Well, I've been done with the "hard" treatment for just shy of a month now, and I feel great! I say the "hard" part of treatment because I'll still have to take Tamoxifen, an oral pill, for the next five years (and probably more like ten with the newest studies that are coming out). I started it about three weeks ago, and so far, no bad side effects. I am a little tired some days, but that could just be normal 2 year old mom tiredness, or my body dealing with the fact that I beat the crap out of it over the past six months! My oncologist may also want to shut down my ovaries with monthly shots in my stomach of a drug called Zoladex for the next few years in addition to the Tamoxifen. It's all a hormone game when it comes to my type of breast cancer. Unfortunately, there are no hard studies yet that have tested whether shutting down ovaries helps in pre-menopausal women. So we are still on the fence for that one.
It's strange to not have a place to be all the time. After going to radiation Monday-Friday for over six weeks and oncologist appointments 2-3 times a week during four months of chemo, I am enjoying having some free time for play dates or just to sit around in our jammies if we want.
So most of you have been asking me what's next?
No, there are no more scans in my near future. The cancer was all cut out of me back in January. Breast cancer is a sneaky little bastard that likes to spread, so that was why I had all the treatment. There is a good chance I was completely cured as soon as they took me out of the operating room. But, there is just no way to tell if there are some ass hole cells hiding out. So I just go on my merry way and pray I don't have a recurrence. I'll have routine 3 month follow ups with my oncologist for now to make sure I don't have any long term chemo side effects and that I don't have any symptoms of a recurrence. I also am still following up with the breast surgeon every 3 months, but I think that will be going down to every six months after my next visit in December. My radiation oncologist just discharged me from his care this morning after my one month check up, so I am all done with him now.
I will, however, be seeing a lot of my plastic surgeon. My third surgery is this coming Thursday! He will be redoing Righty and putting in a new tissue expander (the old one was taken out during chemo when I developed an infection). So hooray for cleavage again! It's not quite as big a surgery as the mastectomy, but he will be doing what is called a latissimus flap (using some skin and muscle from my back), so it is still a pretty invasive procedure, and I will have to stay at the hospital overnight. He said in the end, things will look just as good except the scar will be a little bigger and I'll have a small scar on my back as well. Battle wounds! I'll be seeing him weekly for my tissue expander fills until Righty catches up to Lefty, and once everything is healed, I'll have another surgery to switch out the expanders for my "soft squishies."
So that's where I'm at! I've also been making some major changes in how I eat, and we were just approved for a family scholarship at the YMCA. As soon as I am healed from this surgery, I will be heading to the gym to get this steroid weight off of me! Tamoxifen can make losing weight a little trickier, so I'm hoping it isn't too frustrating for me.