Yesterday morning I went in for my pre-appointment echocardiogram to get a baseline reading on my heart as we continue with the Taxotere, Herceptin and Perjeta regimen. I was curious and asked a lot of questions which made me a little late for my labs and oncology appoiontment (luckily my oncologist was still in with another appointment).
When I met with my oncologist we chatted about the ovaries and my visit to MD Anderson. It sounds like the message didn’t quite make it to my oncologist about the known cancer in one of the ovaries (I had a feeling it hadn’t). We discussed making sure all of my records get released to me so I have them (and hopefully less surprises). She was really sad that this was how I found out, but it doesn’t make a difference on my treatment now. I will probably make a second opinion/check in a more regular part of what I do in the future.
She is going to see if this is enough tumor in the ovary to send for additional genotyping to find different characteristics and targetable features that can help with later therapies and breast cancer trials in the future (several targeted immunology trials look for markers I don’t know if I have or not). The bone biopsy wasn’t in good enough shape for this type of test, so we knew someday we would need to grab more cells – since some came out already – I am trying to look at this as my silver lining.
My blood counts were great, but an issue came up getting ready for chemo – my ALT/ASP readings had tripled since my chemo 3 weeks ago. These are related to your liver function. We pulled me out of chemo prep and did an ultrasound on my abdomen – checked my gallbladder, liver, kidneys and spleen for anything that could cause abnormal readings. Everything came back clear, which is helpful for me because I have been having the pain in my right side and having been worrying about my insides a bit. So seeing healthy insides (liver) with the ups and downs I have been having helps my anxiety a tidge.
I explained that I like to have a glass of wine (freaked out that this had caused my liver mess), the infusion room nurse told me that I would need to be drinking it right out of the bottle there in chemo for that change. I told her that was a great idea… for next time! Jk. Cheers chemo team! That would be awkward.
Taxotere can cause issues with toxicity in your liver. After our discussions and review the best we could come up with was that it was the cause for this spike, by the time all of this was decided it was about 3:00 PM and I had been there 6 hours already. I needed to leave a 6 hour window for chemo and not enough time was left in the day. So they moved me to chemo today with a reduced amount of Taxotere (and I will obviously be taking a break on the wine – except for that CHEMO PARTY!).
My mom had been there with me all morning and my friend Amy met up with us when we were doing the ultrasound. We grabbed a quick bite to eat on the way home and I fell asleep for about 4 hours. I was exhausted.
I went in for my reduced chemo today (20% less Taxotere) and got the phone call from my oncologist that my tumor markers dropped from 123 to 95 within three weeks (she also released all of the recent records in my account 🙂 )! This was a big decrease after everything! So after a long day yesterday, we had something happy today. Something to hold on to… That little “hope word.” We aren’t going to repeat a PET-CT until I have had 3 months on this regimen, so we can really look at impact on my tumors compared to the December PET-CT.
I asked about Taxol or Abraxane as an alternative to Taxotere for the liver, but apparently they all have the known side effect. I don’t remember my liver counts climbing when I was on Taxol. My oncologist told me she is ok with the levels they are at for now, but if they keep going up more we will have to look at it. Hard to have a stressful blip when you see so much success on those tumor counts! Plus I was feeling great when we were in Houston, I felt more energetic than I had been in awhile. I kept telling Mike that I felt “well” for the first time in a long time (minus the leftover chemo side effects, but a burnt tasting tongue is worth it).
It looks like today is official goodbye hair, shave head the rest of the way day. My trailing tidbits of Mandi hair is dwindling. Today I woke up to snow on the ground, and the super cold day required a hat for my thinning hair (mostly bald head). Each time I fixed my bangs I ended up with a handful of hair. My shower left me with handfuls upon handfuls of hair and many more bald spots. It is time.
My port surgery is at 5:45 AM on Monday. My mom and I are crying on the inside. We are not morning people. AGGGGHH!!! Lol..