Asking scary questions = getting scary answers?

Off I went for Taxol no. 5/12 yesterday.  I am finding that since I have a distinct lack of side effects from these drugs thus far, the dread has ceased somewhat, it’s just a part of my weekly routine at the moment.

This week, I was booked to see my Oncologist for the first time since Taxol/Herceptin started.  I decided during the week, I would take the opportunity to ask some of those burning questions I’ve been in some ways not wanting to know the answers to.    This is what happened.

Q. 1.   People keep asking me if my chemo is working.  What should I say?

A. 1.  The people asking you that don’t really understand what you’re going through.  There is no way of knowing as you have had all of your cancer cells cut out.   What we will do though, for the next few years is give you a brain/lung/liver scan to make sure it hasn’t spread to secondaries.   To which I said I am going to sh*t myself when you give me those!   And he replied, your prognosis is extremely good, please don’t worry.  Good answer!  He did mention that they always find something, but it’s typically just a process, nothing to worry about….

Q.2.  I’ve now put on a few kilos, when will I be able to go on a diet?

A.2.  You can go on a diet now.    Now, that was not the answer I wanted to hear :)

Q. 3.  I think my hair is growing back.  What do you think?

A.3.  Your hair is growing back. Cue massive woohoooooo from me!

Q. 4. It’s my 40th birthday the day before my last treatment is due.  Is there anything we can do to pull the treatment forward?

A. 4. Here’s my birthday present to you – we are only going to do 11 treatments, and you can finish a week early.   Beside myself, so excited with this answer, I now only have 6 weeks to go!

Q. 5. Do you think I should have my birthday party straight after chemo ends or delay.

A. 5. I think you’ll feel well enough so it’s entirely up to you.  I am still torn on this one, am thinking I might like to have a full head of hair (at least a pixie cut) and be in tip top trimmed down shape.  Jury is still out.

Q. 6. My breast surgeon told me he isn’t going to do my breast tissue expander exchange or nipple reconstruction till my herceptin treatment is over (that means another year!).  Would you agree?

A. 6. And this is clearly the best answer I got all day……..I disagree, you can have your operation as soon as chemo is over.   That will be me having it done in two months then.  Seriously, out of everything this was the big one, I can’t wait to have boobs I’m proud of showing off again :)   Bring on those gym change rooms, I’ll be there with my tits out and landing strip for all the world to see before you know it.

No surprises then that after my appointment I finished off Taxol week 5 with a whopping big grin on my face.  Practically skipped out of there and am still on a bit of a high – there goes that roller coaster again.   Since then I’ve swam 1.5km and ran 8km (gradually going to add a 1km a week now back up to a regular 10km at least once a week).

Also in news this week I have started going out without my head covered. The blade one look I am sporting has for some reason given me the confidence to say what the heck, I am out and proud.  So, all up you would have to say, I have really started to turn a corner now.   I must admit, am feeling that all is well in my world.

6 thoughts on “Asking scary questions = getting scary answers?

  1. An early happy birthday and congratulations to you! I’m writing basically to say hello and introduce myself. I am in the midst of a similar treatment plan (just started Taxol today, the day after my 41st birthday.) I’m also blogging (and vlogging) my way through. Best wishes to you!

    • Thanks for writing. I have just thoroughly enjoyed reading, watching and dancing with you! Some thoughts for you – I struggled with the port decision as well, and am now very glad I decided not to get one. I just make sure they pick a different vein each time I am enthused (haha infused) and I’m all good. I know it’s not over yet…but with 6 of these weekly treatments left I’m confident the time for considering a port has passed. It’s good to hear you are swimming, it’s been so good for me through all this as well! What else….you will find taxol much easier, it just is. Seriously worth dancing about! And my final words of wisdom for today. Worrying about what ‘may’ or ‘may not’ happen in your future mortality wise wont change it. When I sense those thoughts creeping in I remind myself that worrying about it now is a waste of time, energy and emotion and as quickly as possible I kick fear to the curb. Most of the time it works, I hope it can work for you too. :)

  2. Hey there
    Great to hear you are feeling so good and received such great answers from your onc!
    I just had my LAST!!! taxol, and whilst currently feeling highly loaded up on steroids, taxol and herceptin, am overjoyed at the prospect of finally being able to detox. Only a couple more days of feeling like crap, then I’m launching into a milk thistle, sauna and tumeric health kick, plus whatever else it takes to clean up my liver, lymphs and blood.
    And running too…can’t wait to feel energetic again.
    You seem to be having a much better time on the taxol than me. I haven’t been sick but have had very low red and white cell counts, accompanied with notable fatigue.
    It’s great to hear your training regime is recommenced
    I am also really enjoying reading Amy’s blog.
    Keep up the good work and have a fantastic birthday celebration :)
    Cheers Rosemary

    • Hi Rosemary. A huge congratulations to you, I hope you did a chemo dance after reading Amy’s blog! Wow, how fantastic it must feel to have finished your last chemo session, I have 5 more after today (like the way I’m already mentally ticking off todays!). And yes I am handling taxol well overall, but I do have tiredness at times as well. Like you I can’t wait to feel properly energetic again. How’s your hair going by the way?

      • Just like you, as soon as I developed a number 1 blade, I felt confident enough to go bare – in fact I think it borders on quite cool.
        Of course one day we will look back on the photo’s and realize this early confidence was actually one of those HUGE fashion mistakes we all inadvertently make.
        By the sounds of it your hair is keeping up with your good health…you’ll need a trim by the end of chemo!
        I’m normally pretty fast growing in the hair department, so I’m looking forward to a hair explosion as soon as the system is clear.
        Have fun today, I think I also started on the “only 5 to go”, “4 to go”, etc after the half way pass.
        I’m off for a good long oxygenating, sweating, detoxing walk. Might wear my ski jacket, and thermals to speed things up. :)

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