Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Anticipated Endings and Beginnings

Its been awhile since I've updated, so I'm catching up.  The past two chemo's were fine.  Chemo #10 seemed harder for a couple different reasons.  My white blood cell counts were lower than they've ever been, but still sufficiently passable for treatment.  I was on the tail end of fighting that silly cold.

I also had a very hectic end to the week with my concert, resulting in a couple long days.  And I attended a gathering friday night with some old friends and Topeka 501 music teachers.  That was fun and, at the time, I felt I had the energy for it.  However, Saturday, in the aftermath of the week, I completely crashed.  I was a blob all day long.  Very achy and it took me longer to bounce back than usual.

And yesterday, Chemo #11 was smooth and went very quickly.  Despite last week's cold and blob days, I feel as if my energy is slowly returning.  I can now make it passably through a day without a nap, though they are always appreciated.  My hot flashes and sweatiness have been better.  My hair is growing back, even if its just very thin peach fuzz.  We saw my oncologist yesterday, and she said that there wouldn't be any significant regrowth until my chemo is completely over, but its still exciting! She also said that my body appears to be adjusting to the lack of estrogen in my body at this point.  And its been handling this type of chemo VERY WELL.  She non-formally felt my tumor and said it seems smaller even still, so its doing its job too.

We scheduled my next appointment with my surgeon.  June 17.   She'll be doing another ultrasound to measure its progress.  I also expect that my surgery options will officially be discussed that day and maybe putting that on the schedule for mid-August.

Its been an interesting time.  I've been just waiting and doing my thing for several weeks, and now I'm propelling quickly towards new information and a new phase in my recovery.  I'm hoping desperately for the right answers:  to be eligible for the lumpectomy; for it to result in clean margins and a quick and simple recovery; for the sentinel note biopsy to come back with no sign of cancer cells having spread to the lymph nodes; for the staging to indeed officially be revealed as early stage cancer - 2A (only my lymph nodes can tell me that); to be declared cancer-free and move on to my 6 weeks of radiation; and then my 5 years on the tamoxifen pill.
And then ultimately, to have all of this treatment to have WORKED and not experience a recurrence or any kind of metastasis.  Forever.  The end of my experience with cancer and a new beginning.

My school year is quickly ending too.  I'm usually pretty grumpy this time of year, because my school is in session longer than my other teacher friends.  But this year I'm unphased.  I'm sure having the couple days off in the middle of the week helps with work-related burnout.  Have to be appreciative of that.  I definitely recommend to anyone having to go through anything like this, to take intermittent days off from work if you can!  It has been so important for my mental/emotional recovery as well as physical.  And being at work the rest of the time has been essential too.  Carrying on life as normal.

So I officially teach 3 more days and then I'm done.  I'll have a summer of ending chemo/recovery and the waiting game/rest until my surgery.  I'll start up my next school year again, I'm sure, before the surgery.


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  2. Great post Heather! I hope all your cancer goals come true! I have June 17th on my calendar. Let me know if you need anything!

  3. Hoping everything goes how you described! I will be thinking of you on the 17th! Keep the positive energy flowing! Sending you virtual hugs and smiles!