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Sunday, November 27, 2011

New chemo

I started my new chemo drugs, Adriamycin and Cytoxan, last Tuesday.  My case was discussed at tumor boards, and it was agreed that it would be best for me to switch regimens.  I have been pretty sick this last week with nausea that is worse than in the past.  Adriamycin is nicknamed the red devil (it is red) and I am learning that the nickname is justified.  It is a very scary drug that has a long list of side effects including cardiac toxicity.  I had an echocardiogram before starting the chemotherapy because herceptin (which I was on before the her2 drama) can also cause cardiac problems.  Last Wednesday I had a follow-up echocardiogram and there were some abnormalities.  Since I had it done on Wednesday at 4:30 right before the holiday weekend, I haven't been able to discuss it with my oncologist.  I have been worried about it all weekend, and am hoping that everything will be OK.  I am also getting quite anemic.  My hematocrit started at 45% and is down to 29%.  I have lost 1/3rd of my blood volume which, according to my oncologist, is what is making it so hard for me to run.  I was just starting to get faster this summer after having the baby last December, and now can barely run 10 minute miles.  I have to stop and walk frequently.  

Suzanne, Paul's mother, took the kids to Fillmore on Tuesday night for Thanksgiving.  We thought about driving to be with them for Thanksgiving dinner, but I wasn't feeling well.  It made me feel really down to not spend the holiday with them.  Some neighbors brought Paul and I leftovers from their dinner, but I was too sick to even try anything until the next day.  

I am feeling a lot better, and today is the first day since the chemo that I haven't taken anti-nausea medication.  We picked the kids up and I am hoping that I will be back to normal tomorrow.  I am trying to stay positive, and in the spirit of Thanksgiving, here are the things I am thankful for.  

1- My children.  I am lucky that I was able to have my children before breast cancer because chemotherapy induces menopause and infertility.
2- My supportive husband who constantly listens to my anxieties and is always so positive and strong.
3- Paul's mother Suzanne who has helped me so much with my kids.
4- My friends who help me to stay positive and keep me pre-occupied.  (Thanks Jamie for the shellac nails)
5- My religion.  I am trying to let go of the things I can't control and put my trust in God.  I have faith that He will guide and support me and everything will be OK. 


  1. Hang in there! Thinking of you often :)

  2. Thank you so much for allowing others to share the journey with you. Your hand is being held by the hands of many others even though you don't see it. Love and prayers are sent your way.

  3. Thanks for keeping us up-to-date. Sorry you're having to go through all of this. Hopefully some good will come from it. I love your new family pictures. When did you have them taken? I also love your thankful list!

  4. Love you Nancy. You are beautiful.