So. Let’s see. Where to start.
First the bad: Pretty trivial, but I’m starting to get serious muscle soreness/fatigue. Started after I took Georgie for a long walk. The next day my muscles were quite sore, which I didn’t think much of… but they never stopped being sore. So for about a week and a half I’ve had post-workout muscle soreness. On top of that, things I normally do – charging up two flights of stairs, plopping down on the floor and jumping back up – have become very difficult for me. Essentially I feel like I am in the worst shape of my life – it’s given me a ton of empathy for people who are actually in bad shape, and a lot of gratitude for how I normally feel!
Now, the good: Second to last chemo, baby! I’ve made it through 4, five and six to go. So glad to be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. After 6 I get a three-week break, then six weeks of radiation, five days a week. Not looking forward to that, but Dr. K says for about 2/3 of it I’ll feel pretty good – fatigue won’t hit till near the end.
Today I asked him about having another baby, assuming I am fertile when this all ends. He said the good news is there will be no danger to me or the baby, and there is no evidence to suggest pregnancy or breastfeeding will cause the cancer to recur. I’ll also be getting checked very often – every 3 months for the first year or two years, I can’t remember, then less and less often. Mammograms only once a year – the three-month checkups will be just physicals and blood work. They can detect breast cancer in blood now! Not with 100% accuracy, but he thinks within the next 5 years things will be even farther along. When people talk about how breast cancer research has not brought about changes, I assume they must not know about amazing advances like this.
The bad news is he also told me he still strongly recommends hormone therapy. Aagagaggahhhhh I DON’T WANT HORMONE THERAPY. I told him I can’t do the Tamoxifen because of my antidepressants, and he said I could stay on Lupron – the drug that has been making me fat, bloated, and giving me new wrinkles and hot flashes/night sweats. Cue the tears and me saying, “I don’t want to be old before my time!” to which he immediately replied that this was MY choice, he will work with me on whatever I choose, and that the difference in survival rate numbers is only a few percentage points given my specific situation. He said let’s quit the Lupron after the next admin, see what happens with my period, get me through radiation, and then see how I’m feeling about it. This is why I have the most awesome oncologist in the world. I love this man like a relative. Seriously, Team Kaplan for the win.
So I cheered up and we came down for the chemo. Last week the place was so full and we waited SO long. This week we waited maybe five minutes and have an awesome chemo nurse, Lauren, whom I love.
Swedish (Hospital) chemo is not like other chemos, from what I have heard. We don’t have the chemo circle here – you’re always in a private cubicle (curtained off) or, less often, in a private room. I think prior to this we have had a private room once or twice. They’re way preferable because you can close the door, talk about whatever you want, watch TV or a movie without worrying about disturbing your neighbors, etc., but they are often filled up quickly for this very reason.
Today, Lauren asked if we wanted a room and we said HECK YES! Turns out there were three rooms available and we got to choose so did we pick the one with the chair, the bed, and the ensuite bathroom??? YOU BET WE DID!
So, on a bad news/good news day, the good (as usual) is totally trumping the bad. Had a dream about my Dad last night and he was looking after me again. Grateful for everything, but especially for the support of all my awesome friends (like Mari, who will be joining us here in a bit) and my Mom (who gets here tomorrow night, WOO!!!)
UPDATE: I have found the fault with this room.