The most metal thing I learned about chemo yesterday…

…(besides the metallic taste part)…is that one of the types of chemo I’ll be having CAN TURN YOUR TEARS RED. For real, the warning says:

“Do not be alarmed if your urine, sweat, saliva or tears are red/orange colored”

Ok.

Besides being messed up, you have to admit it’s also PRETTY METAL. Or at least kinda crazy horror-movie-aesthetic.

But overall, chemo is not really metal or not metal in my mind — it just kind of IS (a thing, I mean). It’s not that I’m not intimidated, just that it’s something ahead that is probably going to suck for awhile — and hopefully won’t but possibly may feel exceptionally crappy — but then hopefully not feel so crappy eventually.

They set the appointments WAY faster than I thought they might, but I think that’s good — a few things I skimmed seem to indicate that early-stage TNBC patients who start chemo within 30 days of their surgery have a slightly better prognosis than those who wait a little longer. So, yeah, getting ready to start chemo a week from tomorrow (with preparation appointments next Mon & Tues).

From our initial meeting, I like my medical oncologist (chemo dr.) quite a bit — bedside manner-wise as well as seeming-to-know-her-stuff wise. She was caring and funny and open and most of all, very real in her conversation and approach. I think it helps, too, that UM is a “comprehensive” cancer center — they are able to offer other support services that are a bit more whole-person than other centers might.

…not that I’ve taken advantage many of them yet, but since it’s a long haul, I’m thankful they are available throughout the next 5-7 months depending on what comes up. It also seems like doctors and nurses have a lot more ability to/focus on controlling or balancing out chemo side-effects than there used to be, so that’s encouraging.

The basic timeline: 

  • One double-drug (Adriamycin and Cytoxan) regimen every 2 weeks for 8 sessions.
  • Then, a following one-drug treatment (Taxol) every week for 12 weeks.

…then on to either another surgery or radiation (based on recurrence score/genetic information).

So, not exactly the MOST fun winter, but hopefully with lots of rest and coziness, fires in the fireplace, and snuggling with Sparky Coupon.

Given that we finally know what things will look like for at least the next 4-5 months, we just updated the MeanTrain thingy with more signup dates for meal help in December and January.

GIANT thanks to so SO many generous folks who have already been helping us a LOT! The best cards, mail and care-packages, an amazing hand-made hat and fabric, health and healing services, delicious healing food and even the mundane errand help — it helps a LOT! ❤

 

 

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