I am kicking this breast cancer booty! I can just feel it happening. Today was round #5 and I have just one more big round scheduled for October 8th. If you have been around me much in the last few months, you know that October 8th is pretty high on my radar. I simply cannot wait to get this part of my little booty-kicking journey behind me. Although I do wonder how I will feel when I don't have "big" doses of chemo running through my system as my weapons of mass destruction.
I will continue to receive Herceptin treatments every three weeks until I have completed one year of infusions (somewhere around June 25 of 2013). This targeted drug works on the HER2 positive part of my tumor (or that is how I understand it). Though the tumor is no longer present, the Herceptin will locate any of the cells that have HER2 receptors (if they still exist). You can read more detailed information on their website here.
Today I was thrilled for the rain in Knoxville because my brother-in-law and my nephew were able to be my chemo buddies for part of my treatment. [Actually, I had my sister for part of the time too before she had to pick up Clark from school and later get the girls from their preschool.] My brother-in-law stuck it out for the entire treatment, which went much longer than usual. And, as usual, there were plenty of sweet people to chat with in the chemo room. I really love checking in with many of the patients and just catching up on what they are doing, but I can hardly remember what we talk about because my brain is chemo-mush. I'm sure I ask them the same questions every time I see them, but hopefully they have similar chemo-mush-brains and don't remember.
They were waiting on results of my MUGA scan (basically a test of my heart function to monitor the effects of the chemotherapy drugs and Herceptin). I had the test last Friday and it turns out that my numbers were better than when I began the treatments (surprising since I feel like my heart is coming out of my chest at times when I exert myself at all--like climbing stairs, carrying laundry, loading the dishwasher, unloading groceries). Once we had the news that my heart is doing just fine, they were able to get started.
I am trying to find out what else in next. I know that Tamoxifen is coming and I am not thrilled. It has lots of unpleasant side effects. My surgeon has scheduled a follow-up appointment (at Vanderbilt) and also an appointment with a plastic surgeon on December 26th. Who works on December 26th?!? I don't expect to get any surgeries scheduled anytime soon. As I understand it, I will have to wait for at least six months post "big chemo" and my chemo doctor has also indicated that it would be best to wait until my Herceptin treatments are complete (did I mention that isn't until June 2013???) because otherwise they would have to be interrupted when I have any additional surgeries. Ugh. That could mean having just one boob until next summer! This is NOT what I was expecting to hear and I definitely had my proverbial bubble burst when I received the news. But I will do what needs to be done in order to come out of this with NO EVIDENCE OF DISEASE and to be sure that this stupid cancer NEVER RETURNS....in ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM! No breast cancer. No lung cancer (my dad). No glioblastoma (brain cancer - it's what killed my mother). No ovarian or uterine cancer (as a result of any of the breast cancer treatments, fertility treatments or any other environmental damage I have inflicted upon myself). No cancer at all. Ever. I'm done.
Thankful for a productive day in the breast cancer booty kicking arena. And thankful for my chemo buddies, Karen, Tom and Tommy. And thankful for a wonderful dinner at home with Karen, Tom and the kiddos. And VERY thankful that all three fell asleep pretty easily this evening. And even more thankful that God is bigger than all of this cancer. He really is.
All in all a good day.
I also want to mention to very important events coming up in Knoxville:
I'm participating in the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Event in Knoxville on October 7, 2012. My team is, of course, the Breast Cancer Booty Kickers. Here is the link to my personal page: Kim Louis - Breast Cancer Booty Kickers (ACS Making Strides Against Breast Cancer) Feel free to join my team or donate to support the work of the American Cancer Society. Every contribution counts, whether it is $1, $5, $10 or $50, so please consider supporting my efforts in any way you are able to at this time.
Also, on October 27th, I'll also be leading a team (again, the Breast Cancer Booty Kickers) in the Komen Knoxville Race for the Cure. Here is the link to my personal page for this event: Kim Louis - Breast Cancer Booty Kickers (Race for the Cure). Again, I can use more team members or contributions to help me reach my fundraising goal.
Both events are 5Ks and I am hopeful that I will be able to complete the entire course, though I expect to be walking . I would love to have any family, friends, co-workers, Knoxville residents who I have never met, fellow breast cancer (or ANY cancer) survivors and anyone else join me at either or both events. There is no pressure to run or walk. Cheerleaders also play an important role. :)
Thanks so much for joining me in this journey.