I wanted to call this post “STOP. Chemo Time!” but I was concerned readers wouldn’t get the MC Hammer reference. Would you have?! (Respond in the comments below. Wink.)
A lot has happened since July 4. Basically, I’ve been working, going to doctor’s appointments, and living it up before the (inevitable?) nausea and fatigue hits. Because…we’ve decided to go ahead and start chemo this Thursday, 7/21. More on that in a moment–but first! A few moments of digital scrapbooking.
Lincoln saw fireworks for the first time. Here we are getting ready for the big event.
Hyatt turned two!
My dear friend Christy provided emotional support while I got my hair cut short. She scheduled an appointment for me with Ashleigh at JAK Salon. They were so nice and encouraging there. Voila! Before and after.
Ew. Selfies. Moving on…
Cancer Treatment Update
I met with three different oncologists over the past few weeks. They were all excellent, and I liked each of them for different reasons. It’s wonderful to live in a city with such great care available. In the end, I went with the doctor I felt I would have the best rapport with–but only after getting multiple recommendations, reading journal after journal, and asking a LOT of questions. A friend wrote this to me when I asked for prayer: “Go with the doctor you believe will listen to you and will be honest with you but mostly trust God to lead you. This is a walk of trusting God while you are going through this journey and remember He loves you and He is always good.” Her advice really helped me as I tried to find peace about the next couple of steps to take.
I am indeed starting with chemotherapy first, then surgery. There are a couple of reasons for this, but either way would have been good. In terms of the chemo plan, we’ve decided to go with the fan favorite Adriamycin and Cytoxan every 2 weeks for 8 weeks; then Taxol (and maybe Carboplatin) every week for 12 weeks. I am plotting pink AC/TC shirts. Yes?
If you’re someone thinking about treatment, I’d be happy to go into WAY more detail about how and why we came to this decision.
We also met with a plastic surgeon–which, for someone who has never even dyed her hair other than Sun In and lemon juice–was crazy. The plastic surgeon was both professional and kind. If you see me, ask me for the bizarre fact we learned about how certain aspects of reconstruction procedures were handled in the past. It is taking a lot of restraint on my part not to blog about it.
Last Thursday my (other) surgeon put in my chemo port. He did a nice job, and the team let me take a long nap afterwards. I also want to give this surgeon props for talking on the phone with me Wednesday night as I aired my confusion over differing medical opinions. I called him my “breast friend,” which I’m sure he’s only heard like once every other day.
Thanks to some sweet friends, I was able to order some really cute hats yesterday. Another friend brought me the cute hats and scarves she wore during her treatment last year. I don’t know if I’ll mostly go with scarves or hats or a wig yet. It’s nice to have options. (Ugh, I just had a moment of “Ew. Why are we talking about this?”) Bryce, who is the best, thinks I should just rock the bald head. That is definitely an option for summer. We’ll see.
I have ginger chews, peppermints, essential oils, ginger tea, white tea, hand sanitizer, a recipe for a really cool recovery drink from my sis, anti-viral face masks (ugh, Kelli, really?!), and a bunch of scary and overwhelming nutritional infographics I’ve hoarded on Pinterest. What else do I need? (I’m really asking.)
Several people have put together busy boxes and bags for our boys. We are so, so thankful. They are at an age where they genuinely get excited about new toys and crafts. They love to explore found objects and organize them. Lord willing, the next few months will be A-okay from their point of view. (I say that pretty naively.)
I plan to work throughout treatment, as long as it “works.” I’ve heard stories of people working throughout chemo and being thankful they weren’t just sitting in bed being self-focused. My work people have been wonderful so far, so we’re just keeping the lines of communication open. It’s quite hard to make actual plans when none of us knows how I’ll actually respond to treatment. A survivor I talked with asked how I’ve been able to work during these weeks of biopsy, diagnosis, and doctor visits. (“Isn’t it hard to focus?”) Yes, there is a lot going on, but I have two things in my favor–a job I like and an amazing God. I am an extroverted, idea-oriented, easily-distracted person anyways. (Many of us are, right?) The ability to focus and do creative, thorough work ever–diagnosis or no diagnosis–is something I have to thank the King of Kings for. Not Elvis.
So, let’s do this. Thank you for all of the prayers and support for our family.