(This is a copy-paste from today's e-mail)
I went in to see the doctor today to find out what the @#!% is going on.
He said that the radiologist recommended more chemo and that he himself agrees. He said it's precautionary at this point, but since I had a large mass, more is better, since we want the best possible outcome.
I asked if we didn't want the best possible outcome a month ago?
He said yes, we did, and he thought that maybe less would be OK but has decided against it. He said that there are never less than 4 cycles (2 treatments per cycle) but after that, it's grey. This means, of course, that when he told me in July that I had two more treatments (1 cycle) and I was done that he was wrong wrong wrong, as those two treatments were #5 and 6 (cycle #3).
He said that I could say no, take my chances on the radiation, and go from there.
He said that more chemo means less radiation, which is exactly the opposite of what the radiologist told me on Tuesday. When I mentioned that, he said that perhaps he had misunderstood.
Six cycles (12 treatments) is the max, so he won't have the opportunity to change it again, which makes it easier to believe this time.
I learned today that if my periods never come back that it's not just a cessation of menstruation, but it does induce early menopause (in six months to a year). This is slightly disconcerting because being pre-menopausal has lots of health benefits.
So the plan, now finalized, is four more treatments, a month off, some radiation and done. And actually hope to have periods again. How disappointing.
I have chemo #9 next week. Chemo #10 will be two weeks delayed (unless I decided to change my plane ticket for the trip back east, or to travel on a post-chemo weekend, neither of which is likely, though either would move everything else back two weeks which would be really nice...), which makes chemo #11 on November 1, and chemo #12, the final chemo, on November 15, one week before Thanksgiving. I won't know details about radiation until it gets much closer.
I will have my PICC taken out after the next chemo (YAYE!!!!!!!!!!) and have it put back in for the last three, after returning from NJ.
Here's to hoping that the treatments are effective, but only in their intended effect, and that the side effects in the mean time remain minimal.
Thanks for reading.