I am really feeling OK about tomorrow. Hoping all goes well, and not looking forward to the pain and uncomfortableness...but actually feeling OK about it. I guess resigned to it is more accurate. Had some additional problems this weekend with the one breast (won't go into it but it involved mucho leaking) which only makes me want to get this done all the more.
I had asked the surgeon how I would be feeling after the surgery; especially since the cutting would be on my back and the grafts on my front. He told me "you won't like me for a couple days, but then it will get much better". Hey, it's not his fault that my skin is so thin. But he did also say that the recovery with the back will not be as painful as I am expecting. So, a bag half-full perhaps.
Last week on Wednesday I had gone for my muga scan again; on Thursday to see my internist for pre-op; and Friday to oncologist. My internist said "Pre-op, again? What happened?" I explained my predicament, and he told me that actually this happens more often than people think. And he told me that it will ensure the area is safe for expansion. And he's right. We went through the same information we discussed just before the last surgery, and then I was off to get bloods done. That never used to bother me, but now that the veins have been a problem, I'm not a fan of blood tests. However, perhaps because I have been away from chemo longer, there was no problem and that was an utter gift!
Then on Friday, it was my first visit to the chemo ballroom and my oncologist since mid-April. We felt like celebrities, my husband and I! Everyone was saying, "Where have you been? Are you OK? Are you done with chemo?, etc." It was actually good to see everyone, and they made us feel so welcome and appreciated. One of the chemo nurses came in the to flush the port and to take blood again (but, thankfully could use blood from the port). We waited for a bit and then my oncologist came in and we hugged "hello". She told me that I was looking very good and asked how things were. I told her all that had been happening and she wrote notes as I spoke. Then she told me that my bloods looked very good and that my last muga scan showed the heart ejection factor had risen...which was very good news! This means I should be OK taking the Herceptin, as long as I am closely monitored. She then set up the Herceptin appointments for the next 12 weeks (I return for the Herceptin IV every 3 weeks for another 7 months), and then I was done. My next appointment in the chemo room will be next Friday at 8:45 am.
So there is some real good news in the midst of everything. Once tomorrow is over and I am recovered, I am actually getting near the end of my treatment. I will have the Herceptin for 7 months, and will be taking the Anastrozole (a new drug for post-menopausal women who are HER2 positive. If you heard of Tamoxifen, then this is about the same) for 5 years. But almost done! My hair is growing back and I am told I look like Annie Lennox from the Eurythmics...only my hair is white/grey! But this weekend I started going out without a cap, so that is another victory I am claiming!
Tomorrow around 4:30 pm, if you are looking at your clock and think of me...just say a little prayer that all goes well. I am looking forward to being able to write you about this next detour on the journey. We'll be back on the main path soon.