Friday, February 26, 2010

Turns out, tumors make you tired. I don't remember this feeling from the first go round with Breast Cancer. But the bottom line is it's all I can do to make it to the gym, put in a half-assed workout, take care of Wally and myself. I am sooooooooooo tired.

So much shit has gone down since I last blogged. I told you about the bone scan results. Well, Monday I had a CT scan, which I've never had. I picked up the results/report on the Bone and CT scans on Tuesday to send to Norton at Sloan. I've decided that the protocol this time will go from Norton down to Schwartz as opposed to Schwartz calling Norton, telling him his theory on treatment and Norton yay or naying it.

Well, if you had your own bone scan report, would you be able to resist reading it? I couldn't. So I sat in the hall of Sinai and read. My fatalistic interpretation—even my vocabulary and knowledge of Latin roots proved totally fruitless—was that I had mets to the liver and lungs. A new small tumor in my left armpit, and major growth on the ones already there—sternum, neck, clavicle etc. I was just numb. No bad news surprises me anymore. I'd already secured a spot with Norton. (I'm flying up the 8th, spending the night and flying out the evening of the 9th).

I still have some residual anger at Schwartz for taking me off the Xeloda. Maybe it wouldn't have spread so quickly then. But, whatevs. That was Monday. Tuesday, I spoke with Norton's nurse Karen, who, in my opinion is the most knowledgeable nurse I've worked with. I had her translate the report for me line by line.

No, there was no lung mets; yes there are spots on the liver, but very minute. They hadn't shown up on the PET a month prior. The spot on the lung the report indicated is likely the tumor on the left rib, pushing up against the lung or something thus causing my shortness of breath. Thursday I saw Schwartz, armed with the report and notes.

"So I got my report, faxed it to Norton and had his nurse translate it."


I felt a little bad, so my eyes were affixed on his Hermes tie. I love Hermes ties.

"So I spoke to Norton and it turns out he recommended the exact course that I was thinking."

Carboplatin, Gemcitabine and Avastin. The first two are chemos; Avastin is an anti-body blocker. No idea what these fuckin' blockers do.

Dana did some research on the hair loss issue; the lower the dose, the less chance of loss. If you lose it you lose a little at a time, nothing like last time's. I can't wrap my head around what that will look like or mean. Will my horse's main turn into gross, stringy, thin hair? So I asked Schwartz to please start me on lower dosages of Carbo and Gem. I'm not sure which dosage corresponds to which. But since I'm young and 'healthy,' Schwartz had me on the highest dosages of everything before. Well, it's been almost three years and my body has been to hell and back, so he was fine with that.

I'm not getting another port. Schwartz says that as long as they can find a vein, this cocktail is not that hard on them. I will double-check that with the nursing staff.

"Well, okay then. Do you think that since I have such thick hair that will help?"

"I think it will."

"Okay. I'm going out to buy the horse shampoo now."

"I think that should help too."

I went to Sally and bought the Mane 'n Tail Shampoo, conditioner and spray thickener. It smells like ass; it's no Oribe. Speaking of whom, I want to get a dead-end trim, but can't cough up $400 with that. And you all know I'm not trusting anyone else with my hair in Miami.

Oh, I also have to have Xomeda, which is a bone strengthener a la Boniva, or in Schwartz' words, "You know those commercials Sally Field is in."

Uh, yeah. Anyway, the reason my case is once again so fucking unusual is that even though I'm HER2NU+, my tumors are behaving like triple negatives.

So, I will begin Monday. Go to Norton March 9 for a consult/convo (one night at the Waldorf at least), then chemo #2 on the 10th. It's two weeks in a row, one week off. Eight in total. Two and a half mos, thus ending in May. Assuming it works. Though I'm not assuming shit anymore. It's not any fun this time. I have no desire to go to Neiman's, though the offers are a plenty. I'm SO FUCKING TIRED. I got a Tempurpedic bed and oh my god, you would not believe what a miracle worker this bed is. I slept 12 hours last night.

Chad prepped my whole body yesterday, and told me it's important to exercise this weekend—makes your veins pop—and carbo load on whole grains. My diet is so beyond boring. Even now I have to go to the gym and hate it. I can do about 1/2 of what I usually could do. Forty five minutes of cardio is a miracle.

I'm soooooo tired and I hate it. I've never been affected by a lack of energy. Fucking tumors. Anyway, that's the update. Why can't they come up with an IV form of caffeine????