I realize it’s been a while since my last post…packing/cleaning/moving/unpacking took up a lot of my time over the last couple of weeks.
What’s new, pussycat:
On the treatment front, chemo continues. I’m sitting in the hospital now getting my 7th(!) dose. My, how time flies… At my 4th round of chemo (2/10/16, also the day I finally got a port!) my blood work revealed elevated liver enzymes (for you numbers people: my ALT was 308, Grade 3, which is moderate to severe…for reference, Grade 5 is fatal) and reduced lymphocytes (enough that they were concerned about lymphopenia). My oncologist and the study director felt that this was pretty good evidence that I was, indeed, in the study group that included all three drugs (paclitaxel, carboplatin, and veliparib). The values were far enough out of range to warrant discontinuing the veliparib (the experimental oral PARP) temporarily to see if things would return to normal without it. After one week (2/16/16, so reality: 6 days) without the oral medication, my ALT levels were down to 108 (Grade 1) and all other values back to normal. After two weeks (2/25/16) ALT values were within normal range, which was fairly conclusive evidence that the veliparib was the culprit. They decided to start it back up to see if my body would react again the same way. Today (3/1/16), one week after being back on the velparib, all values are normal. We’ll see what happens next week…fingers crossed I can continue in the study.
Starting to see some more cumulative effects from the chemo. Neuropathy continues to worsen (concentrated mostly in the toes/feet right now…very interesting to not be able to feel my feet but be walking on pins and needles at the same time), more hair loss (at about 75% gone now…it’s pretty thin up there), as well as some skin issues (tiny red bumps on my hands, red zit-like bumps on my head where the hair follicles are irritated/inflamed (folliculitis). Appetite still strong 😉 and the insomnia is getting better (consistent 5-6 hours per night…still not ideal but I’ll take it!) after finally convincing my doctor to omit the oral dexamethasone and only receive it IV on chemo days.
They’ll check the size of the tumor in a week or two via ultrasound and possibly mammogram to see if the chemo is having any effect. The oncologist thinks it feels smaller via palpation and external measurements indicate the same. Fingers and toes crossed on this one!
Thought I’d share some general info on triple negative breast cancer and how it is simlar than and different from other types of BC, for those interested in learning more from a reputable source: http://www.tnbcfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Guide-to-Understanding-Triple-Negative-Breast-Cancer.pdf
Finally, Maggie was off school today so we jumped on the face swap bandwagon and had some fun at the hospital while waiting for chemo: