Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cleared for chemo

Friday I met with my medical oncologist, Dr. Buys, at Huntsman Cancer Institute to get final clearance to start chemotherapy next week. I haven't seen her for about a month and I've been keeping a running list of questions to ask. This list was long to say the least and the questions ranged from her opinion on eating soy (a phytoestrogen) with estrogen receptor positive cancer to her thoughts on using taxotere (a chemotherapy drug) despite research showing some tumors to be taxtotere resistant. Question everything, right? I was initially checked in by an internal medicine resident who listened to my heart and lungs and asked if I had any questions. Ha! Did I have questions! I pulled out 'the list' and started asking away. He listened and then left the room. When he came back he brought Dr. Buys, her Nurse Practitioner, the nurse, and another women (I'm guessing another resident). I guess they all wanted to hear my questions:)

Anyone who knows me well knows that I can be a little shy especially with large groups of people. Even though this was my 24th doctor appointment since the middle of January, I felt a bit of stage fright as I went over my list of questions with five medical professionals in the room. On the flipside, my questions must have been interesting enough for everyone to want to listen. Fortunately, I had my trusty list (and Shannon) and all of my questions were answered.

I appear to be healing very well and Dr. Buys cleared me to start chemotherapy Friday April 15th. My chemotherapy cocktail will be TC (taxotere, cytoxin). Yes, in regards to one of my questions, some tumors are resistant to taxotere however there is no reliable test to determine this. Studies show that overall this regimen is very effective. TC is quite toxic though and I will have some crummy side effects, however Dr. Buys is confident that this regimen won't negatively impact my future physical performance. I will be having four total infusions; one every 3 weeks. My final infusion will be June 17th. I am picturing a summer party to celebrate this milestone!

In the meantime, I have been feeling good and exercising every day, although I do still seem to fatigue easy. I still haven't ridden my bike outside, partially because it has been uncharacteristically cold and snowy. Friday afternoon, on what should have been a sunny spring day, we took Dizzy for a hike in fresh snow.

This trail was dry enough to ride over a month ago. Not today!

Dizzy doesn't mind a few more days of winter


  1. My thoughts and those of many are with you.

  2. I love the picture of Dizzy! I am with you, never be afraid to ask questions!

  3. Hey Jen - I'll be thinking of you on Friday. Bring popsicles, nice slippers, and lots of magazines.

    xoxo Marika