Monday, February 15, 2016

Moving from one stage to the next

I finished my chemo in mid-January, and over the past five weeks the side-effects have slowly left. At this point, I still get the odd, metal taste in my mouth, but it isn’t as strong and it isn’t constant.  I am also still battling swelling in my legs from water retention, and, while the majority of the muscle cramps have gone away, I still have a lot of hip pain.  Now, please don’t think that I’m complaining, I’m not.  I feel very blessed that the side-effects weren’t as bad as some people get.  All and all, I am feeling a lot better and, after a blood transfusion, a lot more energetic.  One funny thing – my eyebrows and eyelashes did great, at least until my last chemo and then they both decided to noticeably thin.  I’m not sure why, but I do find the timing funny.

So that’s the update as to where I am in my treatment.  I’m grateful to God that He provided me with so much strength to get through it.  I’m glad that I entered chemo much more physically fit then I’ve been for probably 20 years.  Other than taking off for doctor appointments and actual treatment, I haven’t had to miss any work.

One thing about my chemo, I didn’t receive it because the cancer had spread.  I received it to help keep it from spreading.  My lymph nodes were clear when I had my first surgery.  However, my tumor came back with the protein HER2, which meant a 1 in 4 chance of a distal recurrence.  To treat for that I am receiving the drug Herceptin which is started with a round of chemo.  While the chemo is done, I still go every three weeks for the infusion of Herceptin and that will continue through September.  It, thankfully, does not have the side-effects of chemo.  Doing this takes my odds of a distal recurrence to 1 in 10.

Next up I surgery, which is scheduled for this Wednesday.  I am having a left-side mastectomy with immediate, two-stage, reconstruction.  The surgery is expected to last 3 hours, 1 for the mastectomy and 2 for the reconstruction and it will involve 2 surgeons, a surgical oncologist and a plastic surgeon.  I have no clue what to expect.  I’m a little nervous, except when I’m really nervous.  Jim has had to deal with a few breakdowns.  The Lord has been gracious though and the verse that I keep focusing on his Psalm 23:4:
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for though art with my; thy rod and thy staff

they comfort me.


  1. Michelle - We are praying that your surgery will go well and that you will find that the rest and recovery is a sweet time of fellowship with Jim and with the Lord. ((HUGS))

  2. Michelle you are a strong woman, praying for you.

  3. Thinking of you. Glad things seem to be going like they should. Hang in there. Don't overdo and have as many break downs as you need.

  4. Our church and I are praying for you. Thanking the Lord for your good spirits and for giving you Jim to go through this with you. Thanks for the update.