Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chemo

Tomorrow is my first day of Chemo. I have had a medi-port put in which is basically a way to give the nurses direct access to your veins without having to get an IV every time you go. I had a surgery to put this device under my skin in my shoulder and I numb it with lidocaine about 30 min to an hour before chemo and the connect the me to an IV line through the port. This is suppose to be less painful and a lot simpler than an IV at every appt. I have to have my blood drawn once a week and they can use the port for this purpose as well.

So I have to take 3 different drugs in my Chemo regimen. The plan is to take the first two (adriamycin and cytoxan) and which are the worse of the 3 simultaneously, bi-weekly for 8 weeks. In addition to this I have to go in the day following my Thursday treatment to get an injection. The injection is to boost my White Blood Count because the Cytoxan affects my white blood cells. Once I am done with this 8 week regimen which brings right into the new year I will start a 12 week regimen of the last drug (Taxol). I am going in to take this once a week and I do not have to get an injection along with this unless my blood draws show a low white blood cell count.

Now thats just the chemo. I am also mid reconstruction. I have expanders in and because I was having a rough time healing I have not had them expanded any more than the size they were when I came out of surgery. The purpose of expanders is to stretch my breast muscle and skin in order to get a permanent implant in there to fit properly. So in between Chemo sessions I need to go in to see my plastic surgeon who will inject Saline into each expander on a biweekly basis until they reach the right size. I will then go back into surgery to have to expanders replaced with permanent implants. But here is the kicker before each expansion I have to get my blood drawn! If my white blood count is down...I can't get expanded.

Once I have the surgery to replace the expanders with permanent implants my plastic surgeon will then use some excess skin to make nipples and then they tattoo them on. Currently I just have a straight line going across my breast.

After I am done with the 5 months of chemo I will go on hormone therapy which is a pill I take daily for the next 5 years. the drug will continue to suppress the production of hormones in my ovaries. If Amir and I decide we want to try for another baby we can come off the drug and under close monitoring try to conceive but that also hoping that my fertility was not compromised from all the meds. My oncologist believes because of my age I should be ok in a few years to try and conceive again. I think we will try again in 2 years and then I am going have my ovaries removed at the recommendation of my oncologist. The purpose behind this is to prevent my body from over producing estrogen which my tumor tested positive for.

Our other option for fertility was to go through an IVF cycle now and harvest the embryos. We opted against this for several reasons. The biggest reason being that I still have not started a cycle since I stopped breast feeding. Because I can't predict when it will show up we didnt want to put off chemo and just wait for my period. The other reason we opted against was the money. With a new baby in our home we can not afford the added, unexpected expense of IVF.

Any who I think that pretty much covers updates on the cancer front.

In the world of Alex he is doing AMAZING. Gosh I just love this kid. He has his first tooth coming in and he is now sleeping in his crib (YAY me! We know this was a big step for me) I am so happy I made the change I sleep so much better now. He has also been sleeping through the night the past few days but I am not sure if thats a fluke. I will say I think its funny that I was once told that Alex co-sleeping with us was inhibiting his ability to be independent and self sooth because I can lay him in his crib at the sight of sleepiness and he will put himself to sleep without even a cry.