen. Even with the poorer statistics, I was trying to be realistic yet optimistic at the same time. At this point there is no reason to think I won't be one of the survivors. If all the good thoughts and prayers and love pouring in are any indication, I'm a shoo in for recovery!
Anyway, the doctor wanted to get started with the chemo right away, which was our goal when we made the appointment. Every day waiting to start treatment felt like a day given to the cancer to have its way.
I got my first treatment Tuesday morning. Getting the chemo wasn't too bad. It just goes in through an IV. I was in a big room with a bunch of other patients who were receiving chemo, too. One thing that amazed, but saddened me, too, was that many of the patients were as young as I am or younger. They gave me medication through the IV to ward of nausea and three different prescriptions to take at home to help. None of them worked! About 3 in the afternoon I was overcome with nausea and it didn't go away for two and a half days. Today, finally, the worst seems to be over. I'm tired, weak, and shaky, but thank goodness my stomach has calmed down. I'm able to take small bites of bland food. The worst thing is the chemo has changed how everything tastes. Even if it tastes ok going in, within a few minutes my mouth tastes like old paste. It's disgusting and I spend a lot of time brushing my teeth.
My sister, Pam, took me today and I got my hair cut shorter in preparation for it falling out. It wasn't too traumatic. This morning was the first time I'd taken a shower since Tuesday (I know, YUCK!) and even after showering blow drying is totally out of the question. So, going bald may be a good thing under the circumstances. Pam, Janaya, and I went cranial prosthesis (that's what they call a wig when you have cancer!) shopping the other day after the chemo before the nausea set in and picked on out. It should be here next week, just in time for when real hair loss sets in.
Well, I'm exhausted right now. Love to everyone!