Well, I had a change of plans today as far as my treatment is concerned. I was supposed to only have my two targeted therapy drugs and no chemo. But, after speaking with my Oncologist, he wanted to continue with the chemo for 2 – 3 more rounds to [hopefully] continue to shrink the cancer. And honestly, I’m a little relieved. I was nervous to stop the chemo since it has been working so well. And I knew I would always wonder if I could have gotten even better results and possibly NED if I just continued. Now, I won’t have that “what if” hanging over my head. So I’ll have at least one more round of chemo, maybe two, and then have another CT scan. If things are still shrinking at the rate they have been, my Oncologist and I will determine what’s next. It sounds crazy right? To be relieved? Sometimes I wonder just how many screws I have loose. I mean, who WANTS to continue with chemo?! Ummmm, nobody! And I’m not exactly excited about it. The side effects aren’t fun. But I’d rather just power through and get it done and give myself greater odds of achieving the outcome I’m looking for. I’ve gotten used to pushing through the fatigue and coping with the other side effects, mostly some bone pain, so I figure there’s no time like the present. And, I think continuing with chemo will be good for my mental health. I know, I know. I sound crazy. But I have some reassurance back that what I’m doing is working. I hope these extra rounds are worth it! I really think they will be.
In the meantime, I will go to have an echocardiogram to make sure my heart is still functioning properly. One of the targeted therapy drugs I’m on, Herceptin, is really hard on the heart. So I will have an echo every three months for the rest of my life just as I’ll have scans. I get to have so many pictures of the inside of my body that I never even wanted! Haha. Because I know that my heart could be compromised is a big reason I’ve stayed in the gym. I figure there’s nothing better I can do for my heart than to get my blood pumping for an hour everyday. Also, I recently read an article in a medical publication that said exercise increases the survival rate in breast cancer patients by up to 40%. That is an amazing statistic that I’m happy to hang my hat on! I’ve had so many people reach out to me telling me I’m so strong and such and inspiration for continuing to work out. And I appreciate all that positive encouragement so much. But honestly, I just love working out. It makes me feel good, it makes me feel strong and, lets be real, I’m vain and working out helps me to try to look good, too! I’ve said this before to people, and I may have even said it in another blog: I feel like my Doctors and Nurses are all doing their part to create some longevity to my life and I owe it to everyone to do my part, too. So I’m going to keep annoying all of you who happen to watch my Instagram stories and keep sharing my workouts!
Speaking of my heart, it hurt a little today. I didn’t even see it coming. My husband and I were sitting in the treatment room while I was getting my infusions and the nurses all gathered round for an announcement. A lady had finished her last chemo and gotten the news that she is cancer-free and she got to go hit the gong. She hit that thing as hard as she could and cried tears of joy and praised Jesus! It was an amazing moment. And I’m so, so happy for her. So I feel a little selfish thinking and writing this…but I got sad that I will never get to do that. My eyes filled up with tears and I had to pull myself together. Being Stage IV, I will never get the news that I am cancer-free and I’ll never git to hit that damn gong. It was a reminder of what my diagnosis means for me. Never-ending. Obviously I know this and it’s probably silly to get upset at small reminders at this point, but it just hit me again. But, I am hopeful and determined that I will get my own good news very soon. So I just have to keep rolling with the punches and taking my diagnosis and treatment one step at a time. And I have to remain as positive as I can and, excuse my language, keep facing my challenges like a Badass.