The tumor board met last week to discuss the question of whether or not to divert from the original plan: Chemo Cocktail (CC) #1, CC #2, Mastectomy (MX), Radiation, or do the surgery sooner because the tumor wasn’t shrinking: CC #1, MX, CC #2, Rad. They did not believe that there was a need to rush into surgery at this point so we’re going to continue on as planned, more or less…the clinical study had me starting CC #2 two weeks after the last dose of CC #1 (which was today – hooray!), but I requested to start earlier (let’s get this shit shrunk!) and my medical oncologist did not see a clinical reason not too since my blood counts have been ab fab up to this point and the physical side effects minimal, so the longer break is not necessary in my case (because I’m processing the poisons they pump into me like a boss…like a BOSS!). Study coordinator confirmed today that this is the plan, so next week Tuesday we start ‘The Red Devil’. Planning on crushing that, too.
MRI still scheduled for tomorrow morning and I’ll likely just update this post with the results once they come in. It will give us some more insight, potentially, into what’s going on with the change in consistency of the tumor, but probably won’t change the treatment plan. My left breast has been tender and swollen for a couple weeks now, and the pain radiates into my underarm and elsewhere on my chest (especially the lymph node area…boo). It’s one of the main reasons I want to start CC #2 ASAP. We don’t know what the tenderness means and I want to feel like we’re attacking this thing as aggressively as possible. The constant reminder that this tumor is there does nothing to boost my mood (in fact it’s, you know, rather soul crushing…), and the last couple of weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions with more lows than highs, but knowing that we have a plan of action helps.
Then there is the suspected chemo-induced menopause. Hot flashes throughout the night (some during the day), as well as cold flashes (who knew that was a thing?!?). I have been having them for several weeks now but didn’t really put two and two together until more recently…a menopause epiphany! Sounds like it’s not uncommon while being given certain chemo drugs, and things may or may not return to normal once treatment is complete (so that I can go through it all over again later…at least I’ll know what to expect!). It’s probably partly responsible for my mood swings (not that I don’t have enough reason to be down in the dumps on occasion these days, but the difficulty in dragging myself out of it is a new sensation, as well as the frequency of occurrences…it’s minute to minute). It could also be playing a role in my boob tenderness since that’s a common side affect during perimenopause…I’m trying to convince myself of that until we find out something different 😉
Also sending thanks out for all the well-wishes, food, cards, care packages, etc. that are continuing to come my way…feeling loved is the best mood booster out there 🙂 You all R-O-C-K!
4/7/16 Update – discussed images from yesterday’s MRI with oncologist and she is happy with the results. The mass as a whole has increased in size from 7cm to 8cm, but the more solid ‘tumor’ part of the tumor has gone from 5cm to 3.3cm, which she says is a significant reduction. The rest of that mass is the liquid (or, at least, less dense) portion they are thinking/hoping is necrotic tissue/cells. For some reason, it’s just hanging out instead of being removed from the breast and disposed of, and they don’t know why. This is what is causing the swelling and tenderness in my left breast. Hopefully the next cocktail of chemo that starts on Tuesday will continue to shrink the tumor as well as kickstart the normal waste removal mechanism… Also, the lymph node they biopsied back in January looks smaller, so more good news! Just gotta keep truckin’…