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Jan 25, 2012 09:22PM
Signing in to join the February Chemo group!
I had my left nipple sparing mastectomy, DIEP reconstruction, and node (sentinel biopsy which turned into an axilla excision) on January 10th.
Met with my medical oncologist today to map out a plan. I am really having a great and speedy recovery from all the surgery.
Drains: woke with 4 (2 pelvic/abdominal and 2 under arm/breast drains). Had two removed on the 19th and two removed on the 23rd. YAY!!
Dressings: abdominal dressing gone as of the 23rd as well ... hip to hip incision (which actually dipped to my public region and replaced a 21 1/2 year old bikini line c-section scar) and belly button healing famously. Double Yay!
So now the plan is to give my body a little more time to recover from the surgeries .... the vascular connection for my tissue was made through the axilla node incision .. which spared me another breast scar but makes that area more painful than it would be otherwise and needs time to keep everything going well to keep that fat tissue transplant stayin healthy.
Chemotherapy should start at the 4-6 post-op week for me:
early as 2/7 as late as 2/21
AC - Adriamycin (doxorubicin) & Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide); dose dense; 1 dose every 2 weeks for 4 cycles (8 weeks total)
T - Taxol (paclitaxel); 1 dose for weekly for 12 weeks
That is .. if I get into the clinical trial NSABP B-47
This is a randomized study that includes 12 weeks of Herceptin for women with low HER (+1 or +2 on the stain).
If I get in the trial and if I am part of the group that receives the Herceptin ... then I will take the Taxol on a 12 week regimen. If I don't get into the trial, then I can take the Taxol on a 4 cycle (8 weeks) regimen. And if I get into the trial but am put in the control group (no Herceptin) then I could always drop out and go with the shorter Taxol regimen. Right now the idea of participating in this trial appeals to me even if I am put in the control group. One way or the other I think that I would be helping my sisters in the fight ... somewhere down the road.
Read through the side effects of all of the meds again this evening and I am right there with those of you who are scared. I am a healthy woman. I just happen to have CANCER. And this whole journey has to make me sick in order to make me well. So it's some little things and some big things and some big little things that make me wonder ... like on the way home I looked at my husband and said ... "I won't have any hair for Ryan's graduation." The whole hair thing over all hasn't been bothering me so much as I thought about it ... but having any part of the focus of that day being on my cancer ... rather than on my son ... just brought me to tears. I want to RUN again. And I have to get to my 6 week post-op in order to do that. Then I just wonder how all of this will zap the heck out of me and work against me running through it. But I am determined to get back in those running shoes regardless. Just scary. The port thing is frightening ... I think because it will be there so long. Just another thing to wonder about .. even if it is under the skin. And since I have positive nodes and had the axilla excision, the whole lymphedema thing has been ever-present. My arm looks fine. I have a 'script for physical therapy but need it cleared with my reconstruction surgeon. I would just like to have more mobility & less pain in that arm before chemo begins.
Okay ... so I am extremely long-winded. If any of you made it thus far ... please just know that I am in this with you. And although I just wrote out my long laundry list of fears ... I also have a peace. I know Whose arms I rest in ... Who knows my name ... Who is walking alongside and carrying me through this. For me trusting and praying for the continued faith to get through this no matter what is the key. And I could not possibly do it without the grace of God. I have the mustard seed ... He supplies the rest. And thankfully He is a real God that allows me to not only praise, rejoice, and submit ... but also to vent, and cry, and doubt ... and let Him know how I am really feeling.
We're going to get through this girls!!! We're going to make it and come out on the other side even stronger than before we started. Along the way we will probably get kicked around a bit and beaten up ... but we are fighters and we are sisters and we will do this together.
Thanks for starting this thread. I hope you stay even if you were bumped up to January now.
I look forward to getting to know you all better.
Love and hugs!
Age 48 @ diag. Left SS NS UMX, Sent.Node Biopsy & part. Axillary (Node) Ex., & DIEP recon. on 1/10/12; AC DD Chemo began 2/22/12 ended 4/4/12; Taxol 12x: infusions began 4/26/12 ended 7/11/12! Rads x28: 8/06/12 - 9/13/12; Tamoxifen began 10/01/12
11/23/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 7/19 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-