Hey guys! Round 3 is in the books.
They got a vein on the first try, thank you Jesus, and it actually went faster this time. Done after 2 hours and 45 minutes instead of over 3 hours. I did get a headache like my first time, but Jason ran to a CVS across the street like my knight in shining armor to get me Tylenol and that remedied the issue.
Now I wait for the onset of fatigue/appetite loss/dry mouth for the next week, but at least I am nearing the finish line for my first round of treatment!
Did I say first round of treatment? [insert HUGE sigh here] YES, that's what I said. I asked one of my oncology nurses point blank today what would be next for me. I had been browsing my original regimen outline my doctor had given me. I noticed 4 treatments with the meds I've been given, and then another 4 with a different one. It's not 100% certain, but pretty darn likely.
I have a follow up with my oncologist doc after my last treatment (which will be May 11th). I assume he'll be setting up a PET scan with me then or maybe even prior to that? Regardless, that will answer a lot of questions on how well the chemo has been working for me. We know the tumor is near impossible to find by touch now, but hopefully that damn lymph node is cured too.
Next? I can safely assume I'll be meeting again with my surgeon and plastic surgeon. How soon will that all go down? Well, that's a mystery to me at this point. My second chemo treatment, if needed, will be after I've had surgery. This much I know.
Something that slipped my mind with my last post I had intended to mention is that I got the results back from my first genetic test. I was tested for the BRCA1/BRCA2 genes. My genetic counselor was shocked to report that it had come back negative. She was convinced, considering my age and lack of direct female relatives aside from my mother and grandmothers, that it would come back positive.
She urged me to consider getting another version of the test. I'm not sure if I understand it completely, but it had to do with rearranging the gene DNA to see if I had some mutation of either I believe? I got results back from that today. Guess what? Negative! Beyond strange. She thought that'd be positive too. Lol... so now I am going to get more blood drawn to send off to the labs for testing of some P53 gene.
Happy news out of this? Well, without carrying the BRCA1/BRCA2 gene, I don't believe my nieces will need be concerned for an increased risk of breast cancer. If Jason and I are blessed to have a child one day, we don't need to be concerned that our child carries the gene. Also, this means I'm not at an increased risk myself for ovarian cancer! I'll take what I can get when it comes to good news. The problem is, they can't tell me how likely my chance of breast cancer returning would be, or whether I might get it in my other breast. Still hoping for my double mastsectomy regardless though. I want to eliminate the risk altogether.
So, I'm bald now. Like, save for a few hairs I am legit bald. It was much more disheartening to me than I originally anticipated. I've broken down a few times over it. Especially when it really began to fall out. I'm at peace now. In fact, as I write this, I'm rockin' my bald head in all its glory. Haha.
This does mean more hats, more wigs, etc. Which is okay. I'm getting used to it. ^_^ My parents came to visit us last Saturday, which was very very nice. I had missed them a lot. They bought me a couple new wigs, and my new long one is seriously fabulous. I wish my hair could be that full and gorgeous naturally! Check it out. I'm wearing it in my chemo pic, but this shows the color in it so much better --
Otherwise, I keep on truckin'. After my treatments, I usually don't seem to have the strength to return to work until the following Thursday. Even then, it's a bit straining for me. Then I work a couple more days to finish out the week, and work every day leading up to my next treatment. It's helping to keep me sane I think. Too much energy, anxiety, thoughts to deal with if I'm left in my own company too long.
That's why it is best for me that I have the hubby while I get and recover from my treatments, and some loving family and friends to step in on some in between days he can't be with me. Work and my friends at work to help me cope the rest of the time. So grateful for everyone. :)
This time around, I'm going to work on building my stamina to see if it helps at all. I still plan to rest when I need rest, but my nurse suggested trying to get up as often as I can throughout the day to walk around for at least 10 minutes. I think I need to. This time I've been experiencing more anxiety for whatever reason. Possibly just the anxiety that this first part of my journey is already complete? Who knows. Jason and I got out to a community park across the street from our place to walk for a few minutes earlier this evening. Felt good to get fresh air and a little light exercise. So hoping to repeat that for sure.
My SIL Marylou is participating in the 3-Day Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in my honor, bless her heart! And she's officially signed up for it. Now my other SIL Briana just set up a team to walk in my honor as well for the November 4th San Diego Race for the Cure. Team Pwn Cancer for the win, bitches! Hahaha. Seriously though, I registered Jason and I to walk as well. I plan to win this fight so I registered myself as a survivor.
I mention this because I'd like to urge anyone reading to donate to this beautiful cause. Any amount is deeply appreciated! And if you're interested and able to walk, come join us and our team! If you're unable to, but still want to help, please please donate on Marylou's page first as her donations are required for her to participate in the walk!
Song time! In a Nine Inch Nails mood and found two that work for me. Can't even begin to describe how emotional this has been. I'm always positive about my situation, but it wears on you and breakdowns come at random moments. I believe this first one sums up those breakdown moments and how I feel.
I've got another one for Jason and I...
Forgive me for bombarding you all, but music soothes the soul! Last of all, and not at all NIN, like not even remotely the same genre! Lol. It's originally by Young the Giant, but I love Daren Criss' voice from Glee. So here's a good one for me and and the feeling of enduring chemo.
Okay. I think I've written enough to make up for 2 weeks without a post hopefully. ;) I shall leave you all with my daily devotional for this day from my Jesus Calling app. It was so perfect I could cry.
"Come to Me with empty hands and an open heart, ready to receive abundant blessings. I know the depth and breadth of your neediness. Your life-path has been difficult, draining you of strength. Come to me for nurture. Let me fill you up with My presence; I in you, and you in Me.
My power flows most freely into weak ones aware of their need for Me. Faltering steps of dependence are not lack of faith; they are links to My presence".
"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint" Isaiah 40:29-31
God bless you all! Have a splendid weekend, and as always, thanks for joining me on my journey.