It’s been quite a while since I last wrote and I thought I would share a bit of an update.
First, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and have started off the new year on the right HEALTHY foot, surrounded by loved ones!
So here is what is new with me:
I think I last left off explaining that my last chemo didn’t really work. It was the oral chemo (in the form of 8 pills a day) that gave me the really sore hands and feet. Crappy that it didn’t work on my cancer cells, but I’m happy to have my hands and feet back to normal.
So, what is my next move? I am now on a chemo called taxol which I get once a week (through IV) for three weeks and then one week off (that is considered one round).
My first dose was pretty tough – really knocked me on my ass, which I was shocked by because my understanding was that it was a well tolerated chemo. As a result, my white blood cells took a beating and I had to skip my second dose and almost my third dose. But I did get my third dose and it was much much MUCH better!
I get my treatments on Mondays and it was the third Monday when my hair started to fall out. I immediately messaged my hairdresser, Joe, and he took me in right away and gave me a cute pixie cut. I thought I would make it to Christmas but Christmas Eve it really looked super patchy and gross so out came the hat! A few days later, my backup hairdresser, Mike, took out the clippers and gave me a buzz cut. Needless to say I am back to hats and scarves again, but I’m handling the hair loss much better this time around. Getting ready is so easy, no hair to wash, blow-dry or style – just throw on a hat and I’m out the door!
Yesterday I finished my second dose of round two. While my white blood cells were good enough to get my chemo my hemoglobin was very very VERY low and therefore I required a blood transfusion today. The low hemoglobin is a result of both my cancer and the taxol so I was upset that I even needed to get a transfusion, but happy that it would make me feel better. It is quite a long process, but easy. It is administered through an IV but the drip is slow and took about 5 – 6 hours. But I have colour back in my skin, my legs don’t feel like a did a 1,000 squats when I go up a flight of stairs and my shortness of breath has gone already. It is quite amazing. Thank you to everyone who has ever donated blood – what a difference it has made for me!!!
“You’ve got three pints of Kramer in you, buddy!”
-Cosmo Kramer in the Seinfeld episode, ’The Blood’
I will be scanned after my third round with everything crossed that this is working for me – I just need something to work. It has been discouraging with the last two drugs not working at all, so getting a good scan is more than welcomed!
The very harsh reality of MBC
Today was a tough day emotionally for me too. A wonderful lady by the name of Holley Kitchen who was diagnosed with MBC, passed away this morning. Her flashcard video about MBC went viral, raising awareness about this horrible disease – the stage of breast cancer very few people know about. I never met her or even spoke with her, but the MBC community is pretty connected (especially with social media) and you start to feel like you are part of these women’s lives. You pray for them everyday and hope to only see positive news from them, but unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. I want to thank Holley for what she did for all of us living with MBC. I hope her two young boys and husband find some peace through all of this as they go through this very challenging time.