Thursday, November 8, 2007

How It's Looking

I had round 5 of chemo yesterday--a new chemo cocktail. Docetaxel (aka Taxotere) and Capecitabine. Docetaxel is administered through an IV, and Capecitabine is a pill dosage I have to take twice a day. Here's picture of my bruise from my IV yesterday. I didn't put enough pressure on the vein when the nurse took out the IV, so I got a nasty swollen bruise:

So far, I've been feeling okay, though there was a woman in the chemo room with me who was getting her own dose of Docetaxel, which she started a few cycles ago. She was telling me about all the problems she's had since starting it, which wasn't that reassuring. But the nurse said that everyone's different, so we'll see. The new fun side effects I can expect are peripheral neuropathy, which is numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, and body aches and pains. The nausea should be less or even non-existent, which is good. But my taste buds are already back to flat and metallic, which sucks.

DH and I are very concerned and have our doubts and fears about radiation. We're supposed to meet the radiation oncologist soon. We have lots of questions, mainly which point to how necessary this is, especially given that if I were to get radiation, I would be doing it before surgery, so how do we even know that it's necessary assuming that the surgery would take care of getting rid of the cancer. Anyway, we're eagerly waiting the appointment. It's an odd thing because the nurse and the oncologist were reassuring us that with the radiation, we were getting the "deluxe package," as if this were some sort of resort vacation deal.

The nurse also mentioned that I'm "lucky" to be getting in on the reconstruction list, because there's such a wait list for those wanting reconstruction. But my group--I guess that would be women who have the hardcore yet operable breast cancer--is the only one that's being accepted onto the list without waiting. I told the nurse that I felt so special. She laughed.

And here's the news from the ultrasound I had last week: "There has been a moderate decrease in the size of the multifocal carcinoma in the superior right breast. Significant residual disease persists." So mostly good news, some sucky news. Specifically: "One lesion measures 1.1 x 0.4 cm. . .this was measured 1.3 x 1 cm in August. A second lesion measures 0.9 x 0.5 cm. This was previously measured at 1.3 x 1.4 cm. A third lesion measures 0.7 x 0.6 cm, and this has not changed."

I don't know if this means anything...but I just gave Chloe a book that my therapist said I should give to her called "Time for Me: An activity book for kids when someone in the family has cancer." She went right to the page called "What is radiation" and colored green all over it. Green, in aura therapy, means healing I think.

Anyway, I fallen into not caring about what I'm eating (I'm a Weight Watchers lifetime member, which is probably put into jeopardy since I stopped going after my diagnosis in July. I've become accustomed to what I was putting in my mouth in terms of calories, fat and all that). But now, I'm trying to get all belly fatalicious so I'll have bigger jugs when reconstruction time happens--but nothing is changing. My doctor beamed and said, "Weight is maintaining. Good job." I'm like--just fucking great. Now that I want massive girth, it's not happening. How cruel can this world possibly be, man???

As far as my appearance go, I've totally stopped putting on makeup or giving a crap. I pretty much go out bald; it comes in handy sometimes. Like when I'm on a crowded bus and want to sit down. I whip off my hat, and people get out of my way. The perks of looking seriously ill.

So that's the latest in Brandy's cancerland. Life goes on.


Animae said...

If I could give you some of my belly fat, you know I'd ship it off right away! Hang in there girl. Love you!

Vicki aka Mamapajama said...

Take advantage of it while you can, Brandy, because once your hair grows in, nobody's gonna give up their seat!

Jack Feerick said...

I had the same thought as Animae, actually. Everybody knows about Locks Of Love, where you can donate your hair to make wigs for chemo patients; if only there were a Liposuction Of Love, where people could donate adipose tissue for breast reconstruction! That's a charity a lot of people could get behind. If only it were medically possible...