Chemo Half Way Point
Today was my 3rd chemotherapy infusion – that means I am half way (not counting the 9 months of targeted infusion therapy since that doesn’t come along with the yucky side
Today’s session went by pretty quickly with my friend Jen joining me — was nice to have some uninterrupted girl talk time (sans children) + some online shopping. We reflected on how my chemotherapy side effects were payback for my easy pregnancies, how she is turning into a crazy chicken lady, how our closets are slowly turning into all super soft Gap FiT pieces, talked about saggy boobs, and wrinkles.
Fasting during chemotherapy is also getting easier. I have been doing about 48 hours of no food – just water and tea – and then another 24 hours or so of bone broth. I don’t feel too hungry or lethargic and I was able to get in a nice 27:30 minute sauna/meditation session this morning. But after chemotherapy, I probably won’t have bone broth for at least a few months!! Oh, and my friend Angela brought in her tasty Paleo cholate chip cookies which were hard to pass up but I am saving a few in the freezer for when my fast is over. She knows how I love those chocolate chips!!
We also met with Dr. Rohatgi, my oncologist today. He seemed more upbeat and positive than normal – maybe because my tumor is reduced now to about 1 CM and my lymph nodes also seem to be reactive positively to the chemotherapy – yay!! He also mentioned that there is a new FDA-approved drug to help prevent reoccurrence that I will be a candidate for once my targeted therapy infusions are done next March. I had read about a HER2 vaccine and he confirmed that is being researched – so hopefully in a decade or so there will be even more prevention and treatment options for breast cancer.
Overall, it was a GOOD day
Last week Tyler, my mom and I took the trip to San Francisco to meet with Dr. Anne Peled. Her specialty is called oncoplasty, which is a mix of cancer surgery and plastic surgery. My college friend/workout partner Kat suggested her from her work in breast cancer surgical sales. Dr. Peled said I can go either way – double mastectomy or double lumpectomy – and she has amazing cosmetic results with both. A big difference from the mastectomies from years ago!! She was leaning toward lumpectomy as it’s easier on your body than a mastectomy and has the same survival rates as mastectomy. You just have to do Mammogram or Breast MRI every 6 months. I like the idea of a lumpectomy and reconstruction – it’s just hard to get over the fact that a lot of people do a mastectomy so should I with such an invasive cancer? I just want to be confident in my decision. I am consulting with another surgeon in two weeks so it will be good to have a second opinion and nice if it is a conscious on which direction I should go. Here is a story on Dr. Peled and her breast cancer history and surgical approach. It’s crazy we are the same age, same age kids, both are super active and she was also diagnosed with breast cancer. I feel like we are soul sisters. But I guess we’re a little different since she attended Harvard for her medical degree…but hey, SDSU in the house!
The aftermath of Chemo #2 was a lot better than #1. For one, I knew what to expect. I also took my medication to help with not getting as queasy. And thankfully I didn’t get breakouts, rashes, or mouth sores. I lost a little more hair on the sides but still have an awkward not quite bald look going on. I did have fatigue for about 5 days – which is partly because the steroids I am on cause insomnia. But I do get in a lot of nighttime reading!!
Even with the fatigue and nausea, I have been able to get in exercise almost every day – from walking to swimming, weight lifting, yoga and I sneak in a little OrangeTheory Fitness session every now and then. I am also trying to get in at least 4-5 sauna sessions to help sweat out the toxins. I like to do my guided meditation during the sauna. I am still working towards Keto most days – which means under 20 carbs. I am focusing on organic vegetables as my base and eat some organic white meats and fish. However, I am craving a nice gluten-free Carrot Cake soon (hint hint Allison – Mother’s Day??). I have been using the urine strips to test my ketones but I am not sure they are completely accurate during chemotherapy so going to investigate some other options. Here is a good podcast featuring Dr. Nasha Winters for anyone that wants to learn more about the functional medicine approach to treating cancer that I am trying to incorporate into my protocol. I am also meeting with my integrative medicine physician Dr. Maxine Barish Wreden tomorrow to follow-up on my blood work and genetic predispositions to make sure any deficiencies are addressed in my diet or with supplements.
So to recap, I am feeling good in my body and trying to staying positive in my mind.
Blessed and Supported
Overall I am so blessed and lucky to have so many people in my corner!
Thank you Alyson for the house cleaning
Thank you Angela for the cookies
Thank you Jen for the company at chemo
Thank you Justin and Sachi for the research, supplements and support
Thank you Anna and Randy for my bone broth, massage and painted rock and help with the girls
Thank you to my parents for their help with the girls. And to my mom for pulling me along to meditation classes. And to my dad for being my home germ buster and gardener. I am looking forward to my tomatoes!!
Thank you Jenny for the wonderful essential oils, we have been using them for everyone
Thank you Ron for helping with my blog
Thank you to my work family for the necklace, infusion shirt, bag of goodies/gift cards, massage and love and support
Thank you to Crystal for my books, bag and visit. Can’t wait to see your place in Dallas soon
Thank you Kat for the referral to Dr. Peled and for the info on less invasive surgical approaches
Thank you to Katie for the inspirational Oprah book
Thank you Summer for my organic citrus fertilizer
Thank you to my fellow breast cancer survivors whom I’ve yet to meet in person but continue to reach out to check in on me, provide suggestions and support
Thank you for Tyler for unconditional love
Thank you to EVERYONE who donated on the Munchery! It’s so nice to have a quick dish to eat. And I am still eating the salmon … can you believe it?? And Tyler is loving the lasagna. Although right now he smells of baked ziti.
Thank you to others for the flowers, things I forgot above, and offers to help
And a big hug to the #SaraStrong team for representing. All the love, prayers and encouragement warm my heart (and Tyler’s heart too)