Cancer Chronicles IV: My Treatment Plan

I had my appointment at U of M yesterday to get my treatment plan now that my surgery is done.

Wow. Overwhelming is not strong enough of a word, truly. I was telling my Mom that it’s really difficult to find the positive in this whole situation…but I’m really trying.

First, I am healing well. I’m quite bruised, according to my doctor, but everything looks good. I’m still in quite a bit of pain especially under my arm. According to my doctor, she “did a lot of rooting around in there”. Gross. The pain constant and annoying but not horrible and it’s getting better each day. I’m going back to work on Thursday!!! I asked when I can start lifting weights again and everyone looked at me like I have two heads. I’ve been walking (slowly) and riding the recumbent bike but that’s it. Well…it looks like that will be it for the next 3-4 months. Yikes. I can’t do much with that arm for the next 3-4 months except stretch it. I was very disappointed in that news! If you know me, you know I love to workout and I’ve been lifting weights since I was a senior in high school. But the good news is I can walk and ride the recumbent and stretch!!! And by summer I should be able to workout normally again.

However…I start 12 weeks of weekly chemo on the 19th. So I might not feel like working out like crazy anyway. That’s the first part of my plan. I will have a port put in which will stay for the next year. They will also start my year-long treatment on the 19th. This is not technically chemo but it is an infusion every three weeks for a year. The side effects are much less than regular chemo. I’ll definitely lose my hair. But as far as chemo goes, the first one I’m getting is the lesser of the evils as far as side effects go. Hair loss, flu-like symptoms and fatigue are the main ones. Fingers crossed it’s not so bad.

Starting at the end of June/beginning of July I’ll begin my radiation treatments every day for six weeks. This will be able to be done locally so I don’t have to make 45 minute trips daily. The nice part about this is I’m a teacher so I’ll be off and able to zip over easily for treatments each day. The side effects from this is not supposed to be bad at all. Burning at the site and fatigue. I can handle that. I’ve been tired for 15 years!!

After my year is up, in March of 2016, I’ll start my 5 years of hormone-blocking pills. Those have some side effects too, of course. Hopefully it won’t be too bad.

I also have tons of blood work, check-ups and heart monitoring coming up. Apparently both of the chemos I’m having can be hard on the heart so they’ll monitor me closely. Thank goodness I’m a regular exerciser and I eat healthy, right? My heart is in tip-top shape to start!!!

I’m completely overwhelmed, as is Matt, and if I think about it all at once I can’t breathe. So I’m taking one thing at a time. First up: chemo education, ECCO baseline, port placement and my first back-to-back chemo treatment which will be about 3-4 hours in the chair alone. That’s all I’m thinking about right now.

Oh and finding cute hats and comfy chemo clothes. 😉

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9 responses to “Cancer Chronicles IV: My Treatment Plan

  1. Those long back-to-back infusions are boring and grueling–is someone going to stay and keep you company? I always brought funny books/magazines to read to Mama when she had those long suckers. Thinking of you and sending much love and white light!

  2. I have a bright manic-panic wig (that I used for a Sydney Bristow costume one year) that’s yours if you want it. 🙂

  3. Continued prayers for complete healing and strength! You are an inspiration to so many!

  4. One thing at a time, one day at a time. It’s a long hike, but you’ll get there! Mar. 19 is St. Joseph’s Day (patron of families and homes -big for us). I’ll be sure to remember you in prayer.

  5. Thinking of you and sending lots of love. xo

  6. Kathy Eighmey

    You’re young, you’re healthy, you’re stronger than you think, you’re beautiful! You can do this. Love, prayers, and support coming your way!

  7. “I’ve been tired for 15 years!” Amen to that. And I’m looking forward to March 2016 when we can break the Internet with a Tiffany’s-done-with-chemo-hooray party! Hugs. Big ones. Right to you. ❤

  8. Tiffany – I am super impressed with your ability to stay positive. I get a note from the Universe in my inbox every weekday (I highly encourage you to sign up) that is amazing and keeps me sane. http://www.tut.com

    There was one last week that said:

    Gina, no one can be both happy and unhappy at the same time, right?
    One blights the other.
    So here’s what we do: Pick ANY reason to be happy, and unhappiness gets locked out.

    Well done, Tiffany! You block out that unhappiness 🙂

  9. On the thought of cute hats etc. Have you ever thought of wrapping with a scarf? There are some awesome scarves around that are soft enough to wrap around your head and not being a nuisance to the skin.

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