The Almost Plan and The Elephant #8

Things seem pretty grim right now. This cancer has spread so quickly and in just 3 weeks time, multiple lesions have grown throughout my body. This is not good. However, the good news is, some of those lesions are so small they are barely detectable, meaning we have caught this really early. Having a couple positive thoracic lymphnodes is not the best news either, I’ll be honest, but figuring out a treatment and starting it quickly will hopefully prevent those cancer cells in my lymphnodes from moving through the blood stream and finding another home.

Our goal is to maintain quality of life and keep the cancer from spreading to other organs. First line treatment is to have my ovaries removed. Wrong answer, try again. Why is an oopherectomy first line treatment you ask? Allow me to explain: I am premenopausal. 95% of the treatment paths designed for my type of disease is centered on women being postmenopausal. Taking my ovaries out would achieve that thus allowing us to move forward with the recommended treatment path of AI (aromotase inhibitor – drugs that aid in removal of ALL estrogen and progesterone from the body. Even though ones ovaries may be removed the adrenal glands still produce some hormones.) and chemo, probably in my case weekly Abraxane treatments. I received Taxol 2 years ago and it failed. My cancer cells would probably not respond as well either but Taxol is still on the table. Taxotere is a viable option as well, another very strong chemo drug.

The goal is to put me in menopause, whether it be surgically done, or chemically done. All I request is to have just a little bit of hormones float through my body because I feel better and isn’t that what quality of life is about? I don’t need to have a monthly cycle, I haven’t had that in 2 years, but those months when the moon and the sun align with a star setting in west and I do have a period, I feel great! I have recognized the times when several months pass with no flicker of a hormone, I’m cranky, tired, I have no energy, I’m bloated and I don’t want to feel that way all of the time. The months after a period when I believe my hormone level is still pretty low, I feel good. There has got to be a way to erase most of the hormones causing my cancer, slowing the progression of disease but still allow me to feel good. I find it very difficult to believe I am the only woman who has requested this.

So, on Monday, I am meeting with a Breast Cancer Specialist at UC Davis. This is a personal request from The Blood Guy. Let me be clear, The Blood Guy is a highly respected physician in town, known as one of the best and I trust him. But sometimes, even the best, need advice or affirmation on how to handle certain situations. He is pushing me to talk with this specialist about everything, even clinical trials. There might be one I qualify for. Something I will definitely entertain. I appreciate his foresight and his staff’s time in getting all that is needed for this consultation to happen.

Why don’t you want your ovaries taken when the hormones they produce seem to be the cause of all these cancer problems? I refer you to the Best in the West Rib post #4.

After my consultation at UC Davis, I’ll have more answers and ready to start my treatment plan next week.

Elephant? What Elephant you ask? Well, the one question, or thought you all may have on your mind but too afraid to ask or speak aloud. It’s a very sensitive topic, I am only 40……  How much longer will I get to be on this earth,  able to be apart of your lives?

I’m sorry I don’t have an answer for you. It briefly came up in my appointment and I quickly explained to The Blood Guy (before he tried to get serious about the subject) that he can pick any number, rattle off the statistics he is supposed to and my response will always be “that is simply unacceptable to me.”