Thursday, September 15, 2011

Chemotherapy Begins...YUCKY

First off, totally unrelated to my topic, the Oklahoma State Fair starts today.  I love the fair, my family loves the fair.  And just as predicted the high today will be 62 degrees and rainy.  This is truly great fair weather.  The next 2 Saturdays I will be at the fair with my family. I can't wait.

Now for the YUCKY part.  Yesterday I received a call from my oncologist asking me to come into her office to meet with her.  That is usually not a good sign.  If it was good news she would have told me over the phone. 

My Absynnian Banana is about 6 foot tall.  It likes the shade. I must throw in a few pictures to keep this blog 

My Oncotype DX test results were in.  Oncotype DX is a diagnostic breast cancer test that looks at the activity in 21 different genes in my breast tumor tissue.  The test measures the chances of my breast cancer returning and the likelihood of my benefiting from chemotherapy.

I scored a 23 on the test.  The scale runs from 1 to 100 with 50 and above being the worst case.  I thought a 23 was very good but it is considered marginal.  My doctor recommended that I take chemotherapy but the decision was left up to me.  She said there are no guarantees with any of these treatments.  The cancer may return even if I take chemotherapy and radiation.  Also the cancer may never return even if I don't take chemotherapy.  It's a roll of the dice.

I planted my miniature banana in the ground this year (verses leaving it in a pot).  It loves being out of that pot!  It has produced bananas in the past that I could eat. 

I talked to my husband.  I made the decision to take chemotherapy.  If the cancer were to return at least we both would have a peace of mind that we did everything possible to prevent it.  So again I am thinking about losing my hair and all the other horrible side effects that come with this treatment.

The chemo cocktail that I will be taking is a combination of Cytoxan and Taxotere.  I will take 6 treatments, one every 3 weeks ending sometime in January.  Then I will start 6 weeks of radiation.

This cocktail causes 5% of the patients to develop leukemia.  Hopefully I will be part of the 95% that it doesn't effect. 

In the next week I will have a port inserted into my chest.  This should help save the veins in my left arm.  Since I had lymph nodes removed in my right underarm I can never have blood drawn or blood pressure taken in that arm again. 

I have chemo class next Tuesday then chemotherapy starts on Wednesday September 21. 

Please remember that I am putting all of this information into my blog for my own reference and for anyone else that might be interested in my journey or is going through the same treatments. 

I am not usually a "Debbie Downer" but I plan on documenting this whole process on my blog.  Never ever feel obligated to leave a comment.  I promise this will NOT become a depressing blog. 

The saying in our family is "It's All Good".   

Thanks everyone for caring. 
Until next time,


Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I know you were hoping so much that it would only be radiation but I am sure you have made the right choice. If you have not tried everything .... My thoughts will be with you all the way through this. I have a very close friend who went through the whole lot a couple of years back, she is fine now and living life to the full. Take care Diane

Carol Esch said...

I was where you are 8 years b.c. was triple negative......spindle cell carcinoma. I had cytoxan/taxol, which left my feet with some hair, etc. radiation.......but I'm still here and each day IS a gift......there are no guarantees for anyone of us. I'm still quilting and enjoying life daily and will until something's always a worry in the back of the mind. I had massage and acupuncture all through treatment along with reiki. I could only eat mashed potatoes part of the time. I tried to improve my diet to veggies and fruits and less sweets....... If I can help you in any way, let me know......... I had treatment in NJ and went to Sloan Kettering for second opinion where they recommended a more intense treatment for far it has worked! I hope it all works for you and IT CAN!
Carol Esch

Elisabeth said...

My dear, dear friend. I feel so helpless and sad when I thinking of you. What can I do for you from where I live? I can pray, I am praying for you and I will continue pray for you and your family. I will be with you in my thoughts and in my heart everyday <3 Do take care, love Elisabeth

Sonia said...

Oh Kathy I think it is great that you are documenting your journey..I also think it gives you an outlet to express your feelings. I pray that the chemo will irridicate those cells so they will not return ever. I have always thought if I were to have cancer and lose my hair I would start wearing the cutest hats I never have had the courage to wear or maybe a cute wig in a completely different style or color. One of my friends in my Sunday School class just had a mastectomy and she is in chemo now..she got the prettiest wig and looks so real. I think by doing the chemo you will have peace that you have done everything possible to fight and get rid of your cancer!

Isn't it funny how it always rains on State Fair week or the Arts festival!! Oh well it feels wonderful outside and I know our plants will perk up. Sending hugs your way!!

cheri said...

I've been checking your blog for an update and like you, was praying for no chemo. But I know you are a person that turns lemons into lemonade, and although this is not the path any of us hope or plan for, you'll make the very best. I like that you are going to track your journey and believe it will help you, and those of us that read it. Many, many prayers and thoughts from me to you. Gods Blessings to you and your family during this time. cheri

Mary said...

I lost my 58 year old brother this spring, he waited way too late after he had symptoms and had cancer in the bones, lungs, brain and liver when they found it. But he fought. He fought hard and long.

You sound to be in much more controllable circumstances. Please keep us posted and we will be praying for you. Congratulations on the start of your fight.

I am off to make a Pink quilt block in your honor.

Lurline said...

Hi Kathy,
I have just read your blog for the first time - I came from the BOM site! You are sounding very optimistic and courageous - as a cancer survivor, of course I am interested in your story - you have made all the right decisions so I really send my prayers for you - I had lung removal 1998 and had to go through all the hoops and here I am 12 years later - good luck, my Darling! Hugs - Lurline♥