Hey, everyone! Well, as you can see, I struggled with what to name this post. There were a few other variations on the last effort I could have listed and I'm not a person that uses bad language - ever, but like Janaya likes to point out to me fairly often, there are just some instances when nothing but a well delivered, deeply felt curse word is all that will do.
More chemo. :>(
We met with Dr. Lang at 10:30 this morning and got one of the two remaining drains removed. Luckily, it was the one that was causing me a lot of discomfort. I still have one drain left, but we're hoping it may be able to come out by Friday. She is very happy with how I've done and says my incisions look amazing - something only a surgeon could really truly appreciate. Actually, though, I am pleased, too. It is still very weird to look in the mirror at my chest, but not revolting. Just different. I won't have to see her for six months unless, as she says, I have any nodes or other things come up that I'd like her to check out. Sorry Dr. Lang, I love you, but am not planning on giving you any repeat business if I can help it. :>)
My appointment with Dr. Livingston wasn't until 3:30, so Joe, Pam, and I went to Paradise Bakery for lunch and then to the Degracia Studio. He is the artist that does those well known Indian works. After that, there was just time to stop for Cold Stone and then back to the Cancer Center.
I knew right away Dr. Livingston seemed more serious than he usually does. You might remember a couple of months ago I wrote about the radiologist who explained to me about the cancer cells that survive chemo being the hardy ones that are hard to get rid of. Well, those are the ones that made it out of my breast and into the lymph nodes. Dr. Lang removed the lymph nodes she could find, but there are others under the chest wall muscle that aren't removed during surgery and Dr. Livingston says we could assume that there is a good chance that they have some cancer cells in them.
So, here is the plan of attack:
- Meet with the radiologist tomorrow and hopefully, if my drain comes out by Friday, start radiation on Monday. Radiation usually lasts about six and a half weeks, Monday through Friday.
-Take an oral chemo drug called Xeloda which will potentiate the effect of the radiation as well as work on its own against the cancer cells.
-Go back to see Dr. Livingston in eight weeks when I've finished radiation and he will increase the Xeloda dose and put me on one of two other chemo drugs which will be once a week through my port. I will be on this chemo for twelve weeks.
-Start a drug called Zometa which helps prevent bone metastasis, through my port once a month for six months and then every three months for three years.
A little overwhelming to say the least, but at least I know they are doing everything possible to help me beat this disease.
Both doctors agreed I will be able and should return to work. My principal, Sheila, wants me to come back. I've signed my contract for next year already. And, I am not whole without teaching in my life. Dr. Livingsgton said the hardest part will be fatigue, but I think I get more physically and emotionally tired being home, missing being at school than I will actually teaching.
So, that is the plan. Part of me wants to crawl into my bed and just cry, but a much bigger part is glad I have a doctor who is treating me so aggressively and I really want to do my part. Too many tears and negative energy can not possibly help.
I also wanted to say thank you to all of my wonderful friends who have delivered dinners all this past week. Amazing dinners. Five star restaurant dinners. My weight today was up two pounds from last week! :>) Knowing I'm going back on chemo, this is awesome. It was so nice at the end of each day to not have to even think about what we were going to make for dinner or to clean up. Thank you all!
Closing with a picture I had Joe take of me just now in the backyard. A new hat I bought at the Cancer Center gift shop. I have completely abandoned wearing my wig. It is like wearing a wool cap in the middle of the Sahara desert. I guess with more chemo coming up I'm going to have to be resigned to being bald a while longer. Darn. I hate being bald. Anyway, I loved this hat and wanted to end my post with something happy.
Love you all tons!