Wednesday, May 13, 2009

One End is in Sight!

Hi, everyone. Yesterday was chemo day. My second to last treatment. I get my last chemo next Tuesday and meet with Dr. Livingston and Dr. Lang to discuss and schedule my surgery. I'm in a weird place emotionally. I am so glad to be finishing up with the chemo. It has been a long six months. I am exhausted and so very tired of dealing with all of the physical side effects.

I have very mixed emotions about having the surgery, though. On one side, I am very excited to get to the next stage of my treatment. I so want all of this to be done with and behind me as much as possible. On the other side, my prognosis and plans for the future depend so much on what they find when they do the surgery. My understanding of the kind of cancer I have (triple negative) is that generally it is more likely to metastasize and has a poorer prognosis than other types of breast cancer. However, if I achieve a complete pathological response at the time of surgery, my prognosis improves to about the same as other types of breast cancer. Complete pathological response means that the chemotherapy has completely eradicated the cancer. Studies show that about one third of triple negative patients achieve complete pathological response. Can you tell I've been doing my research? :>)

If there is residual disease at the time of surgery, Dr. Livingston said I may need more chemo after the surgery. UGH! If I develop metastasis, I will be in treatment for the rest of my life. UGH!

My friends in book club reminded me last night of living and celebrating one day at a time. Liesl put it perfectly with a saying she knew. Something like, energy spent worrying about tomorrow's problems is energy taken away from enjoying today. I so believe this and have always tried so very hard to live my life that way. It is just hard to do in the quiet moments alone each day or lying in bed awake at night. Of course I am worried about a bad outcome, but I think the hardest part is the unknown. In that way, the surgery coming up is a very good thing. At least I will know what I am dealing with.

On a really positive note, Joey is home for the week! I wish all of you could see him and get to know him. What a wonderful young man he is growing into! He is happier than I can ever remember him being at any time in his life. He has made great friends at school. He is very active doing outdoor activities. He spent the last two days with a friend riding longboards, playing wiffle ball, running errands, and (picture me cringing right now) hunting rabbits. He has a great sense of humor and is very affectionate. What better way to make some of the time go than spending it with him?!

Well, that's it for now. Thanks for "listening" to me. :>) I'll let everyone know what we find out from the doctors next week.

Love you all tons!


Jane said...

Sending you lots of extra positive thoughts and prayers Martha! I am so glad that you about to put these 6 months behind you. You are going to do great!

Enjoy having Joey home, what a treat that must be. My oldest is coming in next week for a couple of days, and I am so excited!!

velvet brick said...

Sometimes the unkown is more difficult to handle than the known! Of course there are a lot of scenarios that your mind plays...but Liesl was so right about energy spent...and Martha, I truly feel very good about the upcoming visit with the doctors, the surgery and reports and the prognosis. It is a milestone in your treatment, true. Look at how far you have come and how well you are doing, even despite a few lost hairs or nails!! I am keeping you in my daily thoughts and nightly prayers. I also appreciate you keeping us updated here. Let me know how it all goes... I feel a celebration coming on! : ) xox