Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Another Milestone!

I went to see my plastic surgeon again yesterday.  Because of the pain from my last fill, I was not planning on having another.  I wanted to keep my appointment so that he could take a look at my left side again to determine whether or not I have a slow leak.  There is still some question as to whether or not I do have a leak, so I have a follow-up appointment in two weeks. 

I think I caused a little controversy with my doctors about my clinical trial.  The "rules" say that I can't have any fills while I'm taking the Avastin and that my expansion has to be complete or on hold two weeks before I begin the infusions.  I also have to start back on the Avastin no later than six weeks after my surgery date.  I simply asked WHY I can't have fills after I start the infusions and apparently someone in charge of the trial spoke with my oncologist who then spoke with my plastic surgeon and cleared that matter up.  He told me that my oncologist must have been read the riot act because there were apparently LOTS of reasons why I can't have fills while I'm taking the Avastin.  Not that I care.  Anyway, the point is that yesterday was the LAST day that I could have a fill, so I decided to go ahead and have another despite the fact that I was still in pain from my last one.  He put 60ccs more in each side.  I am glad that I did it.  I think any more would be uncomfortable and though it's hard to gauge what my size will be when I get my implants, I think I'm close to what I want now.  I didn't want to leave without a fill because I was scared of the pain, which is only temporary.  I think I was brave!  So, the milestone is that I am DONE with my fills.

Next up is to get started again with the trial and get started with radiation.  I can do the two concurrently and am scheduled to start the Avastin on January 25th.  My next appointment with the radiation oncologist is on February 4th, but I left a message for him this morning to let him know that my fills are done, so it is likely that he will bump me up so that I can go ahead and get started.  The sooner I start, the sooner I will be finished! 

If you haven't noticed, I am not looking forward to the trial.  The word "infusion" makes me feel queasy now after chemo and although my hair will continue to grow back and there are (allegedly) no side effects with Avastin, I am NOT looking forward to sitting in those chemo chairs again.  It is only once every three weeks, but it is for 30 weeks and I just dread it.  The first treatment will take an hour and a half and then the next after that, an hour and only 30 minutes for the remainder of the study.  They start slowly to make sure that I can tolerate the medicine.  I have already had 5 treatments with my first 5 chemos, so we know that I DID tolerate it well, but that is how they have to start.  Also, there is an end date for the study and I think I missed the window to get all 10 treatments.  As it stands now, I will have 9 treatments and finish up at the end of July.  I have to wait some time after that before I can have surgery, so it will likely be next fall before I can have my reconstructive surgery and hysterectomy.  I also have to wait about 6 months after radiation before I can have reconstruction, so I might as well continue on with the trial since that is not the only thing delaying reconstruction. 

Annabel continues to add new words to her vocabulary and is putting phrases and sentences together.  It is amazing to watch her grow!  And so neat that we get these glimpses of what she is thinking now that she can communicate.  I feel like all of this commotion lately with the holidays and the fills and everything has really thrown our schedule out of whack.  Now that the holidays have passed and my fills are done, I hope that we can get into the swing of a new routine.  She is a good girl and good company, but she is two and has a tantrum every now and then.  I think we both have a little cabin fever and I am looking forward to getting out of the house more often now that I have more energy.  I'm not ready just yet because I still don't have full range of motion in both arms.  My left arm is just about back to normal, but the right is still tight and needs lots of work.  I think I'll be ready to venture out by next week when the pain (and spasms) from my last fill go away.  I am definitely looking forward to it!  It has been a long time.

I find that it's difficult lately to keep things in perspective, but I think it's a sign that I'm feeling better!  Chemo had me down, but now I'm getting my energy back and I get really impatient about the limitations that surgery and the expander fills have caused.  I hate taking pain medicine, but have found it necessary lately.  I am just ready to feel better and get out of the house and DO stuff.  I would even like to go grocery shopping once in a while!  Hmmm...no, I hate grocery shopping.  But it would be nice to get out of the house a bit!

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