Monday, September 28, 2009

Blood Work/Oncologist Visit

My blood work looks good so I am good to go for chemo tomorrow. My weight is down a bit ... I’m at 70.6 kilos (155 lbs). I think I’m down about four lbs from last time. I notice that my weight varies quite a bit though. The oncologist asked if I was trying to lose weight or it was just happening. I said I am trying a bit because I want to feel better and I’d sure like to get into a few more of my clothes.

I mentioned to the doctor that my lower back and legs feel weaker but over all my other symptoms seem to be improving ever so slowly. Tomorrow will be my 20th Taxotere treatment. My doctor said that is really good. If the Taxotere symptoms i.e. the fatigue gets to be too much for me, our plan would be to stop the Taxotere completely as I am at the minimum effective amount already.

When I started chemo in August 2008 I also signed up for a study. It’s a double blind study with 2/3 of the participants getting the study drug and 1/3 not getting it. Because I have many of its symptoms, I feel I am getting the drug.

So back to my chemo regime ... if we decide to stop the Taxotere, I could potentially continue on with the study drug only or maybe try some anti-estrogen therapy as my cancer is estrogen-receptor-positive or we could try some other treatment (chemotherapy or study drugs). I guess the message here is that there are options and when we have to we will decide what is best for me.

I think the oncologist and nurses are quite impressed with my overall condition, especially with me taking an evening course at the college.

I’ll let you in on a secret ... for two weeks of the three week cycle, I’m thinking to myself, alright I cannot do this any longer, the next time I see the oncologist, I’m going to ask to have my chemo cut back ... but then I have a few good days just before my next treatment and my attitude shifts to one where ... OK I can do one more cycle and then we’ll cut it back.


Jill said...

Daria, you are a real trooper. A lot of people complain about 6 treatments..never mind 20.You are an inspiration to me and if it ever should return I have always said I could never do it again, but seeing your strength I know now I could.
Daria, I know you will make the right decision if you should ever have to stop the chemo. I also think the quality of life is important as well.
Take care :)

Alison D said...

So glad you can go ahead with chemo. I know what it's like when everything is uncertain. I'm not sure whether mine will go ahead or not this week. I know it's not something to look forward to but at least it means you are fit enough to go ahead and every chemo has a chance of defeating the cancer.

All the best,

danaceau said...

Re: secret. I think I go through the same thought process after each treatment. Maybe I'm fortunate that I'm still on my first set of chemo drugs and it's the "standard of care," so there's not a whole lot of decision making to be done. This is what I have to do so I'll just do it.

But it ain't no fun.

nollyposh said...

Brave girl (((hugs))) x
(Ps) i had my ovaries removed for anti~estrogen treatment and am about to start a drug that suppresses my fatty tissue from also producing it-i have waited (to start the 2nd drug) until i feel ready as i have been experiencing pain in my back, that for now i am putting down to menopausal aches & pains... Keep up the good work! x

Michelle said...

One day at a time, one treatment at a time, one minute at a time....whatever it takes.


whidbeywoman said...

Keep up the positive attitude!
:) :) :) :) :) :)
Lots of smiles across the miles

Renee said...

Oh I know that cycle. 20 treatments of taxotere, that is fantastic.

I think I went either 22 or 32 and man, that stuff is brutal.

I think I had 22, I will check.

Love Renee xoxo

Lesa said...

Daria, you are amazing. {{{hugs}}}

Anastasia said...

Wow Daria, you have been doing chemo for a looongg time! And I thought the 12 treatments I did took a long time! That sounds pretty intense too, being part of a study. Do you forsee being able to have a break or stop chemo in the future? I sure hope so. But of course I just hope for you to feel the best you possibly can! You do sound as though you are really with it, taking a class and all! That is awesome!!! Good for you!!!!

Daria said...

Anastasia, I'm not sure about a break right now. Eventually yes I think so. I have Hawaii on my mind but I would need to get stronger in order to enjoy the trip. That would mean being off chemo for a few months. We'll have to see about that one.

Anonymous said...

You always amaze me

Sandy said...

Daria - You are so brave! I read your blog postings to TJ all the time to keep his attitude positive.

Peggy said...

Daria; are amazing. just goes to show me that it's one day at a time.
You are an inspiration to me!

Tracey said...

Daria, your one amazing lady.. love ya xx

Joules Evans said...

Daria, thanks for the birthday wishes!

You are in my thoughts and prayers. Keep hanging in there. It's all we can do, right?!

Love from Cincinnati,