So yesterday was the big day. The big post-op hurrah that would really kick this bitch into high gear. Ugh. Who am I kidding? Yesterday was a big huge kick in the gut.
It's silly for me to reflect and think that I should expect anything different. I guess that way, WAY back in the back of my crazy, mixed-up mind I keep thinking that a doctor will say, "You're done. Cancer's gone." Boy, should I be so lucky.
It's a multi-step process, but here's the general outline. Twenty-four weeks of chemotherapy. First four treatments will be on 21 day cycles, last twelve treatments weekly. This will take me until about the middle of September. Now let's throw in the rest of the drama and really get this party started.
Before I go any further, I want to explain why chemotherapy is the route I am going. While surgery was successful and margins were clear, my tumor is a grade 3. My doctor described a grade 3 tumor as one that was "angry". Basically, it means that there is indication that the nuclei of the cells were large, the cells were rapidly dividing, etc. So, while surgery was successful, there is a chance that some of these "angry" cells could have broken off and floated away. Chemotherapy is the insurance policy that we kill any of these potentially rogue cells and show any runaway cancer who is boss.
So here are the the details of what happens between now and the rest of this hot-mess-express:
1. Chemo doesn't start until approximately 6 weeks from the date of surgery, meaning that I am still 4 weeks away.
2. I have to have a minor surgery to have a port put in prior to chemo. The first available surgery date is in April.
3. I have to see a reproductive specialist prior to chemotherapy. Depending on what happens with them, I could still be 6-8 weeks away from my first treatment.
Ah, the reproductive specialist. This is a whole new and exciting road that I am super pumped to travel...NOT! Let's talk about all the strikes I have against me. I am 30 years old. I have various awesome things going on with my girly parts in the first place. Chemotherapy will prohibit egg production during therapy and can reduce future production post-therapy by 30-40%. After chemo, I have to take a drug for a minimum of 2 years before I can potentially carry a baby. So I have approximately 6 days to outline a family plan and decide what the hell I/we are going to do. So much for one day at a time. Surprise Alex! It's time to talk about our future, which I know is your favorite thing to do.
My Type A personality is showing. While I am very grateful to have wonderful doctors that are making sure that when all is said and done my quality of life is exactly as I would want it to be, I just want to put dates on the calendar and get on with it. In the meantime, I'll go back to watching HBO and reading every magazine under the sun and continue my healing process. I need to keep my eye on the prize; there IS light at the end of this tunnel.
Sat, March 2, 2013
by Kara Ward