I started this journey September of last year. Well, the week after Thanksgiving counting from the first chemo treatment, which is where I have to start for the purpose of this conversation because the reality is that this journey will last the rest of my life, and not just until I’m finished with chemo. I’m not about to try to put a date on that, so I’ll settle for being done with chemo, surgery and radiation.
As of last Friday, March 30th, and I’ve got only 2
chemo Taxol treatment left. I will start the maintenance doses of Herceptin on April 27th. Herceptin is the biologic drug that specifically targets metastatic HER2+ breast cancer. It’s got some of the same side effects as Taxol. It’s still technically a chemo drug, but it doesn’t work randomly like most other chemo drugs do. I’d been getting it every 3rd week with Taxol and Perjeta, so starting the 27th, I’ll be getting it by itself. The most annoying side effect of Taxol is the peripheral neuropathy. While I had it under control for a while, it broke through about week 6 of my infusions. I go between having numb spots to having burning or stabbing pains in my arms, legs, hands and feet. Sometimes it’s even like a pinching sensation. I know it’s going to take a while for my nerve endings to heal, but I’ll be happy when this goes away again. I’ve learned not to get my hopes up too much in regard to side effects, so I’ll wait until I have had my 1st infusion of it by itself to make any proclamations.
The next bit of good news is that my tumor has shrunk significantly from when I started chemo. The oncologist and I both felt my tumor, and it was down to somewhere between a raspberry and a grape. This week, I can’t find it! I was told, at the beginning, that they had seen previous tumors completely disappear by the time the surgeon was ready to operate.
Also on the great news list is that I have appointments set for the scans and the surgery. By the time I start radiation, I will be at the halfway point of this part the journey. The time between appointments doesn’t feel like it’s moved all that quickly, but the past 5 months have kind of flown by. I’m hoping the next 7 months go just as quickly.