Treatment plan step two

The first cocktail is done. Adriamycin is done. Cytoxan is done. This cocktail is commonly referred to as AC, I guess they go hand in hand. Often they are prescribed once every three weeks. I was fast tracked, receiving it every other week. That way, I can get all the treatments in before having a baby.

The tumor has responded well to AC. It is smooth and pliable. It is, for me, difficult to differentiate from the normal changes in breast tissue that occur during pregnancy as my body prepares to feed a baby. I mean, I know exactly where to feel for the lump, but if I continue a self breast exam, many other milk ducts feel enlarged and hard. (Doctors are monitoring them every chemo visit.)

I have nothing to compare it to, but AC was exceptionally difficult. I hope I never have to do this again.

The next cocktail is Taxol. I start 9/26/22, and the prescription is 12 treatments. Taxol is administered every Monday. The doctors and nurses and chemo peers all imply that taxol is an easier course of treatment. However, many people do not tolerate it. Many people have allergic reactions to it, and so steroids are necessary to accompany it. I will receive IV steroids the same day as Taxol.

It might take only one treatment to know that Taxol is not an option. It may take three weeks, three treatments, before we know if I am able to complete the rest of the regimen.

I continue to see the maternal-fetal medicine specialist. Once every 4 weeks until we get to 30 weeks, hopefully. Then we’ll go every week and we’ll start administering steroids at 34 weeks to develop eyes and lungs.

If I am unable to complete Taxol then I am done with chemo while pregnant. There are no other chemotherapy drugs that are safe for a fetus. I will have to resume chemotherapy after I have baby.

If I have to stop Taxol, then everything gets rushed. Lumpectomy surgery while pregnant. Lab analysis of the tumor taken from the lumpectomy will tell us how aggressive we have to be on the lump. Bump may have to come early so that I can have more chemotherapy options. In this reality, bump will have to just get with the program.

The maternal-fetal doctor will have a lot to contribute in this event. They’ll help determine when my daughter is big and strong enough to be born.

I hope that I tolerate Taxol so I can keep cooking my bump and treating my lump. This is the best-case scenario.

It is so bizarre to be hoping for chemo. I understand it’s important to stay on track, but 4 months ago, chemo wasn’t a thing!

After 12 weeks of Taxol, it will be mid-December. At that point, I hope that I get to rest and recover from chemo until I go into labor. I suspect the doctors will want me to deliver early, about 37 weeks, so induction is on the table, scheduled cesarian is on the table.

I hope not to have a c-section. I’m already going to need surgery for the lump, I hope I can deliver bump without major surgery too. It’s just less recovery. But we will have to see.

If I complete Taxol, and if I deliver around 37 weeks, then I get to rest for 3 weeks before I have lumpectomy surgery. We will be able to learn about the tumor and how responded to chemotherapy after the lumpectomy. Then we will determine when to start radiation therapy.

Radiation will likely start 4 to 6 weeks after surgery. They like patients to be nice and recovered before blasting us with toxic rays.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: