SO, we have a dilemma. My tumor markers are super high, and have been on the upward trend since April. My scans are stable. Do we do nothing and just wait for cancer to invade my body, or do we take a proactive approach and treat....a number? Doctors don't treat numbers, they treat cancer...but perhaps my cancer is so microscopic that some rogue cells are acting up somewhere? What is a girl to do?
My doctor and I decided to take the proactive approach. Last week I started taking a maintenance chemotherapy called Navelbine. Friday I had my second dose which completes my first cycle (a cycle is two doses. Two weeks on, one week off). I certainly hope I am not going through this for nothing. It is weird to be on chemo again, especially when there is no specific cancer activity or tumor to measure...except a number.
Navelbine has been an interesting trip for me so far. After my first dose last Friday, I was extremely nauseous for three days. I took Zofran (anti-nausea) around the clock all three days. Tuesday morning I woke up feeling mostly normal and the rest of the week was fine. Then this Friday I had my second dose and while I am still taking Zofran around the clock the nausea isn't bothering me as bad...this week it is the fatigue. I feel like my leg bones have been injected with cement. I forgot about chemo fatigue. Convenient, no?
This is what my chemo looks like. From left to right, steroid pre-meds (Decadron), flush bag of saline, anti-nausea (Aloxi) and the last syringe on the right side is the actual chemo Navelbine.
All those meds pumping through my veins made me feel FREEZING. This is my freezing face.
And this is the aftermath. The day after chemo (yesterday) I just couldn't muster the energy to move. I was SO exhausted and frustrated and humbled. My brain was going a mile a minute and I wanted to be functional, but my body said NOPE. I am not used to feeling so helpless. I wanted to run errands and take care of my weekend responsibilities, but I didn't even feel safe enough to drive. It sucked. I cried. I do NOT sit still well and my body just wasn't listening to my brain.
Today I feel better. Not 100%, but better.
I participated in my annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk today. Two of my co-teachers joined me this year, and one stopped by to drop off the penny drive money that my school raised which was completely awesome.
I think my school raised around $600 in PENNIES. We dropped off a huge box of change to the "money room" at the walk. I feel so bad for the folks that have to count and wrap all that change. It was a SUPER heavy box.
At the walk today I got to see my awesome doctor out of her lab coat. She also participated in the walk. She is the BEST...I cannot express how much I adore my doctor. After seeing her every 3 weeks for seven and half years, she is like family.
As we were walking, I had a harsh realization. When we were just shy of the halfway point I realized I wasn't going to be able to make it the whole way. Another humbling and frustrating reality. I understand that it takes 72 hours for the chemo to work through my system, but seriously?! I don't have patience for this wussy business. We turned around and started heading back and then I had to stop and rest. SERIOUSLY?! Whose body is this? Oh my goodness, I suck.
Regardless, we made it to the finish line, then I went to SAMs club and the grocery. I knew if I stopped moving I would be down for the day. I totally overdid it today, but it was worth it, I finally got some stuff done!