I met with the oncologist today to learn about my recommended course of treatment. As I suspected, she wants to use the big guns. All of them. 'Kill it with fire' is pretty appropriate here.
After I come back from London, I'll have surgery, then 4-6 weeks after that I'll start chemo. Two months of the AC chemo drugs (hard ass, red devil shit) for a total of four treatments, followed by once a week treatments of Taxol for 12 weeks. So, roughly 5-6 months of chemotherapy then a healthy diet of Tamoxifen for 5-10 years. No PET scan is required since things appear not to have spread beyond the one boob. Yay.
I was mostly mentally prepared for this news but I was still a bit stunned by the reality of it all. Reading about it on the internet is very different from having it told to you in a doctor's office. Suddenly it all applies to YOU. It is very real and hard to swallow. I haven't really gotten upset about it, but the cumulative level of unfairness is overwhelming at times. You lose so much of what makes you feel feminine in all this, that it's often a mental battle just to keep your wits about you. Deep breathing helps. Knowing that it's all going to be ok in the end, regardless of what your demons tell you helps too. Knowing that you'll still be desirable and beautiful is hard to see from here, but I believe it. I won't let it be any other way. I'm a 'make it work' kind of girl like that.
Next up is a heart scan on the 17th to make sure my heart can handle the chemo drugs (standard stuff) and a meeting with a genetic counselor to do the blood work for genetic testing. My needle phobia is in high gear since I'll be getting poked or stabbed in some way at every appointment from here on, so I've also ordered the good anxiety drugs (3 kinds!) from my GP.
I'm also putting up a wishlist on the sidebar for folks who feel like they'd like to do something to help. There is also a Lotsa Helping Hands team site, so if you'd like to be able to sign up for meals, tasks, or chemo fun times (aww yeah!), let me know or check my Facebook page for details from Carrie!