On Thursday morning, I had my “chemo teach” with the oncology APRN. Basically, this is just education on the nitty gritty details of the chemo regimen I’ll be going through.
Since I saw my oncologist on May 5, she changed her mind regarding the best course of treatment, and is now recommending that I start with the more “aggressive” chemo medications first. This combo of adriamycin and cytoxan, a.k.a. the “red devil” (because of the color of the infusion), will be given every other week for 4 rounds (8 weeks). I won’t bore you with the major side effects, but this medication will lower my immune system significantly so the infusion is followed up with a shot of udenyca (formerly known as neulasta) which will stimulate my bone marrow to increase white blood cell production.
This was a hard pill to swallow for me since I’d thought we’d be doing the “less intense” chemo first and that I’d maybe get to skip the other if my scans all came back clear. This actually is the typical protocol so it shouldn’t have come as so much of a surprise, but I’d been preparing mentally for the taxol treatment so I got a bit rattled. It’s simply a reminder for me that triple negative breast cancer is aggressive and although I am stage I, it doesn’t mean I get to skip any steps.
While I’m ready to get the ball rolling and begin treatment, I am feeling a bit of resentment at the whole COVID situation at this point since I won’t be able to have anyone sit with me during my infusions, and Justin will only be able to drop me off and pick me up from my port surgery on Friday.
I’m also unsure how I’ll respond to the treatment and that anxiety comes in waves. I’ve been very aware of my mindset around treatment and there are definitely times when I have to remind myself that chemo is just medicine and that I’m fortunate that there is something that can heal me even if it could have some nasty side effects.
In other news, I started my hormone injections for the egg retrieval and it’s going well. I should be able to have that procedure done next week between Monday and Wednesday.
I’ve been trying to get outside and enjoy the sun and the beach as much as I can. I made one of my favorite vegetarian/vegan meals this week (here‘s the recipe!), and Justin’s been making sourdough bread which makes me very happy! I was able to go for a short hike after work yesterday with my old coworker, Erin, and I was really thankful to have time out in nature with once of my most supportive friends.
Tonight, we had dinner for our friend Jimmy’s birthday – it’s nice to be able to get together to celebrate something. I felt very touched that everyone offered to pray over me and we had a really great dinner. If any of you need some really delicious spices, check out our friend Kai’s spices here. ❤
I hope everyone’s having a nice Memorial Day weekend and that you’re all staying safe & healthy!