Light at the end of the tunnel – day four is done, now onto day five

20 Jul

Bryce 3 thumbnailHere’s hoping day five is much better than day five of the last chemo round. But, if not, it will pass. It is too early to tell how today will be for me. But, it is my last chemo and I am definitely feeling good about that!

Surgery is currently scheduled for August 7th. Right around the corner. I have pre-op appointments with both my breast cancer surgeon and my reconstruction surgereon (as they will be performing surgery on the same day on August 7th . . . assuming the surgery goes forward on that day. I will have to be cleared for surgery (my blood work will have to be up to a certain requirement). Also, I have to feel comfortable with moving forward on that date. Having had chemotherapy prior to surgery makes the recovery from surgery a potential issue since your immune system has been under attack by the chemo, it can then take longer to recover from the surgery.  I have already seen this with just getting a little scrape on my knee last week. Normally, because of the type of scrape, I would not have expected to see it last the day (it would have already healed up). But this one has lasted for a week now, still not healed. And that was just a little scrape. So, I have some concerns there.

I fully expect that my surgeons will want to move forward with the 7th because my blood work has always shown a rebound with each chemo round. But, with each chemo round there has never been a complete rebound.  I know that they originally wanted to schedule my surgery on the 14th because that would give me four weeks in between the last chemo and surgery.  But, my doctors are both going on vacation during the month of August making scheduling pretty difficult.  I would rather not wait, but I might have to wait until they both return. The surgeons here (and my oncologist) will try to limit me to a “window of opportunity” during which I need to apparently have the surgery done in order for it to be successful. However, their interpretation of when that window closes is much shorter than what the doctor from UCLA tells me.

Dr. Hurvitz from UCLA said that I could postpone the August 7th surgery date by by 2 or 3 weeks without any problem as long as I was still on the Herceptin.  She also thought that going ahead with the surgery just three weeks out from the last chemo would be fine because of how healthy I am in general. But, she agreed that another week would be nicer for me (allow more time to heal form the last chemo). But, she underscored that it was up to me what I wanted to do.

So, I have some things to think about and a lot of questions to ask. Unfortunately, both of my pre-op appointments with my surgeons are early this week (today and Tuesday) while I am still in the throes of chemo aftermath making these meetings a bit challenged by the fact that I am definitely not at my best physically and mentally.  I have no idea how I will be feeling today, other than the knowledge that it is not over yet (so I am bracing myself for the day right now)

I feel pretty good right now (as in, “I feel pretty good for a chemo Monday”). But, it comes and goes in waves (the pain and other symptoms) and each wave is more intense and lasts longer until they stop lasting longer and become less intense and then eventually the waves stop. So, I just escaped the last wave, have recovered from it and am preparing for the next one. Hopefully this one will be shorter and less intense – then I will know that I am on my way back from this round.

So exhausted right now, wow.

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