Saturday, May 28, 2011

Chemo # 3/4-Check!

Yesterday was a pretty good day for infusion Friday. Woke up and generally putzed around the house before I rode my mountain bike to my first appointment of the morning with the plastic surgeon. My ride on the Shoreline trail was fantastic. I can literally ride dirt to the entrance of the hospital. I think I was also experiencing a 'Floyd' high as I had started my pre-infusion regimen of steroids on Thursday. I haven't felt this 'high' before, but for some reason, I was just giddy yesterday. Shannon was at the hospital waiting for me with the car so we would have a safe place to park my bike for the day.

Can I say, once again, best. husband. ever.

I was visiting with the plastic surgeon because the time is getting closer for my final reconstruction surgery. Yes, I have one more surgery after I finish chemo. As I have mentioned before, a temporary implant was placed at the time of the mastectomy. This gives my breast some shape and it also has a port in it that allows us to inject saline and slowly stretch the surrounding skin and muscle to my final desired size. We have expanded a few times and it seems to me that there may be some leakage. Slow leakage, but leakage none-the-less. This is only saline and is not dangerous to be absorbed by my body, but it does add a possible complicating factor in to my final reconstruction. Yesterday was kind of an experiment. My plastic surgeon inflated the expander himself and I will report back to him in a few weeks if I notice any leakage. Fortunately, if it is leaking, it is happening slowly and since I decided against the DDs we can probably get a way with a few small expansions right before my final surgery and be just fine.

If you're interested in what the expander looks like here is a photo:

The black spot is the port where saline is injected to expand. It is all under the skin so a magnet is used to find the port. Expanders are not the most comfortable of things, they're not soft like permanent implants, but I'm fortunate that my has become quite tolerable and I only occasionally notice it. This is all pretty amazing. I'm assuming that the 'small' size is what is in my breast right now.

This appointment went pretty quickly and since we live so close to the hospital, we were able to go home for lunch and 45 minutes of puppy play time. Dizzy was more into sunbathing though.

At 1:15 we were back at Huntsman for my blood draw, IV placement, and meeting with my oncologist prior to my 2:30ish infusion. My bloodwork all came back in the 'normal' range. I was psyched that my red blood cells and hematocrit were back to 'normal' and this added to my giddiness. White blood cells are holding up nicely thanks to my post-infusion Neulasta shots (these shots cost $7000 each! Fortunately insurance pays for them) and liver and kidneys continue to be working great as well!

At around 2:45 I was called back to the infusion room. Pre-infusion meds took a good 45 minutes. I got more steriods, anti-nausea meds and then we added IV benadryl and an antacid. I had a short reaction at the start of my last infusion, where my throat closed off and I got scared; these additional meds were to help combat that. They seemed to work, but they also put me to sleep. So much for my 'Floyd' high. I slept through most of my infusion. At 6:15 we were done, the IV was removed and we were on our way by 6:30. I was the last patient in the infusion room once again!

Today, as usual, I'm feeling pretty good. I'm being diligent about my post-infusion medication and I just got back from a delightful ride with Lyna on the Shoreline. It is a perfect day and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Now a short rest (for a few hours) and then it is back to Huntsman for my Neulasta shot. Tomorrow, I fully expect to wake up tired and achy, however, as much as it sucks, I must remember that too will pass. As usual, I will not consider myself officially 75% done until after my post-infusion hump week.

This week is looking to be perfect. Not to be selfish, but the weather looks to be crappy on my crappy days and then turn around and be warm and sunny just as my body hopefully starts to turn around as well.


  1. Leaking? That sucks, and has to be a bit of an odd sensation. I hope it behaves so that you can get it where you want it! I hope you week goes as well as it can so you can be 75% done!

  2. Honestly, I don't feel it at all. It just very, very slowly gets smaller. It is so insignificant that I'm not really sure it is happening, but I am pretty sure it is. Fortunately, I don't want to be very big so there isn't much expanding to do:)