Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Change in Treatment Plan

Well, we went for my chemo treatment yesterday and as usual saw Dr. Polowy first. I told him I wasn't seeing any change in my breast and that the underside of my upper left arm had become very sore to touch or if I reached for anything with that arm. I had had a similar discomfort before I started treatment, but it had gotten better after the first chemo. My constant fear is that the chemo isn't working as well as it should and the cancer will spread, as IBC is prone to do, before we've done surgery. The negative PET scan and bone scan were true gifts. Many, many people aren't diagnosed until the cancer cells have spread. I am a procrastinator at heart, especially when it comes to scheduling doctors appointments and the initial symptoms of IBC are easy to ignore. I don't know why I was more aggressive about this, but am so thankful I was.

Anyway, Dr. Polowy said the discomfort under my arm wasn't a typical symptom and wasn't really sure what was causing it. I thought doctors were supposed to have all the answers. :>( I do appreciate his honesty. To be safe, he's decided to add a third chemo drug to my present regimen. I also totally appreciate his wanting to be very aggressive in my treatment. This is the drug that I would have started after finishing up the four cycles of the present drugs, he's just adding it now. My schedule now changes to every three weeks. I think this is because it may take my blood counts a bit longer to come back up after. I tried to talk him into continuing the two week plan, but he said no. I've told people this, but once the first week is over and I'm feeling mostly over the effects of the chemo, I start to worry about feeling good. It feels like the chemo isn't working anymore and I'm giving the cancer cells a respite. Dr. Polowy says this isn't true, but it's hard not to worry about it.

Well, that's it. I had to take premeds to prevent an allergic reaction to the new drug, so we had to delay the treatment until this morning. I'll let everyone know how it went when I'm feeling better.

Love you all tons!


The SAB team said...

Martha, it was so nice to see you at the party. I hope you had a nice time. I told Joe that I hope I didn't hug you too tight! (I remembered later that Joe had told me your skin is very sensitive.) Just to remind you I think about and pray for you every day! Let's hope this new chemo works really good!

velvet brick said...

Hi Martha,
It sounds like your doctor is keeping a step ahead of the ugly disease for several of which is he realizes what a committed patient you are towards your treatment and cure. You have had such a wonderful, positive and yes, aggressive perspective on this. All those things that make you such a wonderful lady and patient make you a 'horrible foe' to the don't think for one minute that because you have days that you feel so good is giving the cancer ANY respite. Each moment of feeling good is another way of saying 'take that, cancer!' I'll be sending prayers and wishes that the new drug doesn't upset your tummy very much! We fight this fight with you, dear friend...and love you all the way! : )

Cheela said...

Hi Martha,

You are so brave!! I admire your spirit so much. I will see you Wednesday when I bring your dinner from all of us at Gilbert El.

Dottie said...

Dear Martha, What a blessing and comfort it must be for you to have a doctor who is as aggressive and on-top-of beating this horrible monster as you are!

I had to laugh when I re-read your last post about you being so competitive--I think that darn IBC has figured out by now that it picked on the WRONG person!!! Little did it know of not only your own "bulldog tenacity" to fight but also of your "network of friends" (that is MUCH, MUCH bigger than Verizon's network, BTW!!) standing solid and strong right beside you to help you fight it as well!! We're going to beat this together, Martha!! Besides, we all know that MARTHA DOES NOT LOSE!! LOL We all are here with you and for you through the fight, Martha!! We're going to beat it!!!

Well, dear friend, once again your courage and candor to talk with all of us about your ordeal as it is happening is TRULY remarkable! We ALL love and care about you so much! And, we're all still just waiting for that moment when you say you need something . . . ANYTHING!

Even though you are temporarily out of your classroom, Martha, every single moment you are still teaching all of us many, many things about life, courage, strength, compassion, beauty, grace, and gratitude! You simply are an amazing lady!!! We all love and support you in every way!!

Very best warm wishes to you and your phenomenal family for the holidays and new year, Martha!!

Lots of love,

DAD said...

Dearest Martha,

You are never out of our thoughts. We are so sorry you have to go though this terrible time but we know you have the power to do it and over come this.

Mom and Dad