So I finally started feeling better yesterday... more like myself again. Thank goodness! So it took a full five days to get back to feeling more like normal. It's a scary feeling. When you rely on your healthy body for so much and it doesn't produce. I thought I was going to be able to breeze through this first high dose like the other small doses before, but that definitely did not happen. I'm definitely not 100%, but the fog is gone. I start getting tired and a bit dizzy around 3-4pm. Also have a constant bloated feeling in my belly. I'm glad I know what to expect the next three rounds.
Cravings: anything sweet and fried/salty. Onion rings now have a secret place in my heart. It's strange, all of the healthy, whole foods I usually eat don't sound good. Icecream, tapioca, baked sweets and onion rings sound fantastic! I'll probably gain weight during these next 7 weeks. I think I need to eat more fiber.
Still trying to get my walks in. I went for 2 miles yesterday and 2.5 today.
So, I hate to admit this, but I have slowed down. I always function at a fast pace, even when I'm not super busy. This weekend made it a bit more real for me. Although I was able to go for a 2 mile walk on Sunday morning, I stayed in bed for almost the entire weekend. I took Layne to get a haircut and went to the store and that almost put me over the edge. This is where I need to really focus on the positive and help myself get back to a good spot as soon as my body will allow. I'm not one to sit still or relax or take time to recover and I know if I don't do that, it will be my undoing. John has put me on strict orders to take it easy and be a princess. As nice as that sounds, it's not typically in my DNA. This will be a challenging transition for me, but hopefully I can get my act together and feel back to normal soon.
As for now, I am going on another walk...
Just a quick update on my first day after AC. I woke up sweating profusely in the middle of the night and had to change my PJs, but other than that, a decent night's sleep. I woke up around 5:20am. I think the steroid has something to do with that. Felt good when I woke up, had to shower and definitely wash sheets. I was able to take my son to school, but poor Ella had to stay home. She started vomiting yesterday and is still off school two days later! I have been extra careful around her. I am feeling really good. yes, more tired, but I still managed to get a 3 mile walk in the next day.
I am so thankful I am taking this so well. My nausea meds will keep me going until Saturday afternoon so fingers crossed I will get through Saturday and the days to come without any nausea.
My little do-dad on my arm worked like a charm last night. After 27 hours it started beeping and injecting me with bone marrow stimulant to boost my blood counts.
That's it for updates!
I must share my insanely good news I received from my oncologist today. My cancer lump in my breast is gone!!! The MRI results came back and there is nothing there. I can't do my "I am cancer free" happy dance yet, actually not until after surgery, but I am secretly doing that dance :)
I also met with my surgeon, Dr. Anne Wallace. She is a tiny powerhouse! She has encouraged me to stick with lumpectomy only then on to radiation. She was very happy with my results and even mentioned others with my type of cancer don't do as well on Pembro so I consider myself VERY lucky.
I survived my first dose! it was actually really uneventful, but glad one of four is now over. Above is a picture of my cute nurse, Ashley, and the two injections of the A of AC aka "red devil". So I was wrong in my last post. I thought I was getting the benadryl and pepsid, but i guess not. My new pre-meds are now two anti-nausea meds and steroids. Yay! more pimples on my face!
Here I am getting the red devil. My shirt is blowing a kiss to all of you :)
Because I did so well on the Taxol, my oncologist said I can take my AC doses every two weeks rather than every three. Therefore, after each dose of AC I have this little gizmo attached to the back of my arm.
This "On-body Injector" is soooo cool. In a nutshell, the chemo takes my blood cell counts very low so this "On-body Injector" is attached to the back of my arm to inject meds that boost them back up. The nurse has already inserted the meds in it. Once she turns it on, she has a couple of seconds to place it then it beeps 14 times, then a tiny needle shoots into my arm. I have to leave it on for 27 hours. It beeps a green light consistently. At hour 27 it will start beeping and slowly injecting me with the medicine. It will take 45 minutes to inject it all then I can pull it out. How cool is that?
Here I am showing off my new piece of technology!
Well, it is the night of and I am still feeling fine. I have three different nausea meds sitting all in a row on my bathroom counter just in case. Fingers-crossed I won't need it.
Well, I am now finished with Taxol! 12 treatments have come and gone and I feel pretty darn good! So now we are rapidly approaching "red devil" day. "Red devil" is another name people call doxorubicin (which is also called Adriamycin). That is the "A" from AC. The "C" is cyclophosphamide. The "A" is actually red, hence the nickname. It is given manually through my port by a nurse over 20 minutes or so. Then they will give me the "C" through a bag like all of the other meds I have had. Before I can receive the AC I need to get Pepsid and Benedryl to make sure I don't have an allergic reaction.
I also just finished my second to last MRI for the ISPY clinical trial. This will tell my docs a lot about the size of the tumor. In measuring, John thinks it is way down. I think he is just trying to cop a feel! In any case, I meet with both my oncologist and surgeon on wednesday to go through my test results and hopefully get a better idea of when my surgery will be.
So, I'm going to be honest here, I am scared of the AC. I was scared about the Taxol too and that went so well, so I have to keep telling myself I will be fine. I keep having this horrible thought that the red stuff is going into my port and I start convulsing with an allergic reaction. You know, something super dramatic like on a TV show. Fingers crossed I will blog about this after and tell you it went well and I am feeling fine.
Lastly, I finished my Aging clinical trial. I had to do a bunch of balance, exercise and cognitive tests. They said I was their star patient and my balance and memory are still better than most :)
OK so Taxol is almost completed! One more to go then I start the AC. I have my MRI scheduled for next week after my last (#12) treatment of Taxol. That will tell my docs and the clinical study how much the tumor has shrunk.
I am also looking forward to my appointment with Dr. Anne Wallace the following week. She is my oncology surgeon. I picked her not only because she is the best in San Diego and leads the entire Breast Cancer team at UCSD, but also because she did her undergrad at Creighton University in Omaha. She loves Omaha! For those who don't understand that reference, I am from Omaha ;)
Go Huskers! I hope to get more information on when my surgery will be and what she thinks of my tumor so far.
So I have been frantic to find a new babysitter for the kiddos before the AC treatments start. My previous babysitter found a professional job (she just graduated college) so I have been on the hunt. I found an empty-nester mother of a camp counselor here in our neighborhood. She does math tutoring on the side, but has agreed to help me during my last 8 weeks of treatments. Thank goodness! I have also put a slow-down on my incoming work until I know how I am going to react to the new drugs. Honestly, I am starting to get stressed and a bit scared about AC, but I have to keep remembering so far Ii have done so well so all fingers point to me doing well on this next one too. I have read some horror stories online about AC, yet I also read those same kind of stories about Taxol and so far Taxol has been a breeze.
So as far as side effects and such, here it goes...
Pros: still feeling good, getting my 3 mile walks in usually every other day or so, appetite still good, overall feeling good!
Cons: still dealing with acne. I'm not on the steroid anymore so I can't blame that, so now I am blaming my catapult into menopause. It seems to be getting worse so I am going to try just going back to my normal regimen but adding the apple cider vinegar toner to see what that does. My skin gets really dry these days. I never had to put on moisturizer in the morning (only at night) but now I definitely have to put it on every morning. I will beat these darn pimples (naturally, of course)! Also, now that I am not on the steroid, I am getting a bit more tired at night. I went to sleep at 8:15pm the other night and slept for over 9.5 hours! Minus the night sweats, but all and all felt really good when I woke up.
OK, now something endearing... I have asked to volunteer in Layne's first grade class every friday before I start the AC. I love being in the classroom with the kids. Layne loves it and I get a kick out of those little ones. Layne announced to everyone I was bald under my wig. Boy, did that get some interest with the kiddos! They didn't believe me so I shifted my wig from side to side so they could see. Well can I just tell you I have never been more popular!! The kids are attracted to me like honey now. Each day one or more of them are coming up to me asking me to move my wig. I also have a fun finger trick they like too. Sorry other parents, I think I am going to be MVP in this year's class! can't wait to wear my pink mermaid wig in there. They are going to go bonkers!
Hi! I'm Amy. I was diagnosed at 44 with