8/17/21 Back to School

So much has happened since my week scans! 

I got an echocardiogram of my heart to ensure my heart was in good enough shape for chemotherapy. Good news, my heart is strong! 

I got an minor surgery to get my port placed in. 

This is me before surgery:

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1xSV5g1JiY2W12tl3sf0IXXrMqZBho1Me

The surgery went well! I was sore afterwards but nothing too terrible. It definitely is a weird feeling having this device in your neck/chest area but I’m getting used to it! 

The port is a little device that is implanted under the skin. It allows the ability to essentially have an easily accessible vein that you can do blood draws or administer medications through. 

The procedure was really quick. They give you the anesthesia that puts you into a deep sleep.. but you’re still breathing on your own. When you wake up… all done! I woke up asking when the surgery was going to get started.. so those meds must work real good! 

This is the aftermath:

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=17nkNGghkJ8BtZOj1r8CxdXMp8D_l8ZXv

Bruising and tenderness but all manageable! 

I have been bugging the doctors office for a chemo start date for a couple weeks now. Apparently getting chemotherapy approved by insurance and all that jazz is quite the process and they couldn’t start the process until all of the scan results we’re back. 

On Friday last week, Dr. Gupta had me come into the office to discuss my treatment plan. I originally thought I would be getting 4 rounds bi-weekly of the “red devil” and then 12 rounds weekly of another drug. However, I was advised that a new study, that was published last year, had JUST been FDA approved. The study results found that by switching the order of my medications, while adding a couple other medications, AND adding immunotherapy to the mix increased my chances of eliminating all breast cancer prior to getting a mastectomy by almost 15%! The previous “standard of care” for triple negative breast cancer had about a 50% chance of eliminating the cancer but this new study and game plan bumped up the odds to 64%! I’m super jazzed about it! So, I will begin with 12 weekly rounds of Taxol and Carboplatin combined with an immunotherapy drug called Keytruda which will be administered with my chemo drugs every 3 weeks! After the first 12 weeks is up, I’ll switch to the “red devil” chemo and Keytruda  combo once every three weeks for four rounds! 

After all the chemo is done, I’ll take a short break and get surgery. I opted to get the double mastectomy with nipple removal as well. I want as much of the breast material out of my body as possible! During the mastectomy, they will remove breast tissue and then remove a few lymph nodes. If all is good and clear, they will begin the reconstruction process. If all is not good… well we will just cross that bridge IF we ever get to it. 

I got to meet with the plastic surgeon about reconstruction. The options made my head spin! There’s one option where they can take fat from an area of your body and make new breasts. The benefit is that your breasts look and feel natural and you can get a tummy tuck in the process. That all sounds fine and dandy until you realize it’s like a 16 hour surgery with the mastectomy, and they have to take some rib bone… and you have to be in the hospital for like 5 days… and when you get old they will sag! I was like Uhm.. doesn’t that defeat the purpose of getting a breast augmentation!?! I have nursed two kids. I want these bad boys perky for the rest of my life if I really get a choice! Implants it is! 

To get prepped for the big chemo day, they sent me

To Chemo school. JR walked out of the house with his backpack on! I reminded him we weren’t literally going to school! He thought he was going to get work done in this class! He thought wrong! We spent almost 3 hours with the sweetest nurse who gave us all the ins and outs of chemo and what to expect. I will say, Springfield Clinic has done it again! The chemo school program was super informative and was the last step to make sure I was all prepped for the big infusion day! 

In the midst of all the craziness, our Beau boy had an appointment at the Neurofibramatosis clinic in STL. It was basically our establishment of a new patient appointment. It went extremely well! They checked Beau’s legs for bowing.. no bowing! They checked him for plexiform neurofibromas.. he seems to look good on that front… and she said he seems to be right on track developmentally.. which is also great news because kids with NF typically have learning disabilities! JR was super excited when the doctor came in and said “Oh my, look at that little linebacker!” .. and she later said that NF would not stop our big man from ever playing football, if he so wished to do so! Dad was super excited! We go back in 6 months for another check up and to meet with the pediatric opthamologjst! Overall- all good news and we got to go to the Hill in STL and grab lunch!!

Now that everything is winding down… we are trying to enjoy a bit of normalcy before the storm hits! 

5 days until infusion day! I am ready to get this process started! 

Please pray for: 

1. Tinleigh as school starts back this week. 

2. That I manage chemo well and my white

Blood cells stay high! 

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1U0lh1QMGlDmVNCPPnt8Oena7jznaHCal
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