I met with Dr. Priya today, and I got the news I wanted: NO MORE TAXOL! She agreed with Dr. Colocci that 8 weeks of Taxol, in combination with the Taxotere I’d already received, is enough. This means that I can move onto the next stage of my treatment, which is surgery.
As I also suspected, though, Dr. Priya does want me to receive one more round of Perjeta, so that I’ll have received 4 treatments. So I’ll have that in a couple of weeks, along with Herceptin. I’ll continue to receive Herceptin every 3 weeks from now until March/April, except for a few weeks off around my surgery. All this means that the timing just might work out for my already booked vacation at the end of September, even if I need 2 surgeries to get clear margins.
I called Jennifer, the nurse educator, to give her the good news, and to get the process started for my surgery. There are a lot of things to get lined up now. And I suppose there might be decisions to make. Originally I was opting for a “lump and lift” – a lumpectomy along with a breast lift of both breasts. Now that there’s no tumor to remove, I’m not sure that a lump and lift is still a viable option. I suppose I’ll have a whole new round of appointments soon with Dr. Ching and Dr. White, the plastic surgeon. Regardless, I’m happy that I won’t need any more general chemo.
Last Friday, which as it turns out was my last general chemo infusion, I got the whole cocktail – Taxol, Perjeta, Herceptin, and my friend magnesium. That made for another 7 hours at the infusion center. I’m going to miss my long sessions at the center – I’ve gotten to know the nurses pretty well, and certainly the routine. I’ll continue to visit the center, but my sessions should now be much, much, shorter.
As has been true for the past 3-4 weeks, I’ve been able to handle the side effects of the chemo much better. I still have diarrhea, but it’s mostly under control. Most importantly, I’ve managed to avoid nausea. I really am convinced that drinking 30 oz of water first thing in the morning – before doing anything – has helped with the nausea. They are quite serious when they said to drink 90 oz of fluids a day! My advice to anyone getting chemo – drink that 90 oz! For me, drinking 30 oz first thing in the morning jump started my intake for the day – I probably routinely drink 60 oz during the day, and the additional 30 just ensured that I was getting enough fluids.
On Saturday I went with 3 friends on a “yarn crawl” – think pub crawl only one visits various yarn stores rather than pubs. I spent far too much on yarn that I don’t “need” but had a ton of fun! I can’t wait to go on another one! And the organizer is thinking of organizing a weekend retreat on the coast, complete with private classes. I’m all over that!
This is a very big week at work for me…we go live tomorrow with a new database system. A 2 year project, I could not have done it without the fantastic people with whom I work. Truly, I am blessed, both professionally and personally – today is my anniversary! Happy 30th anniversary, sweetie!