Hi, friends. Thanks for all of your kind words and support since I last wrote. I’m feeling much better this week.
Last time was rough and I was depressed. I don’t know if it was the chemo, the steroids, the state of the world, or just the chemistry in my brain being off but I was grumpy.
Part of my moodiness could also have been me preparing for the next phase in this journey and coming to grips with the fact that it’s a lifelong journey. Since all of this cancer craziness started in April, I’ve been focused on the short term: testing, treatment, scans, surgery… Now I’m having to come to grips that cancer will always be a part of my life. Things will certainly become more normal, but they will never be the same.
My type of breast cancer, Triple-Negative, has a high rate of recurrence. The recurrence rate is greatest within the first 3 years and then there’s a decline in recurrence after 5 years. That means that even after surgery and radiation there will still be many more doctors visits.
Right now my doctors are a little cagey about what my long(er) term plan is, since they haven’t seen the results of the MRI yet. (The MRI went off with no issues, btw). My medical oncologist might want me to continue with my Keytruda infusions. If she does, I’ll be coming in every three weeks. If she doesn’t, I might get to only visit the hospital every three months. Either way, it will be a vast improvement to my weekly visits.
Now that I have finished my chemo (WHOO-HOO!!!) my immune system should start recovering over the next 4-6 weeks. My hair should also start coming back in, too. While I have loved hearing that I have a nicely shaped head and that I’m rocking the bald look, I am ready to start getting my hair back. I don’t think I’ve ever had short hair before, so if you have any suggestions on styles I’d love to see them.
Since writing the above, I have met with my surgeon. We went over the MRI and the plans for surgery and beyond. The MRI looked REALLY GOOD. I knew that the treatment was shrinking the tumor – I could feel the difference, but seeing it on the MRI was something else.
My cancer went from being something I could feel to something that isn’t visible on my MRI. That doesn’t mean that it’s 100% gone, but it’s now small enough that the scan couldn’t see it!!!
I have a lumpectomy scheduled for November 11th and radiation to follow, but the chemo did exactly what my doctors were hoping for. Rather than having them take out a large lump or possibly perform a mastectomy soon after my diagnosis, now my surgery will be a much smaller scale.
I’m still processing all of the information about the scan and surgery, and I’ll probably write more about it soon, but I wanted to share my happy news with all of you kind folks who have been supporting me these long 6 months.
Thanks for all of the positivity and encouragement you have shared with me and keep it coming as I continue my recovery. Also, keep an eye out for your ballots – they should be arriving this week – and make sure you get them postmarked or dropped off before 8 pm on November 3rd. I’ll be taking mine to the ballot box at my library but you can also drop them in a mailbox with no postage needed.