In the book, ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ by John Green (if you haven’t read it, go now and read it!) the main character, Hazel Grace, is a teenager who has cancer. She goes to a support group that meets in the middle of a church building, which she calls “the literally heart of Jesus”. She talks about taking the stairs, even though she carries an oxygen tank behind her. Taking the elevator is for the real sick kids. That’s how I feel about the valet service at the cancer center. I shouldn’t use it, because it’s for the real sick cancer patients. But I also have little shame when it comes to cancer perks and it’s raining and I was running late to my appointment so I used it this morning.

As I mentioned before, my oncologist left, so I meet my new doctor today. My old doctor was a brilliant man who took very good care of me and I’m so grateful for him. He retested the characteristic types of my cancer at the start and caught that I have HER-2 cancer that the first test didn’t catch. That’s a huge thing and changed my treatment that ended up shrinking my tumor. At this point in my treatment I was fine with getting a new doctor, excited even for a women doctor. My new doctor is so wonderful. Very warm from the start. She asked what I did for the living and I told her I work with high school students. She said you give yourself away, I knew you were a people person. We talked about how the chemo drugs are still in my body, working their way out. I’d hope my body would be rid of them by now but it takes a while but explains why I get tired easy. She encourage me to walk, get my heart rate up a bit each day to get stronger. She also gave me all my infusion dates till April which makes me happy as a planner to have them all the calendar (my old doctor gave me my schedule one at a time every 3 weeks, I prefer this much more). Thankful that the transfer of my care between doctors has seem to be really good. I need more emotional support at this point in treatment which my new doctor navigates better than my old one (our appointment ended in a hug, that never would of happened with my old doctor).

I’m sitting in my last chemo chair today, getting herceptin. My left arm still tingles, so my old doctor got me a referral for a lymphedema clinic. Doesn’t seem like they really think it is lymphedema but they want to be sure since it’s been going on for a month now. If nothing else I probably get fitted for an arm band to help with the tingling. And sometime soon I’ll get another echo to check my heart, which is standard every three months when receiving herceptin. So, more appointments than I would think at this point of the game, but what can I really do? I’ll just be sure to treat myself on those days. I really love having the rest of my treatments on the calendar, I know when the end will be! And I have a 6 month follow up with my surgeon at the end of the month, where I assume my port removal surgery will be also put on the calendar. That will be such an amazing day cause with that port comes out, that’s huge. No more coming to the cancer center for treatment. Just my daily oral drug, that I’ll have to take for 10 years now I was told today. Not my most favorite news but 5 or 10 years, they seem equally as long to me at this point. Thankfully I don’t have side effects from it. So let the countdown begin, just 4 more times of herceptin! Come quickly April.

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I got nervous reading the first part of this because I was praying the new doctor was going to be a good one! So glad it went well! Having a doctor you can trust and feel comfortable with is a huge blessing!

Also… it sucks about the ten years on an oral medicine. That is a long time! But it’s amazing to see what cancer treatment is really like. There is so much more to it than I ever imagined – and I have known other people who have gone through it. Thank you for documenting so that we can have a better understanding of what it is really like!

Hurry up, April!!!

January 15, 2014 10:01 am

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