Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Unexpected change of plans!

A major shift in plans happened at today's chemo appointment.  My platelet count took a nose dive, so no chemo for me today.  Radiation will start on Oct 1st for 2 weeks, so we'll give my body a break to bring all my blood numbers back up.  Red cells, white cells and platelets had all dipped very low.  Radiation will be followed by a month and a half or so break, then a PET scan to see where I'm at.  Probably chemo will start back up at that point, but who knows...

It feels very surreal.  My brain hasn't caught up with the news.  It's telling me I should be feeling miserable right about now, but no, I'm already back at home and feeling great!  It also feels a little scary, like if I'm not feeling crappy then I'm not going to kick this cancer.  But my oncologist reassured me that the chemo was working so the tumors are smaller and this is a good time to do the radiation, and it won't effect my outcome negatively.  I'm definitely going to enjoy this small reprieve! 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Catching up

A lot has happened in the month since I last posted.  I had a port (yes, they had a good laugh in the OR) inserted in my chest with a catheter going into my jugular.  Best part about this day was Melanie.  She was so kind to drive me, keep me company and massage my feet!  The rest of this week involved a total mind/body meltdown, with just about every side effect known to mankind.  Week 1 of each round is a double dose- Carboplatin and Taxol together.  This and recovering from a minor surgery pushed me over the edge.  I was seriously ready to give up but luckily the following 2 weeks were much much better.  An irregular heartbeat and my hair falling out were the main side effects.  Highlights of these 2 weeks were a birthday massage with Sar, my sister returning from Europe and a trip to Pier 24 my absolute fave photo gallery.

Round 2 started off with a visit with my oncologist where they did a ca125 blood test.  It went from 65 down to 31.  Not bad for only 3 weeks doing chemo!  The first week of round 2 was pretty crappy but nothing even close to the last time I did the carbo/taxol combo.  Again followed by a much easier week.  Knowing this pattern makes it easier to get through the more difficult times.

Last week I went to UCSF for a consultation with a radiation oncologist.  He had a different approach than the doctor at Stanford.  He is recommending we use radiation to eliminate the tumors sooner rather than later, and keep doing the chemo to mop up any remaining cancerous cells.  This would involve 2 weeks of treatment.  I'm waiting to hear back from them, but my guess is that this will start in the next few weeks.

One of my seriously low points was losing one of our cancer support group members, Liz Esterly.  I've been going sporadically since I was first diagnosed in 2008.   Liz was one of the rocks of our group.  Always there, always cursing, saying exactly what was on her mind, she kept us laughing and was 100% there for anyone needing support or a hug.  The idea of her not existing is a very difficult concept for me to fathom...