Well, I’ve survived the week! I am DONE with the 6 hardest treatments and what is arguably the hardest part of this journey. How cool is that?! Each day I feel a little better and the metallic taste is disappearing more and more.
Today I met with the oncologist and he agreed that I’m ready to meet with the surgeon again. We chatted about symptoms this time around, which were quite similar to the last 5 except more tiring (is that possible?). This round I also noticed that my tumor and lymph nodes were quite painful again, more so than before. We joked about the weird white lines on my fingernails, which I learned is the body’s way of dealing with physical stress. I’m just glad they didn’t fall out! I read about that being a symptom at the start of this and was really hoping that it wouldn’t happen.
We chatted about the Herceptin treatment that will continue for a while. The side effects should mostly nonexistence, though he explained that the first couple may be a little harder because the other chemo drugs will still be in my system. They will get progressively easier and the most common side effect is being tired. You know what that means?! My hair will start growing back! As much as I’ve enjoyed changing up my look with wigs, hats and scarves, I’m really looking forward to having some hair again. I am super hopeful that I’ll be able to rock a cute pixie cut at my sister’s wedding in July!!
We also talked about timing. The surgery needs to be 4 weeks after my last full treatment, so most likely the end of January. This will work out well because I will have my first Herceptin treatment a few days prior to surgery. He anticipates that my surgeon will recommend a mastectomy based on the current size of my tumor and lymph nodes. I expected that and honestly, it makes me feel better about the long term. He is quite hopeful that everything is now dead tissue, and so am I. Everything that the surgeon removes will be sent to a lab, where it’ll be thoroughly analyzed to determine whether or not there is any cancer remaining in it. I’ll meet with him again a few weeks after surgery to go over those results and what they mean. I’m praying for nothing but good news out of that!
I’ll still need radiation, which will start 4 – 8 weeks after surgery. The idea of surgery and radiation seemed so far away in the beginning of this journey, and yet here we are already! Time is moving fast but I’m grateful for the progress it’s making in my healing.
I meet with the surgeon Wednesday and anticipate that I will learn a lot more then. I have a long list of questions and a partial decision in my head based on my own research but I am anxious to hear her thoughts and put together a plan of attack.
I feel good about today and it was hard to fight off the tears when talking about being done with the 6 aggressive treatments. He said I didn’t complain once along the way and that made me smile.