Thursday, August 13, 2009

#4 is DONE...Halfway finished with chemo!!!

Today was my 4th chemo, marking my halfway point! My oncologist is happy with my progress and my tumor shrunk another centimeter. We talked about the results of my genetic test and yes, I'll need to have a bi-lateral mastectomy as well as an oopherectomy. The results are not going to change my current course of treatment; my doctor is even happier that I am participating in this study since the treatment is aggressive and above and beyond what I would be getting normally.

My next (5th!) treatment will not be taxotere; it will be A/C, also known as the "red devil". I am trying to prepare myself for this because I hear that the side effects are worse with this concotion. The chemo nurse said that I will likely have more nausea and fatigue while I'm taking it. The doctor prescribed me a high octane nausea relief medicine in preparation. I am worried about it, but I am also anxious to get through with chemo. If all goes well and as planned, I should finish up on November 5th.

As far as the surgery goes, there is some amount of recovery time from chemo before I go under the knife. I think it's 4-6 weeks. I will be meeting with a plastic surgeon soon to learn more about my options for reconstruction. My doctor said today that she would probably want to delay my oopherectomy (ovary removal) until after radiation, but initially, I don't like this plan. If they're going to remove them, I'd rather it be when I have my mastectomy. I don't want anything new cropping up! The doctor is concerned about my having to deal with menopause while I am trying to recover (probably emotionally as well). While we decide that, she took a CA125 blood test that screens for ovarian cancer and I will also go to my OB/GYN for an ultrasound on my ovaries. The reason that I don't want to delay the ooph is that if I don't have it with the mastectomy, it will be a long time before I can have it. After I recover from surgery, I will have radiation concurrent with starting up again with Avastin for 30 weeks (10 cycles every 3 weeks). So I wouldn't be able to have more surgery until well after that. I'd rather get it over with already!

Annabel is 20 months old today! I can't believe how big she's getting and how much more rewarding and special our relationship grows every day. Being a Mom just gets better by the minute! I get the most joy out of spending time with my little family. I am sad that she will not be a sister or have a brother or sister; that was not the original plan, but I am so grateful to have her and we will just have to spoil her extra! Ha, ha. That being said, knowing that there will be no more pregnancy or baby has somehow made my vision of our future clearer. And I like what I want for us and what I see for us. So maybe in a way, this part of it is helping me with my good daydreams, which are a great distraction!

Below is a video from a few weeks ago when Mario and Shannon invited us to swim at his parent's pool. Chrissy was in town and Scott and Annabel and Karen and I went over for a visit and a swim. We had a great time! Oh, Friggle the chihuahua is the star of the video. Scott put some music to it and I think he made a good choice! He was beind the camera, of course.


  1. Can you explain why you need the oophorectomy?

    Annabel is such a doll!! She will have a little sister...Laila! I guess that means you just have to move closer :)

    You are such a strong person! When Annabel grows up she is going to hear about this experience and is going to be so proud of her mother!

    You and Annabel are going to have such a close relationship when she gets older I know it! It is great that you have a little girl! Boys dont call their mother's everyday! I call my mom like 4 times a day just to see what is going, ask a question, or for no reason at all!

    Keep staying strong and positive!

  2. Dear Katherine,

    I pray for you every day. I had a bilateral mastectomy without reconstruction 3 1/2 years ago for cancer in situ. My cancer was localized and I'm 70 years old. I've never regretted the surgery or the fact that I turned down resconstruction. I didn't want to deal with the possibility of rejection or infection or implants that didn't feel normal. Of course, I'm not married.

    I'm with you in spirit.



  3. OMG I love the music! Very Gidgit. :-)
    I've told Kim, but please know that I'm close enough to help whenever. I'm equally confortable with humans and canines, so if you need "sitting" of any kind, just let me know. Thinking about you!!!!!!

  4. I wanted you to know that we're thinking of you!!! Wow, your a very strong person and mom!!!

    Gina, Rich, & Spencer