Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Wed Sept 6th

Thank goodness this day is over!! I went in this morning to have a PETscan. I had to fast for this test and for surgery so I was starving all day. I didn't realize that I was going to have to have an IV put in for this test. For this test they inject a radioactive sugar into your system and since the cancer cells metabolize sugar at a high rate it will help them detect where the sugar is and if there are any other "hot spots" elsewhere in your body. When we went into the room where they do the injection the technician handles this substance behind a lead box. He asked my dad "There is going to be radioactive material in this room, would you prefer to leave?" I thought that was amusing that they were worried about him but just going to fill me full of it intravenously. He didn't leave, in case you were wondering. What a guy! That's why I love my dad always willing to take one for the team. They made me wait in a room by myself after that for an hour. I wasn't supposed to talk or even channel surf. He said that by talking I would be using the muscles in my throat and by channel surfing the muscles in my wrists and hand. Apparently this would mess up the scan. Just had to sit in the room for an hour holding still. The scan itself was similar to an MRI a table moving you in and out of a tunnel.

Next we went to the cancer center for Chemo education. We did this with the nurse practitioner Lisa. She went through the ins and outs of treatment, what it was going to be like and the possible side affects. She said that they wanted to do a DNA test on my blood to see if I had a mutated gene somewhere in my line. She said that since I was so young with this diagnosis it was very possible. If there was a mutated gene it would be very likely that I get cancer in the other breast or ovarian cancer at some point. This information would be more useful for preventive care and making better decisions about surgery when we get to that point. We also found out that they received results from the lab that my cancer is Her2neu positive which means I have to have Herceptin with my Chemotherapy. Which is extra time at this treatment as well. It sounds like my Chemo treatment will last about 2 to 3 hours each time. Not only do I have to do this during Chemo, I have to have it done for a year, which means even after Chemo is done I have to keep doing this IV drug every 3 weeks for a year. The news keeps getting better and better as the day goes on!! So this first round of Chemo will be once a week for 12 weeks and I will be taking Taxol. She said this one could be done once every 3 weeks but since my case is more aggressive they are trying to do it every week to stay on top of it. With this first 12 weeks she said it shouldn't be too awfully bad. I will loose my hair in about the next 3 weeks. There is a whole book of side effects from Chemo. Fatigue, hair loss, diarrhea, constipation, fertility, nausea..... I think it would be easier to list the things that aren't side effects. I have to be real careful about germs and getting sick since the Chemo will also drop my red and white blood cell count and platelet count. Hand sanitizer is going to be all over my house! They also talked a BUNCH about diet and how important it is to have a well balanced diet and to each smaller meals every 2 to 3 hours instead of the 3 big meals a day.

Then we moved over to the surgery center at the harmony campus of PVH. Moving right along to my 2nd IV of the day. (Apparently the reason for the infusa port) The surgery itself I guess only took about 20 min but I was out for at least an hour. Modern medicine is pretty neat. I remember looking at the clock on the wall in the OR and it said 13:42 and I was thinking, what's with the military time and then waking up in recovery not being able to talk and having this awful taste in my mouth from the tube the put in to help you breathe. My shoulder was the only thing that hurt, apparently they prop your arm up funny to have the right positioning elsewhere. I was in the car and on the way home by 4. I have a little over an inch incision below my collar bone and right now have it "tapped" so the nurse didn't have to mess with it to do my Chemo so that is uncomfortable to have something sticking out of my skin. They will be able to take that out after my Chemo treatment this week. It does hurt a fair amount right now though. Why is it that everyone just said "Take some tylenol and you should be fine." I guess I am just a big baby because tylenol isn't cutting it.

So I will be going in for my first Chemotherapy treatment on Friday. I was supposed be going in tomorrow, but they couldn't fit me in. So Friday is the next big day. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to just sit at home and go nowhere. I am tired of running all over the place and quickly remembering why I like being a homebody!!


Debbie said...

Hi Eliza,

I have been reading your posts and want you to know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. We are all keeping up on your progress and really appreciate the fact that you are sharing, because we all are so very concerned and worried about what you are facing. Anything I can do, please let me know.
Love, Debbie

Bev said...

Hi Eliza,

I hope you have a "restful" day today, especially after the busy day you had yesterday. We will be praying that all goes well with your first chemo treatment. Thanks for keeping us posted and know that everyone is thinking of you.


Lisa said...

Been keeping tabs on this blog &
"happy" to hear the latest. Sounds like you're in total control & taking names. Some of the random medical statements I actually understood thanks to being in the CF world as far as the ports & IV's & such. You're awesome girl. Such an inspiration. I'm taking notes!

jna4sander said...

Hi! Hope all went well with the treatment today. Did you get your "Louie" ok? I hope it's big enough to take with you, but not to bulky. Anyhow, call when you need your toilets scrubbed, lol!

I'll talk to you soon to organize our movie date.

Love you-

Amanda & Matthew said...

Hey Eliza,

I really thank you for taking the time to share your experience with everyone. You are such an amazing person with such a beautiful spirit! Remember that we are super close if you need anything - anything at all! You are in our prayers sweetie!


Amanda & Matthew said...

Hey sweetie!

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings.... you are an insperation to us all!

Amanda Anderson

Margie said...

Hi Eliza,
I am new to this blogging thing but am so proud and amazed at what a special and wonderful girl you are. Thank you for sharing. You are in my prayers. Love, Margie Franckum