All I want for Christmas is a Cancer Free Boob!Posted: October 24, 2013
Sorry to have been away so long. The new cancer medicine plus the switch between Prozac and Effexor has taken the energy right out of me.
Since I stopped the Prozac cold and started with Effexor right away, the prozac effect has worn off and the effexor will take another 1-3 weeks to take effect. So all the reasons I need an anti-anxiety med are affecting me. I’m going from depressed to frustrated to happy to tired. Plus the tamoxifen makes me tired, have hot flashes and is basically screwing around with my hormonal system.
I feel like I’m going CRAZY!!! Yesterday, I couldn’t get string cheese unwrapped and after a few frustrating moments, it went flying across the kitchen. My mom can verify.
I’m not proud of this.
Yesterday was the day of appointments.
First up: My endocrinologist
I hadn’t told them of the cancer, so yesterday was the first news she had heard of it. She looked a bit surprised. Most of my visit was talking about my cholesterol. HIGH. Then we talked about my Thyroid. She’s been keeping track for the last 6 months or so and my TSH levels are consistently getting higher and they are out of range.
So guess who is NOW on thyroid medicine? I swear, could I BE taking any more medications that fuck with my body? And, how fun is it that I start them all within three weeks of each other?
Second/Third appointment: Oncology and Surgery
I went to Norris in the afternoon and was supposed to see my oncologist and then my surgeon. My surgeon busted in on my oncology appointment so it ended up being two, two, two appointments in one. Basically all of the tamoxifen side effects I’m having are normal and should go away as my body acclimates to all the drugs I’m now taking.
I have a surgery date.
Holy shit. This just got real.
I’ve gotten quite comfy with my little tumor. His likes and dislikes. The small stabby pains to remind me he’s still there. My urge to rid myself of him has gotten not so urgey.
I’m scared. This is turning out to be a huge surgery. They have decided to do a left mastectomy – including cutting out the 11cm mass of calcifications in there. They are also going to extract the 3 lymph nodes that contain cancer. Until they get in there, they don’t know how many actual lymph nodes they have to take. It could be all of them in that arm. That is massive. I’m at risk for major infection, lymphadema, all sorts of crap. I can’t even get a scratch or bruise on that arm post surgery without having to report it to the surgeon.
They are working out a plan for pre-op. All I know right now is that I will be a Norris every day from 5 days before getting shots of Neupogen to strengthen my white cells. I will also be getting antibiotics, Red cell and platelet transfusions up to and possibly during surgery. There is pre-op at Keck (where I will have the surgery) and pre-op at Norris.
Surgery will take 1.5 – 3 hours. Apparently if I get through it ok and not bleeding, I could go home the next day. If she’s not comfortable, I could stay a few days. The risk of infection is higher for me staying at the hospital. They will send me home with antibiotics and drains from my chest. Blech. She usually sees her patients one-two weeks out to remove the drains but she said she would probably want to see me more often just to see for herself that I’m okay. Until the drains come out, I’m not allowed to move my left elbow above my shoulder. Although if they take a ton of lymph nodes out, I’ve heard my arm is totally numb for a while and I’m not allowed to life it at all for a while. If I’m doing well, I get to leave the house for a little bit after two weeks. Then I get occupational therapy to help regain my arm movement.
So Overwhelmed. I see my surgeon on Nov 13th where the exact plan will be discussed. I have to get prepared over the next month.
I put together my health care power of attorney/advance directive last night. That was fun.
Thanks again for the prayers, good thoughts, and healing light. I appreciate it.
Oh, before I forget…
Surgery date: Thursday, December 5th.