Monday, March 25, 2013

Chemo: Ready or Not, Here I Go

Last Friday I spent much of the day at the hospital with the CT and the MUGA scans and running into issues with my horrible veins. We got the results today. The CT scan didn't show any signs of cancer lurking anywhere else. Praise The Lord! The MUGA scan showed that my heart is strong and healthy and ready for chemo. Thank you, Jesus.

Today I spent some time with my oncologist, Dr. Shanks. He answered some more questions, cleared up the lymph node pathology report and laid out my chemo treatment plan. Turns out 15 nodes were removed, two of them were sentinel and the other thirteen were axillary. Out of those 15, seven had cancer cells in them and the rest were clear. Because of the number of nodes that were positive for cancer, radiation will be also be required after chemo.

Dr. Shanks laid out a tentative chemo schedule. If the last two drains aren't able to come out on Wednesday like we are hoping, or the drain holes or incisions aren't healed as much as they would like, things could be pushed back a few weeks. During chemo, if I ever go in and my white blood cell count isn't high enough, that will push things back a week. But this is the general idea:

Chemo with Adriamycin and Cytoxan: Eight weeks, chemo every other week for a total of four treatments, with a Neulasta injection the day following each treatment
Chemo with Taxol and Herceptin: Once a week for twelve weeks.
Radiation: Five days a week for six weeks with Herceptin every third week

After Radiation I will continue with Herceptin every third week for roughly another 40 weeks. (No, that was not a typo.). The Herceptin targets the aggressive HER-2 marker on my cancer. Somewhere in there I will start Tamoxifen which is a hormone therapy. That targets the Estrogen Receptive marker. And somewhere in there, hopefully, we will switch out the current expanders for my semi-permanent silicone bionic breasts. Hopefully.

So that's what I'll be doing for the next year. What will you be doing? I can't imagine it will be more fun than what I'll be doing!

My newest prayer requests are for the drains to removed on Wednesday, the drain holes to heal quickly and the surgical sites to be healed well enough to start chemo on April 1. Not kidding!


  1. Soooo thrilled and rejoicing with you on your wonderful scan results!!! The sooner you start chemo the sooner you are done!!!

  2. Continuing to pray for you through all this and for your family!!! Thank you for doing this blog!