Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sit down, buckle up and hold on

Because this is going to be one heck of a ride. Today was surreal and I don’t really know if I have processed all this. I feel numb, pissed and scared sh*tless – I really didn’t ever want to feel pissed but I do right now. I am pissed because my plan of not needing chemo and getting a double mastectomy and getting good new boobs didn’t work out so well – and I really don’t like when my brilliant plans don’t work out in reality how I have them in my mind.

I am scared out of my mind because, hello, I have NO IDEA what chemo is going to do to me. I have list of what it can do, what medicine I can take but there are some things I can’t take medicine for – tiredness, taste buds changing, and hair loss. Now, I know I currently look cute with short hair, but am I going to look cute with NO hair? Will Ian look at me differently? Will Eric still think I am his beautiful wife? Will I stick out like a sore thumb no matter where I go? I just don’t know. I do know though that there are some cute hats out there, so I will need to go hat shopping soon – that is something I have never said before.

I am scared of the tiredness. I already feel bad for everything that I know Eric is going to have to take care of. I HATE not being able to pull my own weight and help him out and hate even more that I won’t be able to be the great mom to Ian I love being. As my Dr. has told me twice now, I need to go ahead and get it in my head that I will not be winning any mother, wife, employee, friend of the year award.

The taste bud changing bit doesn’t really bother me. I have always said if there was ever a time when I couldn’t taste, I would eat chicken, rice and beans – hey, I might be able to lose these 10 pounds I have been trying to lose forever.

So, here it is – my pickings out of the big black boxes. I am what they call triple negative. I am ER -, PR- and HER2-. What that means is, this isn’t caused by estrogen, progesterone or HER (still not REAL sure what that means). This is a type of cancer that has been getting a lot of press lately due to them defining it by a lack of positive results. With the lack of any positive, they aren’t real sure why the cancer occurs – the best guest is one little stubborn cell got the wrong message and starting duplicating itself like it was someone import and now has caused havoc within my body. The good news to this is it can be treated with a variety of chemo cocktails – whereas if it was ER+ or PR+ there are only a few cocktails to treat with.

I also found out, I am stage 1 (good news) and grade 3 (a faster growing tumor – I don’t want to call it aggressive). With it being grade 3 is in a way a good thing – being as the cells are multiplying quickly, the chemo usually works really well on this type of cancer.

After we found all this out, we were sitting at the “chemo scheduler’s desk” and she asked, so when do you want start. Well hell, is there ever a good day to start chemo?? I picked Friday, yes this Friday to start. However, I am going to call tomorrow to see if I can move my date around depending on when I am going to feel the worst after each treatment. If I can move my day from being on every Friday, I will go ahead and start on this Friday, if not, I will start Monday. The reason I need to know this is because Dr. H said patients normally feel the worst 7 days after the chemo, so I don’t want to feel worst every other weekend. I would rather feel the worst during the week, when Ian won’t be home to see me feeling like crap and Eric can be at work with his mind off of this mess.

Chemo is going to last 16 weeks. I will be on a bi-weekly cycle which is very aggressive, but they have found with the triple negative, if a person can handle the aggressive schedule, the tumor responds much better. And with me being young and healthy, she feels the more aggressive schedule will work for me – I hope so, let’s get this over with.

The first 8 weeks I will be on A/C (I don’t know the exact technical name for this) and the second 8 weeks I will be on taxol. The A/C is supposed to be the worst of it – I will lose my hair within two weeks after starting and it causing extreme fatigue. The taxol isn’t as bad and my hair can even start growing back during this time!

I do realize this is going to be a very trying 4 months, but I just keep telling myself, it is 4 months – not very long. I also realize these 4 months will change me forever and I am ready to get started so I can be done. And, we already had a cruise planned for February 14th and if all goes well according to her plan, we will be on the cruise ship celebrating my cancer free body.
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