Thursday, October 1, 2009

Just a quick housekeeping note:  As we begin Breast Cancer Awareness month, I'd like to remind you that sometimes the most effective way to support the fight against cancer is a direct donation to a patient.  Just saying.

So, chemo news:  Man, Week 1 of my new regimen is so craptastic compared to my old regimen.  Week 2 was better, so I guess it all comes out in the wash, but did I mention Week 1 is lame?  Who would have ever thought that going through chemo would be kind of a bummer?  I did lose one of those extraneous pounds I gained on the old regimen, though.  Thanks, nausea!

I also only have two more infusions left before surgery, meaning I'm almost done with chemo.  It sounds strange, but in some ways, I'll kind of miss it.  I like only needing 15 minutes in the morning to shower and get ready.  I like the drive to Hershey and watching trashy TV in the infusion room.  In some ways, I even enjoy being so dumb afterward that the only things I'm capable of doing are watching DVDs and reading the Internet.  I also like all of the nurses and staff in the infusion center.  I guess all bittersweet things must come to an end.

Tumor news: My doctor could barely find my tumor, and said there is a chance that the mass we're currently feeling may just be left over scar tissue.  This doesn't change my course of treatment at all, but it reminded me of the picture attached to this update.  (Note: if you ever find yourself having cancer and not wanting to let it get you down, Courage Wolf is often a good pick me up.)

Side effect news:  You may remember from my last update that my hair has been growing back ever since my last docetaxel treatment.  It's still there and it's still growing. The doctor promised me it would fall out with my last AC cycle, and it's definitely starting to a little bit.  However, my Halloween costume depends on me being mostly bald, and I'm going to be so annoyed if my hair stays attached.  I realize that I still have a month until Halloween, and my chemo nurse said that it sometimes takes two AC cycles to see real hair loss.  All I know is that if I miss out on an awesome Halloween opportunity because new chemo failed to make me bald, I'm going to be pissed.  I might even write another one of those F you, Cancer updates.

(Some people have asked why I don't just shave my head for Halloween.  I feel like there is something fundamentally wrong about shaving new hair growth after chemo.  That's akin to killing kittens or drinking baby blood.  The hair has to go on its own, or I'll just be G.I. Jane for Halloween, a far inferior costume, I might add.)

I have an appointment in Plastics (doesn't that sound badass?) on Monday to discuss breast reconstruction, which has made me think quite about about my upcoming mastectomies.  I don't know quite how to explain how weird this feels, and I can't really think of either a unisex or male equivalent of a mastectomy to put it into perspective.  At any rate, it's going to be weird, weirder than losing my hair, I think, and although I generally conceptualize the mastectomies as battle scars in my epic war against cancer, I still feel unsettled when I see Girls Gone Wild commercials late at night (don't even act like you don't see them when you have insomnia and end up watching reruns at 3 am).

And finally, I managed to score some Jay-Z tickets, so that crisis has been averted!


  1. What's your halloween costume?

    And I agree that losing the breasts is an unsettling thought. Just think that they will give you perfect new ones afterwards (right?) and no one can ever fault you for having them because they were not sought out for superficial reasons.

    Courage Wolf is awesome. I just showed my friend LOLcats, which she has somehow never seen. (She imed me on facebook despite being across from me and I responded "I'm in ur lounge, eatin ur sandwichez" [which I was] and she had no idea what I was talking about. Hence, I spent a long time showing her and explaining the canon of the LOLcats.)

    Jay-Z is rap's Grateful Dead from what I hear.

  2. I'm afraid to post my Halloween costume idea for fear of jinxing it.

    The weird thing about having breast reconstruction is that you lose your nipples and then have to get fake ones or tattoos! You also lose most of the nerves in your breasts, which is kind of weird. I'm looking forward to the smaller, perkier, reconstructed breasts, though. Watch out, strapless dresses, here I come!

  3. Quick note about Breast Cancer Awareness, earlier today I did the CIBC Run For the Cure in support. Between me and my two friends alone we raised over $1000. There were 1500 runners, don't have a total tally on all that was raised, but.. it's a start.