Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Visit #1

It is here where she must begin to tell her story!

Thank you to everyone who has read my blog, sent an e-mail, or dropped a line to say hi! Sincerely, with deepest gratitude and love to each and everyone of you, thank you!

To back it up a bit further, December 15, 2008 I had my first appointment at the cancer clinic with Dr. Alam, who is a sweetie! She informed me today of my diagnosis and I have Stage II, Grade III, triple negative ductal carcinoma. The triple negative means my tumor does not have receptors for estrogen/progesterone/HER2, which is not always a good thing. This means that hormone blocking treatments will not work, or slow down potential growth. This also means that this little bugger is growing and is invasive and the only thing to stop it is hard hitting chemo. Therefore, I will be starting chemo smack dab in the New Year after tentatively having my port put in on January 5. I will be having 6 sessions, 3 sessions of 5-FU and 3 sessions of Taxotere (each has three drugs combined). There is the possibility for radiation to follow which they will decide part way through my treatments and then about a year from now my reconstruction. I have also chosen to be put in a study for a new drug called Bevacizumab, which is being tested on breast cancer patients who are triple negative throughout Canada, USA & Europe - this is not a chemo drug. It is a randomized sample, but I will know if I am selected, the only thing is that I will have to continue taking this drug through IV for a year. Since I have chosen to participate in the study I had my baseline BW done today at the lab - CBC and SMA7, I will be going for a chest CT scan and MUGA before my port, and I am seeing a fertility doctor tomorrow morning!

Of course, a concern regarding this whole situation is whether we will beable to have children later. Obviously, there are side effects of chemo with fertility and being that I only have one ovary to work with due to the previous diagnosis; we wanted to cover all bases. To sum it up, the technique of harvesting eggs was way more complicated than expected and would have delayed my treatments a couple of months. The decision we made with the help of the fertility doctor was that I would start taking monthly shots called Leupron that would more or less put me into temporary menopause. This would stop the signaling to release an egg and decrease the amount of blood flow to that area, in turn trying to decrease the amount of chemo that also reaches the area. Therefore, every month I get a nice big shot in my ass that costs me $400 a shot! Thank goodness for coverage!

This week I also began my professional album of my journey with my dear friend and personal photographer, Amy. With her help and amazing talent, I will be able to capture all these moments and hopefully tell a story through my pictures and let the sound of my inner voice be heard!
Part I ~ Pre-surgery

www.brittonimages.com

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