Well, yesterday was my final round of chemotherapy...yay!!! I should be over all the side effects in a couple weeks - hopefully to never experience them again!
When they tested my blood yesterday (as they do at every appointment) my white blood cell count was a little low (well, it was a little low at the last one, but this time it was lowER) so I'm going in today to get a booster shot. This will help my body fight off any infections for the next couple weeks while it recovers from the drugs that were pumped in yesterday.
We also found out yesterday that I'll have to continue going in every three weeks until next January to continue receiving one of my drugs: Herceptin. I knew I would have to continue with it but for some reason i was thinking it was a pill. But no such luck. Fortunately it'll only take 2 hours hooked up, and there are no side effects so it shouldn't affect me too much. ButI'm still disappointed since I was thinking I was done with drug pumping. Oh well!
I'm also scheduled for an ultrasound to take a look at the tumor again. My doctor did an exam yesterday and said, "I can't feel anything!" Woohoo!! I also have an echocardiogram coming up to make sure my heart has handled everything well.
On May 30th we'll have a consultation with the surgeon to discuss my surgery. As of right now I still don't know whether I'll be having a lumpectomy or mastectomy. I was supposed to have the results of my genetic testing back but when I called to check they said it would be another 1-2 weeks. Blerg. But I should have them by the 30th so I can talk about the different options with my surgeon. Surgery will be a couple weeks after that. I jokingly told Andrew that with my luck I'll have surgery on the 4th of July! So far I've hit the last three holidays with my chemo dates (Valentine's Day, Easter and Mother's Day). :)
The decision for which surgery to have is completely mine, but the results of the testing will tell me if I carry the BRCA gene. The risks for reoccurrence are significantly higher if it turns out I do have it.
The risk of Breast Cancer with the gene is 87%, without is 8%.
The risk of Ovarian Cancer with is 44%, without is less than 1%.
The risk of a second Primary Breast Cancer is 64%, without is 11%.
So you can see that if I do carry the gene, it is certainly a good idea to consider the full mastectomy just for the peace of mind. (Some of you may have heard Angelina Jolie's story about having a preventative mastectomy when she learned she carried BRCA) If I do carry it, they will recommend that my family all be tested as well to see if they carry it. Which I pray they don't!!!!
So lots to think and pray about. I'm not concerned or scared. I know that God is in control no matter what!!
I had a heartbreaking conversation with Audrey this week. It started because she was sad I couldn't come to her class field trip yesterday because I had chemo. She told me she wanted me to stop working so that she could see me more. I explained (as we've talked about several times) that I have to work while Daddy is in school because we have to have money to pay the bills. She said that I should just take some days off. I explained that I get vacation time, but I've had to use that time for all of my doctor's appointments. Then I said, "you know what I HATE?? Cancer!!! Because cancer takes away the time that I want to be with you guys!!" She was crying and said, "I hate it too!!!" We decided we need to do some painting to express our hatred for cancer. And that really is the truth. Everything else I can handle, but being apart from my kids so much just breaks my heart. I value every minute I have with them. And for the most part they have handled everything extremely well. It helps SO much that we have so many friends and family members who help out with them, so they are always surrounded by people who love them tons.
And of course Andrew is my rock and is an amazing Daddy. Every night he prays with them that, "Mommy's cancer will go away and NEVER come back!" That's a prayer that I hope someday no child will ever have to pray. And someday I have hope that there will be a cure for cancer!!
I know I say this every time, but I can't express my thanks often or loudly enough. All of your prayers and love have blessed Andrew, Audrey, Liam and myself immensely. We just feel amazed at everyone that God has placed in our lives. And we really hope that we can be the support for others who will face life circumstances like this in the future.
I hope you all have a great weekend and you Mom's enjoy some special time with your kiddos!!