Last Tuesday I had an appointment with Dr. Ching, my breast surgeon. She gave me a big hug and said that she knew I’d been through a lot. We discussed the events still coming up for me: the database conversion on July 15; the Institute I’m chairing the first week of August in Boston; and my vacation at the end of September. We discussed all the various options and permutations of what can happen. She reminded me that there’s a possibility that I will need 2 surgeries: during the first surgery she will remove what the tumor area and hope to get clear margins, as well as look at my lymph nodes. If the pathology shows that we don’t have clear margins, then a second surgery will be done – as quickly as 2 weeks after the first surgery. I’d forgotten about the possibility of the second surgery; that complicates the timing even more. Nothing can really be decided about when my surgery will be, though, until we know when my chemotherapy will end. I told Dr. Ching that I’m a bit confused about all that: Dr. Priya had told me she was considering 10 weeks of Taxol, but we hadn’t had a chance to discuss that recently. She’s out of the office until July 13, and while I had an appointment with an oncologist the next day, Dr. Ching correctly surmised that Dr. Colocci would not want to make a final decision about how many more treatments I’ll have with Dr. Priya’s imminent return.
I have an appointment with an oncologist every three weeks, and met with Dr. Colocci this time. We went over all the usual things, mainly how I’ve been feeling. She reduced the amount of Taxol because of the neuropathy in my fingers and toes. I then told her that I was unsure how many more treatments I am to receive. She said that because my tumor is gone, and because I had 2 rounds of Taxotere, that she believed that 8 weeks of Taxol is enough, but that Dr. Priya had to make the final decision. This Friday will be my 8th treatment of Taxol, and so Dr. Colocci said that I was to insist upon getting an appointment with Dr. Priya Monday or Tuesday, so that if need be, we can cancel my infusion appointment for the 17th.
It’s a bit mind boggling to think that after all this time – five months – that I could be done with chemo aside from Herceptin. I have no idea how Perjeta plays into this (i.e., how many treatments of Perjeta will Dr. Priya like me to have?). but I am going to push like hell to be done with chemo as of this Friday. Dr. Priya did not know the results of my 2nd breast MRI, so I’m really hoping that because the tumor is gone, that I’ve had quite enough chemo. Keep your fingers, toes and paws crossed!
Speaking of paws, after my infusion on Thursday, Ted and I left for Auburn on our way to Elko, NV to deliver a cat to her forever home. We then spent the following night in Reno, and availed ourselves of a couple of buffets. I don’t know whether it what was I ate at the buffets, or whether this round of chemo was easier, but I haven’t had the problems with diarrhea this week, and I feel pretty good. My blood pressure is up – almost to the point where I might need to go back on my high blood pressure meds. I do think that drinking 30 oz of water first thing in the morning has really helped. Nothing really helps the mess that my nails are (I’ve now lost 4 toenails and 4 fingernails), but I haven’t gotten other symptoms such as mouth sores, so I’ll take it.
This Friday I’m pretty sure I’ll get Taxol, Perjeta and Herceptin, and no doubt magnesium. I hope all goes well!