Monday, May 15, 2023

So. Much. Chemo.

I met with my oncologist today.  We'll call her Dr. O.

She went over the PET scan results in more detail with me, and "according to the math" my breast cancer is "Stage 1B".  I figured it was either a one or two, but she said the size or the tumors make it a 1B rather than a 2A.

For treatment the plan is

  • Doxorubicin + Cytoxan every other week for 8 weeks (so 4 rounds)
  • Taxol every week for 12 weeks (12 rounds)
  • Surgery 4-6 weeks later (lumpectomy!)
  • Radiation 4-6 weeks after that (no plan on how long yet)

Is this a lot? It feels like a lot.

This puts me at 20 weeks of treatment (or almost 5 months).

She said I'll need a port installed in my chest for the chemo to be run through, because it'll wreck the veins if they do it in the arms. I also need to pay attention to any tingling in my fingers because neuropathy is a cumulative side effect that can't be reversed. There's also the risk of heart damage. I'll need a MUGA scan to make sure my heart function is OK before they can begin.


She said I'd feel fine the day of chemo, and likely the day after, but then I'd feel "pretty crummy" like I had a severe case of the flu for two days. Following that I'd feel tired, but recovering.

I've never had the flu that I know of. When everyone else was getting the flu, I was getting fun things like strep throat and bronchitis.

I'm planning on working through it as much as I can. Sadly this means I'll be burning my PTO on cancer instead of being able to save it up for nice things like a vacation. The other option is taking a very long leave of absence, but I'd really hate that. I love my job. Most days 🤣

This is why we can't have nice things.

So much for my summer. With Covid being "over" I was looking forward to meetups, outdoor groups, and board game groups ramping up again. Instead I'll be immunocompromised and masking up.

Hell, the system already has me flagged as "immunocompromised" and they gave me the pneumonia vaccine today.

But then I'd rather be aggressive than having to do all of this again because we weren't aggressive enough.

That pectoral chain worries me. It all comes down to what is happening there.

I was supposed to finish my Bachelor's and start my Master's degree and go on a cruise in December to celebrate.

I'm pretty sure this means putting off the Master's degree until next fall.

I'm not even sure I'll get to graduate this fall.

And Dr. O didn't seem very confident that I'd be able to take my DC class.

I feel like everything I've been looking forward to this year is being taken away.

No comments:

Post a Comment