Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Post 22: Chemotherapy: 8 weeks Post Surgery
It's been 8 weeks since my JPouch surgery and I'm happy to say I am feeling pretty good! I feel more like myself than I have in the past 2 months. My strength is coming back and I am becoming a lot more comfortable with having an ostomy. I am able to pick up Elise and go for walks with her. It's been wonderful being able to spend time with my family while I am feeling well. I had an appointment with my oncologist yesterday. Last week we got the results from my OncotypeDX test. He gave us a call and spoke with us both on speaker phone. He explained that the cancer cells were unfortunately a lot more aggressive than they hoped and the test revealed a slightly higher re-occurrance rate. Before we knew this, we decided to forego chemo hoping they got it all with surgery. But now hearing that the cancer was more aggressive, I don't want to mess around. We don't want to risk the chance that there may have been the possiblity that the cancer cells escaped the colon wall. Maybe it didn't, but it's not something we can see at this point. Cancer cells are tiny and don't show up until there are lots of them and it has grown significantly. This isn't a risk I want to take. We thought aobut it, listed all of the pros and cons. I came to the conclusion that if, God forbid the cancer DID come back, I want to know that I did everything I possibly could. If it did ever come back and I had not done chemo, I would forever blame myself. I want to do everything I can to live a long happy life with Phillip and Elise. I have a reason to be here. I am Elise's mommy and I want to grow old with Phillip and see my daughter grow up. So we made our decision, went and saw the oncologist yesterday and we are getting started soon. My doctor is amazing and he explained everything so thoroughly. I will have to start treatment this week and I will see the doctor every 3 weeks to get my blood drawn and to monitor my health during treatment. The side effects can vary from person to person. I know it it's going to be tough, but I am hoping and praying for the best. I know it is up to me to stay positive and know we will get through this. Treatment will last 6 months. I will be taking a chemotherapy drug called Xeloda in a pill form. The pills are taken in the morning and evening every day for 3 weeks, then have one off week. I will repeat this cycle 6 times. Unfortunately I'll have to wait 4-6 weeks after I complete chemo to have my second surgery, so I will have to hang out with this ostomy bag for a while longer. They said I need to have the drug completely out of my system before I have surgery because it can weaken my immune system and my ability to heal. Sure, I'm bummed about having my ostomy for another 7-8 months (that will put me at having one for almost a year) but I know it will be ok. Now that we figured out all of that, I am not in anymore pain and I feel like it will be fine. Treatments will start this week. Thanks for all of your thoughts and prayers. I will keep you all posted on how I am doing and how I am tolerating therapy. Love you all & Merry Christmas.