I’m a bit behind on sharing with you all but my parents and I met with Dr. Robison last Friday to discuss moving forward. Decisions have finally been made!
1.) Despite my CA125 being in the 40’s she decided on no more chemo! The chemo served its purpose but the cells do not turn over quick enough to still be effective. At this point the chemo would do more harm than good. As much as I really liked hanging out with Sheila every other week, I will not miss the giant needles plunging into my chest and abdomen. I definitely won’t miss getting pumped full of liters of chemo drugs and saline and sloshing around with a swollen belly until I urinate 600 times in 24 hours to get it out.
This also means that my abdominal port is coming out tomorrow! Another thing that I will not miss is feeling the end of the catheter moving around and poking me when I’m doing core work at the gym. I detest my chest port but at least the catheter doesn’t move around. That port will stay in for another year. They don’t want to be too quick to take that one out just in case anything happens. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s more functional because it has a blood return. They can take blood, inject contrast for a cat scan, give me fluids and IV drugs, etc. etc.
2.) My aftercare plan will be a drug called Letrozole. Letrozole is an aromatase inhibitor. This basically means that it blocks the production of estrogen in post-menopausal women. My doctor and her team strongly feel that my cancer was stimulated by hormones. Dr. Robison consulted with some of the best GYN/Onc’s in the country and they all agreed that this is the best course of action. So I was promptly taken off my bio-identical hormone replacements (because I don’t want to be giving myself estrogen/progesterone/testosterone if hormones are the root of the problem). I started my once daily 2.5 mg of Letrozole last weekend and so far so good. The only side effects that I have noticed are intensified menopausal symptoms like hot flashes. July and August aren’t going to bode well for me because I roast daily. I even keep an emergency stick of deodorant in my purse now just in case I start sweating profusely for no reason (real cute).
Other than the crazy hot flashes, I’ve felt great. The only other concern about this drug is that it impacts bone density. I just need to stay on a serious and consistent calcium/magnesium/vitamin D/weight bearing exercise regime.
3.) Until further notice I will have a check-up with my oncologist once a month. She will do a blood test monthly to monitor my CA 125 and HE 4 levels but she said that she will only tell me my blood test results every other month. She doesn’t want me to get too fixated on the numbers which I appreciate. If there is a huge jump and my numbers double or triple, she most certainly wouldn’t hide that information. If it fluctuates a little here and there but remains “stable” it should be of little concern as long as my CT scan is clear. I’m pretty sure that I’ll be having another CT scan in 6 months or possibly sooner.
My parents and I left her office feeling really encouraged. We told Dr. Robison that she’s not allowed to retire…ever. She is honestly the best. Now that we could all take a big collective sigh of relief, we headed back to Connecticut for mother’s day weekend. We had a great weekend together!:
I even got to spend a night with my she-wolf Michelle:
And have a nice, wholesome, impromptu whiskey tasting over dinner with my parents and cousins (sorry liver):
So right now things are pretty good. Work is great, I’m not totally terrified of my own body at the moment, I’m spending lots of quality time with friends and family, and I’m totally killing it at the gym (I did a set of 15 perfect “boy” pushups yesterday. I’ve pretty much shouted it from the rooftops because I couldn’t even do that BEFORE I had cancer).
As always, so grateful. Thank-you.