14 days in the books...
the day was celebrated by trish taking her last 3 cytoxan pills this morning, and taking caden to the doctor in the afternoon.
this past wednesday and thursday were probably trish's worst days since beginning chemo on april 22nd, nonetheless she was out of the house and keeping busy. trish knows there is a big line between staying active and overdoing it, so she takes some extra time to relax and/or sleep, but overall the chemo has been pretty good to her. we aren't naive to the fact subsequent treatments may be tougher, but the last 14 days have been better than we both imagined them to be.
so whats next.... well, not much for the next 14 days. they will be chemo free, pill free and (almost) doctor free.
trish's next chemo appt will be tuesday may 20th, and at this time she will begin her new chemo schedule of 4 times a month, rather than twice. this regimen will consist of a combination of taxol and herceptin, both by IV... no pills :)
taxol is a drug typically administered once a week, while herceptin is every three weeks. but since trish will go in weekly for the taxol, it has been decided she will get 1/4 doses of herceptin at this time as well. the doctors believe the smaller, more frequent doses will help curb the severity of the nausea and fatigue.
the potential side effects of these drugs include damaging the heart's ability to pump blood effectively. this isn't a huge concern in trish's situation, as she is young and the owner of a healthy heart. regardless, her heart will be closely monitored throughout this treatment cycle with frequent electrocardiograms (EKG). this friday trish will visit with the cardiologist to get a baseline EKG of her heart's health. this baseline will then be compared to future EKGs she will receive during the course of her treatment.
again we feel very fortunate trish is surrounded by very knowledgeable and respected doctors in the field of oncology. Dr. Melinda Telli is a postdoctoral fellow working with Dr. Carlson in the treatment of trish. Dr. Telli was lead author of a study published in the Aug '07 Journal of Clinical Oncology discussing the effects of herceptin (trastuzumab) on the heart. It really does ease our minds knowing trish is receiving the best care available.
oddly enough, the past 14 days have been the most 'normal' we have experienced since this adventure began. we can finally relax and take a breath or two... trish isn't undergoing tests every day, we aren't waiting on the results of those tests and the visits to the doctor have become limited. we now know how she reacts to the chemo, we are getting into a solid routine and we have a very good understanding of what lies ahead of us for the coming months. trish, myself and our support system are ready to battle this together. the generosity from our families and friends continues to overwhelm us, and we can not begin to express how gracious we are.
THANK YOU ALL
tommorrow, may 7th, marks the 1 month anniversary of trish's diagnosis, as well as our 3 year wedding anniversary. its been an unbelievable month, but a tremendous three years. im taking trish and caden to lunch at a 'suprise' location, and later on heading over to the coast for dinner and a sunset.
trish has been dealt a crappy hand, but through all this, she has remained brave, caring and perhaps most importantly, humorous. she isn't going to let this beat her, or even get her down.
guess this just reminds me why i fell in love with the girl 8 years ago.