After meeting with 2 oncologists we have decided on the more aggressive treatment. Both doctors stated I would have to be on Herceptin for a year, so that was not different and both said the same type of chemo drugs (Taxotere and Carboplatin). We did have to choose between 4 rounds or 6 rounds of chemo to be given once every 3 weeks. It was really hard to not let my emotions make that decision and just take the 4 and be done. The more I thought about it and the more we talked it out made us decide on 6 rounds of chemo. Basically all the studies show that 6 rounds works for the cancer I have. The thought of cancer coming back is a haunting thought, but the thought of having done 4 rounds of chemo and cancer coming back is worse. I think I would never forgive myself for not just doing 6 rounds at the time and I would feel like, what if I had done 6 rounds and not 4… would cancer have come back? Not to say that even after 6 it couldn’t happen, but I want to feel like I’ve done everything I can to keep this from happening again. Ultimately, that is not in my control, but I will do what I can now to lower my chances.
Chemo will be starting on September 13 and my last treatment will be December 27 (if all goes according to plan). This is the part of cancer that I dread most of all. I’m scared. I hate the unknown and that’s most of what chemo is. I do know that I’ll lose my hair. I will feel rundown to some degree; I just don’t know how badly. I don’t know how emotional the hair loss and fatigue will be; though just thinking about the hair part is enough to make me cry. I don’t know how my tastes will change with food or how my skin and nails will do and everything else that goes with this. Everyone is different and has different experiences with chemo, but I’m just plain scared to death. Could someone just wake me when this is over?
I did make it thru my first week back at work. It’s a blessing to have co-workers that are friends, too. They are so special and I really appreciate how much they have cared for me thru all of this. The day of my surgery they all wore their “Fight Like a Girl” shirts and took a picture and short video and sent to me. They are currently doing a fund raiser at work to raise money for the “Race for the Cure”. Being at work is a little bit of normal for me before chemo starts and I’m going to enjoy each day there.
Today my family gave me a “hat party”. That was an incredible thing! I have so many cute hats and scarves now. It was a bitter sweet experience. I love what they did, but I hate why they had to do it. I am thankful that I’ll have plenty to choose from over the next several months, though! It’s really great to have so much love and support. I don’t think that anyone can realize how important family and friends are until they are in a position to be so dependent on them. I know I didn’t until recently.
– Holly Thompson