Friday, March 17, 2017

Grateful To Be Done With Round 3

I'm happy to say I've finished three of the "hard four" chemotherapy treatments. It's good to be on the other side of
what I'm told is the harshest of the 20-week chemo plan for me. I'm not gonna lie, knowing I'll only have to watch the nurse push two huge syringes of the "red devil" or "red angel" (depending on if you are a glass-half empty or a glass- half full kinda person) is comforting.

My blood work remains strong. Actually have pretty high white blood cell counts which makes me happy as I seem to catch any small bug floating around the office. I have always had a pretty hearty immune system- but now I now have to remind myself I'm much more vulnerable and need to be careful who I'm around, etc. 

Before this third treatment, it was a stop at Sibley Hospital for genetic testing. I have "triple negative" breast cancer, which means that the tumor is estrogen receptor-negative, progesterone receptor-negative and HER2-negative. So it's my hope a genetic test can lead to some explanation is to why I have cancer. 

I was initially interested in the test for the BRCA 1/2 gene. 15-20 percent of all breast cancers are triple negative. Of those only 5-10 percent of breast cancers are related to the gene. So it's unlikely I'm positive. But I don't want to leave any stone unturned as to reasons. If I'm positive for the BRCA gene, I'm at a higher risk for ovarian cancer. And other females in my family are at a greater risk of getting cancer or certainly passing along the gene to their children. So I want to know for them as well. 

After talking everything over with the doctor, we decided we'd order not only the "breast cancer panel" but also the full "gynecology panel" that will look at genes associated with endometrial, uterine, and ovarian cancers. I what to know as much as I can about what the hell cards I've been dealt so I can make the most informed decisions going forward. Shit in my body I no longer need can be taken out if it keeps me alive and/or reduces my risk of the fucking cancer coming back. 

The test is a saliva test. Now, I assumed she'd swab my cheek and we'd be good to go. Nope. Saliva test means spitting into a tube. I'm not a spitter. Never have been. It took me about 20 minutes to hack up enough spittle to fill the tube. Jesus. Is nothing easy in this journey?  We should have the results in about three weeks.

After another positive exam from my oncologist and about 2 1/2 hours of infusion of life saving chemo, I was home in my jammies catching the start of March Madness.

My village has been wonderful - please keep it up! 20 weeks is a long time. I feed off your positive and uplifting energy. Your silly jokes, texts, cards, etc. mean the world. 


Peace. Love. Namaste. Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

2 comments:

  1. I lift my glass of wine and cheer your tenacity. Also appreciate the knowledge you are sharing. Dyann Roby

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  2. Love your St. Patrick's Day pussy hat! I hope it brings you warmth, strength and healing.

    ReplyDelete