Yesterday was a very long day.It began with a 2 hour wait to see my onc. This is very unusual at his office, but there was an emergency in the chemo room ( or torture chamber as one of the patients referred to it), I think Chris and I both fell asleep waiting.
So here is the scoop on what my doctor is recommending;
1) I am back on Arimidex, this is to treat any cancer in my body that is hormone ( ER/PR +) positive. Although the last tumor was not positive, it does not mean other areas would not be positive.So, I stay on Arimidex.I will also remain on Lupron which is an injection every 4 months to keep me in menopause.
2)I have started the simulation process to begin radiation. I have to get clearance from my surgeon before they can start. I got 3 more tattoos yesterday. I asked if he could make something fun like a flower but all I got was a dot. Radiation will be everyday Mon- Fri for about 6 weeks.The areas radiated will be the chest wall, under my arm and my neck.
3) He would like to start me on a drug called Tykerb. This is an oral drug taken daily to block the Her2+ growth, which this tumor was positive for, as were the previous tumors.This is similar to Herceptin and we will have to watch the effects on my heart again.
4) also to begin Xoleda. This is an oral chemotherapy, also taken daily. At this time it appears the hormone therapy ( mentioned above) is working. We see that because the tumor was not positive for estrogen or progesterone and nothing else is showing up on my scans. But.... because this tumor was not hormone positive and is Her2+ and could be spreading, this is the reason for the chemo. Also, Xeloda in combination with radiation increases the effect of the radiation.
My doctor feels this is the same original breast cancer, so it is not 2 different cancers, however they are "acting" different therefore the treatment is different.
What he wants to do is called targeted therapy, so each of these medications is targeting the cellular makeup based on the biopsy results.
I asked how long I have to take these medications and he said as long as they are working for me and I can tolerate them. Not the answer I was hoping for.He knows how worried I am because of my first experience with chemo He assures me that this is different than 11 years ago and we have many options to deal with side effects and regulate dosages.
For now, I will be researching as much as I can and praying about what to do.For my blog friends out there that have been or are on these medications, your feedback would be much appreciated!
I try not to write such long posts, but this IS the condensed version of yesterday's meeting. If after reading this, it has raised questions you would like to ask me, it would be great if you can leave a comment with your question. This is simply an easier way to answer questions for me and I don't mind at all.