The Tunnel Has An End

A bit of an update.

  • I love my oncologist. If anyone wants a recommendation for an oncologist in the South Seattle area, contact me. I’ll gladly give you his  information. He is just plain NICE, with a warm ‘bedside manner’ and truly listens.
  • If I have chemo and Tamoxifen, my chance of having a recurrence of breast cancer is in the single digits. THAT is worth the trauma.
  • I will very likely lose my hair.
  • I’m not happy about this.
  • I will deal. I will buy lots of lovely hats and learn to wear a scarf. It will likely be gone by the end of March, and won’t start returning until late May.
  • There is some evidence that post-chemo hair grows in without gray, and curlier. So I may look 20 years younger (at least until the gray returns).
  • I’m still having some trouble sleeping, but it’s improving.
  • I’m really glad J. is home (he changed his plans to make it home in time to come with me to meet with the oncologist). I have a partner, not a boyfriend.
  • (J’s mom is improving: no more fever, and she’s off the respirator. The medical staff are really positive about her recovery.)
  • I am scheduled for my 2nd surgery next Wednesday (1/20) at ~10:30am PT.

Overall, I am in a fairly good mood. Mostly I think that my stubbornness is turning out to be an asset. I can’t do much other than move forward, so I am. This is the crap part, but it is not forever.

5 thoughts on “The Tunnel Has An End

  1. Lupa

    “If I have chemo and Tamoxifen, my chance of having a recurrence of breast cancer is in the single digits. THAT is worth the trauma.”

    This I’m glad to hear. I hope the trouble is less than it could be.

  2. lisa Post author

    In the end, of course, my chances are actually either 100% or 0% of a recurrence of breast cancer . . . but we can still alter the odds with things like diet, behavior, and drug-based therapy. My real fear had been a number in the 90s (its not like *any* other test has turned out well so far), which would have indicated a prophylactic mastectomy on the right breast. Ironically, not because of the surgery, but the pain of recovery. I just wasn’t sure I could cope with another extender.

    Bear, by the way, is helping. Not obviously, but I truly feel that my . . . how do I say? mellowness . . . is coming with assistance from an outside source.

  3. azahar

    Hey Lisa,

    Thanks for stopping by my place and letting me know you are also going through cancer stuff. Meanwhile, try not to dwell on statistics. What stage are you? Mets?

    Feel free to get in touch anytime.

    Chemo WILL suck, but it’s doable. You’ll be having different chemo than I did, and so your side effects will also be different. The most important thing is to listen to what your body is telling you it needs – do not go by what others tell you. Your body will let you know what it wants to eat, when it’s time to sleep… it’s very important to heed that advice.

    Take care.

  4. lisa Post author

    Thank you! Its nice to meet non-crazy cancer people. I’m learning that our world looks very different.

    I have breast cancer, Stage I, ER+ (estrogen receptor positive), node negative (lymph node negative), with an oncotype score of 42.

    The chemo drugs I’ll be taking are cytoxan and taxotere. I’ve already started to do the ‘work’ of saying goodbye to my hair, which is the only really awful part. I know I may not lose it, but its better to be prepared to and then go forward. I’ll be clearing the decks at work and am enlisting family to come and be with me. I figure drugs will take care of the worst fo the nausea and fatigue is boring but deal-able.

    Believe me, I will be pampering myself BIG TIME.

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