Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." ~ Christopher Robin to Pooh

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I just got my turkey in the oven. My neighbor took Julianna to the store so I have a few minutes to write this.

I went to the oncologist, Dr. Citron, yesterday. He still says the bone/muscle pain is not from the herceptin. He thinks it is from the sudden drop in estrogen which was caused by the chemo. He is also pretty concerned about the pain in my hip. I had an x-ray awhile back and that was negative for any cancer. He wants me to have a bone scan now. He said an x-ray doesn't show bone loss until it is a very high percentage of loss. The bone scan will be able to show very small loss. I had a bone scan last summer when I was diagnosed. He wants me to go to the same place so it will be easier to compare. I will likely do that next week. It takes a few hours so I will try to find someone to watch Julianna on Friday so I don't have to miss work again.

Dr. Citron doesn't think I should have my ovaries removed. He said he thinks my estrogen will rise again on its own. He feels the chemo effects will lessen. He said since there is no family history of ovarian cancer it would be premature to do that. If it is true that the sudden drop in estrogen is causing this muscle and joint pain I am willing to wait and see what happens.

He also sent me for a chest x-ray. I asked him why and he said it is routine to do it every year and I haven't had one since last year. I got it yesterday but of course I don't have any results yet. They always make you wait. It is usually over a weekend or a holiday.

He wants me to try to get back into exercising. I feel like I ran ten miles everyday even though I haven't. It is going to be hard to get very active but I am going to try.

He also said I can get my port out. I am going to wait for my scan results to be in, just in case. I can't wait to have this thing out!! It will be so refreshing.

I have a lot to be thankful for! My family and friends, being finished with infusions for cancer, and of course my beautiful miracle baby. Thanks everyone and have a great holiday!!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

It's been a long time comin', my dear
It's been a long time comin', but now it's here

~ Bruce Springsteen

I had my herceptin today and it was the last one! Yippie!!! It is a three week dose so it takes me to December 6th. I started the herceptin last year on December 7th so today's dose makes it a year. I am really happy that it is over. I must admit I am a little nervous too. The herceptin does offer a great deal of protection. I am now going to be swimming without a life jacket.

I also found out that I am now post menopausal. The chemo caused it. When I did my last IVF in June of 2009 my FSH was about 6. They won't do IVF on anyone with an FSH over 12. My FSH now is 123. My estradiol is 19. Chemo kills rapidly dividing cells and the ovaries are full of them. So at least I know the chemo worked in some way. The PA in my oncology office said that could all turn around but she doubts it. I am considering having my ovaries removed so I can never get ovarian cancer. I figure it might be an accident waiting to happen. I have already suffered the symptoms of immediate menopause so why keep the little time bombs? It is sad to me because I always hoped they could squeeze one more egg out and I could have another biological child even though I would not risk carrying. My Julianna sure is a miracle!

I have an appointment with the oncologist on November 24th. We will discuss what comes next and my getting the port removed. I can't wait to get that thing out. It is uncomfortable all the time. It has served its purpose, but I am ready for it to go.

So, I am thrilled to have gotten to this point. It sure has been a long road. Thanks everyone for all the love and positive energy.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Herceptin Tomorrow

I have herceptin tomorrow. It might be my last one but I am not sure yet. I have a ton of appointments set up but I believe I should only need one or two more treatments to get to a year. I started it on December 7th last year and each dose I get is a three week dose.

I still have pretty severe muscle pain. My chemo office says it is not from the herceptin but the women I speak to through who are on herceptin seem to be experiencing the same symptoms. My quads feel like I have been doing squats for hours. My knees and hips ache. I am ok with this if it is as much of a wonder drug as they say. I just don't get why they keep saying these symptoms are not from this drug.

I am told that it can take between 4 and 6 months for the drug to clear from the body. However, people who have been on it are telling me they started to feel a lot better after two months. That would be great. My doctor had discussed the possibility of me doing a clinical trial for a drug that is similar to herceptin but it is taken orally. It may be closed for stage one people but I will find out soon. I have mixed feelings about doing it. I would love to get over the side effects and move on, but I would also like the extra insurance. If it is in fact closed for stage one patients that will decide for me. I guess I will find out soon.

Julianna and I have been busy. We are working on all the normal things, toilet training, grocery shopping, playground hopping, etc. She continues to amaze me and lights up my life. Her favorite phrase is "I do myself, you no do." She recently figured out that I have a name other than Mommy. She was yelling "MaryEllen" from her crib the past few days and I have to tell her that my name is Mommy to her. It does crack me up though. She is lots of fun.

Thanks everyone for all the support!!!