No posts since Thanksgiving, but then again, not much to report.
My days are much the same, interrupted every three weeks by a trip to Texas Oncology in the place where I live for a 30-minute infusion of Herceptin (medicine that fights HER-2 positive cancer).
Here is a photo of me at my December 31, 2015, Herceptin infusion. I’m laying back in a recliner, IV needle stuck in my chemo port, trying to read magazines or take small naps to while away the time until the clear liquid medicine drips into my veins. Seventeen doses of Herceptin, spaced three weeks apart, is the standard dosage for patients diagnosed with HER-2 positive cancer cells in their bodies. My first dose was in October 2014, but the reason I didn’t finish by September 2015 is because I had to pause Herceptin for several months while taking FAC chemo. It can’t be taken at the same time as FAC chemo.
My VERY LAST cancer treatment is going to be on Thursday, January 21st, in the morning hours! If my body could do back flips, I would be doing them on that day. Ringing the bell might be safer.
The afternoon of the 21st, I plan to drive myself to Houston (five hours away, the way I drive), to spend nine days. I will be having surgery, x-rays, endoscopy, and final check-ups. I also have to turn in my borrowed car while I am in Houston. My sister-in-law will go down to Houston too, to be with me during surgery and to drive me back home afterwards. We will stay with our friends, a husband and wife crime fighting duo (FBI agents).
During my surgery, I will have two drains inserted. I think I’ll have to go back to Houston two weeks after surgery to get them removed and have a post-op check up.
Looks like I may return overseas 4-6 weeks after surgery, or however long it takes to recover and feel up to it. I have so much to do before I go back! You may think “well, you’ve been in the U.S. for 16 months already, haven’t you had enough time to get things done?” The answer is no. I have been too down and out with treatment and side effects to get things done.
My neck muscles are no better than before, even after months of physical therapy. The surgeon plans to address this situation during surgery by cutting the little offenders to relieve tension. Apparently the muscle that is the biggest problem is just a very short muscle. It isn’t solely responsible for holding my head up, or anything like that. The surgeon said that preserving muscle is important if possible to save it, but it has been nine months of this painful muscle problem, and I can’t live with it like this much longer. The neck is a tricky area for surgery, with all its nerves, veins, muscles, etc. I mean, it has nerves that control the function of your arms and legs, so they have to be extremely careful not to cut a major nerve. Please pray for God’s protection for me during this surgery!