Back to the Oncologist

Yesterday I was back to the Oncologist for a CT scan and for a Herceptin treatment.  When I had my first CT scan in March, they found a small “nodule” on my right lung.  It was something that my Oncologist was not worried about and said was fairly common but now that I am done with chemo, it’s a good time to do another one.  You may recall last time I had to drink that nasty “contrast” the night before (orange flavor was my selection).  They also injected me with an IV contrast prior to the procedure.  This go around I did not have to do either one.  The focus of this CT scan was my chest or upper body, specifically that spot on my lung; last time was a comprehensive, full body scan.  It was a quick and painless appointment.  I am still anxious to see the results which should be available by Monday.  Will keep you posted on what we learn.

After the CT scan, I had my first Herceptin-only treatment.  I have been receiving Herceptin with chemo treatments up to this point.  But now that chemo is complete, I have to return to the Oncologist office, specifically the chemo room, every three weeks to receive Herceptin.  This particular appointment yesterday, they accessed my port, escorted me to the chemo room, got me set up in a recliner, and shortly thereafter started the Herceptin drip.  It’s a clear bag of liquid that hangs from the IV pole, just like the chemo drugs did.  The appointment is not nearly as long.  I am in the chemo room about 45 minutes to an hour.  I have to do this every three weeks for a year (until April 2012).  The good news is that we are not anticipating any noticeable side effects like chemo.  As a reminder, Herceptin is an antibody that is a part of my regimen because it targets a protein called HER2/neu- a protein I tested positive for.  The bad news with testing positive for HER2/neu is that these cancers tend to grow and spread more aggressively than other breast cancers.  The good news is is HER2/neu positive breast cancers are much more likely to benefit from treatment that targets the HER2/neu protein, such as Herceptin.  Research shows that for those that test positive for HER-2/neu, Herceptin (if given for a year) reduces your risk of recurrence.  While I am not looking forward to spending my time in the chemo room every three weeks for a year, I love the idea of reducing the risk.  Again, we do what we need to do, right?

Random thoughts to share:

  • My hair is starting to grow back, slowly, but we are seeing some fuzz.  I’m officially ready for hair!
  • I am still having hot flashes and it’s not just the warm weather.
  • I have a serious case of chemo nails.  The good news is polish covers them quite well.  Interesting I had a little evidence while in the chemo process, but once the 6th round was over it all showed up with a vengeance.  They look really bruised and some of them are really sore.  It literally feels like I might lose one or two.  Hope not!  Gross!
  • I still haven’t had raw sushi yet.  I am holding off until at least 4 weeks after my last chemo.  Looking forward to some salmon and tuna!
  • People continue to amaze me.  I am stopped at least once or twice a week from someone that is either a cancer survivor or someone that is associated with a cancer survivor.  I get lots of well wishes and “hang in there’s.”  So many people have added me to their prayer lists (some I know, some I don’t) which I appreciate!  It’s honestly amazing (or awful) how many people have been effected by breast cancer (or cancer in general).  Here’s to finding a cure!!!

 

Comments

  1. Meredith, you continue to amaze me. I know that this has been the battle of a life time. You continue to demonstrate the strength of the toughest warrior yet with the heart and soul of the dearest angel. You are my hero. Please call Nelson and I when you come to Pensacola this month. We should be in Santa Rosa/Destin. Prayers everyday !!

  2. Stacey Shekerow says:

    I know April sounds like forever away. but you have come through the last 6 months like a champ, and after witnessing how well you have handled every last minute of this journey I have absolutely no doubts that you will get through the next 6 with just as much strength, courage and success. We continue to think about you every day – Hugs and Kisses!!!
    Stacey

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