In my last blog post, I shared that I was feeling a bit bummed about having a chemo treatment on my birthday. Well, my mother was not going to let a little chemo get in the way of celebrating. Unbeknownst to me, she organized a mini-party to take to the infusion center. We had a “Happy Birthday” Banner, a balloon, and frosted muffins (my appointment was in the morning) to share with the nurses. Granted a chemo infusion center is not an ideal b-day celebration location, but I greatly appreciate my Mom’s gesture and willingness to make the best of a situation. She made me feel special and loved and isn’t that what Mom’s are for?! I certainly have one of the best! Now a few days later, I am officially 33, through the debilitating side-effects from the most recent chemo treatment, and done pouting about my birthday 🙂
As I’m moving towards a next phase of treatment, I thought now would be a nice time to provide a treatment recap/update, with context and next steps. In September of last year, I was re-diagnosed with Metastatic (Stage IV) Breast Cancer. This means the Breast Cancer has spread beyond the breast region of the body – for me it is primarily in my bones. There is no cure for this stage of the disease, but there are treatments which will likely keep me alive for year(s) to come. Check out my blog on cancer basics or my Cancer story, if additional context is needed.
The goal of treatment for this stage of the disease is to control growth of the Cancer while providing the highest possible quality of life for as long as possible. Since last September, I have tried a targeted treatment and oral chemotherapy which did not keep my Cancer from growing. I am currently taking a platinum-based chemotherapy, which has been keeping Cancer from growing and killing the cancer currently in my body. Good news, but not without a downside. The treatment on my birthday was my fifth treatment given by IV, spaced every three weeks. Side effects of treatment are cumulative, so my body/immune system have taken some beatings. I’m going on my sixth consecutive month of chemo and I cannot stay on these course of treatments indefinitely.
My doctor is recommending one additional treatment before I transition to an oral “maintenance” treatment. The goal of this “maintenance” medication is to continue to keep the Cancer from growing while providing a higher quality of life (than when on chemo) and ability for my body to heal from the other more intense treatments. This oral “maintenance” medication may continue to work for weeks, months, or years so I can use everyone’s good thoughts moving forward. I’ll keep you updated on progress in future blog posts. If you have any questions, please feel free to post them in comments or message me here!