Thank you for your financial support! … and, your love and prayers and comments lift me up! all of you kind souls are making a difference in my life. I’m grateful.
So here’s an update:
On July 8th, I had a long drive from Fanny Bay to a jam packed day of appointments at the BC Cancer Agency’s Vancouver Island Centre in Victoria.
First, I met with the medical social worker and cried a bunch and laughed some. The counselling department is fabulous. Last time I was there, I met with a different counsellor. These two women are smart, warm and caring and super skilled in communications, listening, and in providing resources. I’m so happy to have this added support, and will book a counselling appointment each time I have oncologist consults or treatment. I need it. There’s no shame in asking for emotional support and help.
Next, I met with a 2nd medical oncologist, as I wanted more clarity and information, to make a better decision as to whether to have chemo or not. I was sitting on the fence (and terrified).
This medical oncologist was warm and kind and patient and lovely. Really, an amazing doctor. I never felt rushed and felt fully supported. This woman is smart. I like medicine, and want to know every little detail. She took the time. Thank you.
I came away with pretty much a decision to jump off the fence and to do chemotherapy.
After my meeting with the previous medical oncologist, I decided against chemo. But with new information, I will try chemotherapy. If I can’t tolerate it (drug allergies and chemical sensitivities and already chronic heightened pain levels) we can stop.
I don’t want to miss the window of opportunity that is there right now, to kill off any remaining cancer cells, and hopefully, to prevent a reoccurrence. So I will be brave, and try!
P.S. Please send colourful and funky artsy scarves and head coverings, as you likely won’t see me in a wig! (Unless of course it’s a poodle wig, and matches my standard poodle Teddy’s hair 😉
My treatment plan looks like 12 weeks (3 months) of chemo. There’s a 16 week possibility, but I think we will opt for the 12 week. One is every 2 weeks, the other option, every 3 weeks.
Thirdly, I met with a radiation oncologist. She was awesome, kind and smart! I think we are fortunate on Vancouver Island to have people like this here, experts in this field.
She explained everything to me in detail. I like detail. If you don’t tell me, I’ll find out, do research, ask around or look it up. So I value doctors who tell it like it is, with all the information possible.
Radiation, I need to have. I’ve always said yes to radiation from day one. It just makes sense. I hope I can tolerate the side effects. I am super super sensitive. Time will tell. But I do know, I’ll be in good hands, so my trust is there.
So here’s what the plan looks like today. (it can change):
It sounds brutal, chemo. Chemotherapy, kill off cancer cells, my white blood count goes down, then I get a shot in between to try to boost those white fighter cells again … Then 2 weeks later, more chemotherapy to kill off more cells … Then a shot in between to boost white blood cells … and on and on, every 2 weeks. Yeah, I’m terrified.
So after chemotherapy, there will be about a 3-4 week break.
Then after that break, 3.5 weeks of radiation, every day, Monday to Friday. I’m happy it’s so brief. I had been planning for 5-6 weeks of radiation, so this is about half. Whew!
Then 5 years of hormonal therapy, Tamoxifen.
So onward I go, and I hope this update on treatment is of help.
There’s so much to be grateful for. Cancer is a gift, life is a gift. Friends are gifts, and I’m honoured you are here with me in spirit, cheering me on with love and prayers.
If you can help spread the word about the need for fundraising, I’d be ever so grateful.
I’ve been advised that it will be “unlikely that I will be able to work” during treatment. I’ll try! I’ve also been told to prepare for the long haul (about a year) by the time I’m done all the meetings and consults, treatment, recocery, and back fully functioning in life again, with good energy) >> I’ll do whatever I can to shorten this timeframe.
But that’s what both experts said, it’s not likely I’ll be working. Mostly due to fatigue, and hopefully not because of other brutal side effects.
So my need for fundraising is even higher right now, as I was in between a closed business and a search for a day job when the cancer diagnosis hit. As a previously self employed home based business owner, I’m not eligible for E.I. and so I currently have no income.
I’m working on upgrading all my websites, my photography portfolio, and whatever else I can think of, to generate revenue online, while I am in recovery and in treatment.