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Like the Energizer Bunny

So I left off as I was going into my third week of this chemotherapy regimen. This meant that it was a Taxol only week. My dad was my buddy this week for my treatment. I think it was the first he went with me. Week four was a three drug week and That Guy went with me and of course I fell asleep as I did every single time he went with me. Week five was back to one drug and a friend was able to go with me, and it was the first I was able to get an infusion without having to see a doctor before hand. My week six treatment was the first my mom was able to go with me. So we all just kept going and going and getting me through this. By the end of the sixth week I would be half done with the second group of chemotherapy drugs. Oh and you know, I started this blog at this point in my story.

One of the follow up appointments was to have an ultrasound of my ovary. They had found a cyst during the scans during my hospital stay. So back I went to have that checked since it had been a couple of weeks. When they checked, it was gone. From what I understand, that happens during the normal hormone cycle. I also followed up with my Primary Care doctor. The oncologist’s office had suggested I have my cholesterol checked.

The most unsettling appointment to follow up was with my long term hematologist. I had spoken with his office at my initial diagnosis and was not due for my yearly check up but I wanted to see him for a solid second opinion on all that was going on with preventing future blood clots. He also treats breast cancer so he gave his opinion on my course of treatment. He noted that it was a very aggressive treatment and it is not the one he would have chosen for me. He also noted that the path he would have chosen would have been done at that point. To say I left there with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach is an understatement. Ugh. He’s an amazing doctor and a great person, so I know he did not mean to upset me, but it did.

There was a very exciting appointment with my surgeon where she let me know I should schedule my surgery. Between weeks of chemo. Which was the complete opposite of everything I had been told. And I even got a date. Then by the time I got home from the appointment it was back to the original plan where I schedule surgery at the end of chemotherapy plus a few weeks to bounce back. I had asked to meet with her to discuss all my surgery options and what her recommendations were based on how things were going. For weeks (months even?) I had an ache in the breast where the cancer was. She confirmed that she could not feel anything in my breast or my lymph node areas, but there was no explanation for the ache. Someone had suggested it could be from my lymph nodes processing the chemotherapy. Whatever it was, once I did have surgery and I healed, it was gone.

On the oncologist front, I was finally released to be alone, alone with the kids, and drive, as I felt able. I had a pain in my calf and there was an ultrasound ordered to check the status or if there were new clots. That scan came back clear. I also had my skin start to react to the chemotherapy. I was also starting to notice some patterns to the side effects I was experiencing with this group of drugs. In addition to the skin rash, there was hip pain, bone aches in my skull, and extreme tiredness.

 

There was a lot of work to do to keep up with my responsibilities to communicate with the short term disability representative. It was now that I found out that I really wouldn’t be back to work before the end of the calendar year and would need to transition to long term disability since I would likely be out of work for longer than six months. I was also able to get a really good understanding of the timeline for my treatment after chemotherapy with how surgery and radiation would go.

By this time we were well into Autumn and it was time for pumpkin picking, That Little Girl’s first field trip, Trick or Treat, and a Halloween parade. Two of those are some of my favorite family traditions so it was a good way to keep myself busy and my spirits up. I was also able to participate in a walk at the end of October. It was finally possible for me to lay down to sleep after weeks of sleeping sitting up since breathing was still so difficult. My back and hips were so very happy! And I went to my first meditation class. I was fortunate to have some visitors and not just a buddy for each week of treatments. Things were going pretty smoothly finally!

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