Round three of chemo starts tomorrow. I think I’m ready. This round of chemo was different than last round, but not too bad. The first round I got some rashes on my hands and the skin on my fingers were peeling, and I also broke out (pimples) on my face. But I normally take a skin supplement called Sibu – sea buckthorn oil which is rich in omega-7 and is good for hair, skin, and nails. I’ve been taking it since March and I’ve noticed much less acne on my face and much stronger nails. During the first round of chemo my throat was really soar for most of the time and so I stopped taking my supplements. Plus, let’s be honest, getting up and taking supplements before bed required WAY too much energy. But since I started taking them towards the end of round one and all throughout round two, no facial breakouts, no rashes, and no peeling skin! yay!
I did feel a bit more nauseous this time, but I still only had to take the anti-nausea meds about 3 times. I still need to eat small meals and keep my blood sugar up, or else the nausea tends to occur. I felt more emotional with round two (can you say pity party?) but I’ve heard from other breast cancer survivors that one of the drugs, Zoladex, can make you more emotional. The Zoladex was new for round two. It is a seed that gets implanted through a shot (larger needle) so they numbed me with Lidocaine first and then implanted it. It dissolves over four weeks and then I get it again. The Zoladex is a drug that preserves fertility, and has also been found to help fight the cancer. It increases your odds of getting pregnant post chemo from 40% to 60%. In order to preserve fertility, it puts you into early menopause (chemo also does this). I’m still waiting on the hot flashes! We aren’t planning to procreate post chemo, but if it will help fight the cancer, then I’m game. The other three chemo drugs that I’m on are Adriamycin, Cytoxan, and Taxotere. I’ve heard this is the “gold standard” of chemo drugs for breast cancer.
I generally feel tired, but okay on days 1-3/4 of the cycle, feel like crap (read: SUPER TIRED) on days 4/5-10 of the cylce and then from days 11-21, I feel more like a human being and I feel up to doing normal things, like driving, housework, hanging out with friends, and homework. I’m still going to school to be a nutritionist through Bauman College, but I have switched to their online program and I do everything from home.
Right before each round is over, I have to get my blood drawn to check my white blood cell counts (BTW – I have NOT passed out once with all these needle shits. I’m becoming one tough broad with all of these procedures, shots, IVs, etc. all of which give me the heebie jeebies) and then I meet with the doctor and he clears me for the next round. After round one, the tumor that I could feel (there are two, one I can feel and one I can’t; obviously the one I discovered was the one I can feel) felt smaller to both myself and the doctor. 🙂 but after this round it is more noticeable to both myself and my doctor. He did say that it felt less firm to him, which could be good because you want to attack tumors from the inside out. This means you’re killing it at the epicenter and maybe the tumor cell wall is dying. He still thinks we should go forth with round three of chemo. After round three, I have a breast MRI scheduled, where they will be able to tell what’s really happened. If the tumor is shrinking like they want it to, I will continue with three more rounds. If it is not shrinking enough, then I will have mastectomy surgery early. I plan to also get a second opinion at Stanford with my MRI results, just to make sure that another doctor agrees with whatever my oncologist says.
A couple of fun facts about my experience (in case you know someone going through this, you can share it with them, AND this may be TMI, but it’ll make you laugh): I’ve lost nearly all body hair, still remaining is: arm hair, nose hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes (no more shaving or waxing!! 🙂 and the bowel movements are quite a bit different (especially for someone that is quite regular like myself, I know TMI, but I’m going to be a nutritionist, and we all should be more open about this topic), one morning on my way to the bathroom (which I have only 5 minutes to get to, once I have to go), I though I had a fart, turned out to be a shart! Afterwards, I went and told Jim “oops, I crapped my pants!”. We got a good laugh out of that.
Thanks to all the walking buddies, I appreciate you getting me out there! Thanks for all the offers too! I will continue to need walking buddies for many months to come, so keep the messages coming. 🙂
Team KLB shirts: We’re (by that I mean Jim, I deserve no credit) still working on the shirts, but have run into a snafu. We’ll keep you posted!
Thank you to everyone that has registered for the Hers Keep Abreast Walk/Run in Fremont on Sept. 27th. I’m beyond honored that people are walking in my name. ((love & hugs)) Jim and I are registered for the 5k walk, but there will be people running too. Feel free to sign up for whatever you prefer. Here’s the link HERS KEEP ABREAST 2014 – Team Registration – Adult 18 & Over – Group/Team Registration
Many people have offered to bring us food. If you’re interested, please note that we are Gluten Free and we eat very little dairy. Also since toxins build up in meats and many produce, and now is not a time for me to ingest more toxins, we eat grass fed & finished, pasture raised, organic, and non gmo whenever possible. That being said, that food is PRICEY and it’s more complicated to make GF, DF food. SO if you’re not up for it, I totally get it. Our dietary restrictions are challenging, please do not feel obligated in any way. (This is just a good way for me to get info out to mass groups of people.) If you are interested in bringing something by, I don’t have a calendar set up, but have thought about it, until then shoot me a PM, text, or email. Soups, fruits, and veggies are the foods that are most appealing to my deadened taste buds.
Last, but not least, if you’re up for it, put on some pink swag tomorrow and join me in saying eff cancer!!
Thanks #teamklb for all the love and support. I heart you all! Smooch!!