We now have the treatment plan to try to keep the cancer down.
1. Oophorectomy: Ovary removal surgery. In December I’m going to have another surgery to remove my ovaries. Since my cancer is estrogen positive, it feeds off of estrogen. Taking my ovaries out will eliminate this fuel source for the cancer. There are significant side effects (instant menopause–yikes), but it is necessary to take this step. I met with Dr. Knockout (OB/GYN) this morning and she is in agreement with Dr. Wonderful and we are moving forward.
Please pray that my body would adapt to this change and for the side effects to be tolerable.
2. Chemo: I’ll be getting 6 chemotherapy treatments spaced 3 weeks apart (18 weeks total).
- Taxotere: The chemo is a pretty harsh one, and the double-whammy is that once you have been through chemo once, subsequent rounds are harsher on you. Dr. Wonderful said to expect more side effects and fatigue because of this double-whammy factor. Taxotere is the same drug that my mom had last year. I’ll definitely be bald by Christmas.
Please pray for immune strength, blood counts, energy, no nausea, and physical comfort.
3. Targeted Therapy: These are not chemo drugs, they are drugs that increase the death of cancer cells. The great upside to these drugs is that they do not have significant side effects. The plan will be to continue to use these drugs indefinitely as long as I have NED.
- Perjeta: New drug, less than 12 months old. (**Super expensive; Dr. Wonderful’s team is working on getting the insurance to approve it. Please pray approval would be granted!)
- Herceptin: I’ve been on Herceptin since June 2012, and will continue indefinitely.
Please pray for insurance approval, and that these two drugs would be effective at keeping the cancer down. They are both far more tolerable than traditional Stage IV treatments, so we really want them to work for me. Please also pray my heart will tolerate the dosage, as my heart has been sensitive to this in the past.
The Chemo and the Targeted Therapy drugs will be administered 6 times over 18 weeks.
Scan: We will scan in mid-March to confirm that I still have NED. (And, due to the harshness of this chemo, we are expectant and hopeful that I will be NED at this scan.)
Ongoing: Assuming that scan is clear, I will continue taking Herceptin and Perjeta indefinitely. We will scan every three months.
So that is the explanation of the medical side of things. During all of the above, I have two little girls to raise, which feels a little bit daunting to combine the two, to tell the truth. I’ve got several months of crumminess ahead of me, yet it has never been more important to be SuperMom for Maren and Greta. We’re figuring out where and how people can help us, so we will post that when we have identified our needs.
Please pray for an aura of protection enfold my beloved daughters: I ache for them to feel loved, safe, secure, happy and healthy during this challenging season.
We’re working to fill in the details of our plan: hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and live for today.
Thank you for your prayers and well-wishes!