Wednesday, January 21, 2009

January 21

Well, as most of you know by now, my surgery this past Monday did not take place. This was the second time the surgery had to be canceled. I was originally scheduled for my mastectomy on New Year's Eve day, but due to "suspicious" areas that showed up on my CAT scan, it had to be delayed.
I needed to PET scan at that time to rule out the spread of cancer, and luckily that scan came back with the "all clear" and the surgery was rescheduled for January 19 (two days ago). Well, I made it into the O.R. but came back out with my breast still attached and right were I had left it! Sadly, my surgeon noticed swelling and took a skin biopsy, and found that the cancer had spread to the skin in my breast, and could not perform the surgery. I had already had a skin biopsy, only four short weeks ago, and it came back clear. The cancer is aggressive, however, and spread in that short time. I was back home Monday afternoon, and was told that I would need to start chemo right away to stop the cancer from spreading. They could not wait the three weeks that I would need to recover from surgery....we need to stop it now! I met with my oncologist yesterday, and was given my chemo "plan." I will be starting this Friday morning at 11:00, and will be on a "dense dose." Which means the first drugs, adriamycin and cytoxan, will be given every two weeks, for two months. These are the "big guns" and will cause me the most side effects, whatever they turn out to be for me. After those drugs are finished, I will begin taxol, which will be administered once a week for twelve weeks. I know...a long time...but it's the road I must travel. I was told yesterday that one of the "givens" for the first round of drugs will be hair loss by the second session. So, in preparation, I'm getting my long hair cut short tonight. I plan to send my hair off to Locks of Love, in the hopes that someone else may get some use from it. Hopefully, the short hair will be "easier" to lose (ha) than the long.

This afternoon, also in preparation for the chemo to start, I must go back (again) to the hospital for a new scan this time (I've had so many it's hard to keep track!). This one is called a Mugascan, which will give the doctors a baseline on my heart. The drugs I will be taking can affect the heart, and to keep "tabs" on my heart, they must have this baseline scan. Looks like tomorrow I will be free as a bird! No tests, doctors, or medicine. Sounds like a SHOPPING DAY to me! :-) And since I've been told not to drink any alcohol during chemo, I need to get in my last mango margarita for quite some time.

Onwards and upwards....let the journey begin.


  1. Joanne, I have been keeping up with you through Mel. Please know that I am praying for you and the family. Stay strong. I'll be popping over and keeping up with you through your blog (and of course, Mel, too).


  2. Lucy,
    I'll be with you every step of the way. Even though I can't always be with you in person, I'll always be with you in spirit. If I haven't told you recently, you're the best sister ever and my best friend. We'll kick this Cancer in the butt and won't bother to take names. Be strong and stay positive and know that I'm just a phone call away. I love you with all my heart.


  3. Mom you are truly my best role model and hero, always be strong! I love you so much! xoxo <3

  4. Hi Joanne, it's me, Peeverly (I'm disguished as Andover Cookie Mama - the name of my flickr account and my blog that I haven't done anything with yet!). How are you holding up?? I'm thinking about you all the time!! We'll both be doing something this friday. You with you dose of chemo that is just gonna inihilate your cancer and I'm going in to get this defibrillator moved so I can inihilate my cancer. Sending my love to you all the way from Massachusetts! :)

  5. Hi Joanne,
    I think this is a great idea. I love the picture of you and your beautiful blanket. Did Melissa tell you that two Christmas's I made about 15 of those darn things!!! Everyone loved them and I think Jeff has 5 differnt ones. He even takes one when you goes out of town.
    I am keeping you and your whole family in my prayers and like Melissa said , You Can Beat This!!!

    I Love You !!!
    Your Jersey Friend


  6. Dear Joanne,
    You certainly have quite a circle of love, and I hope you will include me in that special groups of family and friends. My schedule is relatively light this time of year that if you would like, or need, I can come help you after your mom heads home. I can cook, do laundry and even some light housekeeping! Stay strong, stay positive and rely on the love of all who know you...we are all in this together, and together we will kick butt (Blissa's words)!
    Love You,

  7. I love your new haircut!! You look 6 years younger!!!
    I don't know why I picked 6 years!!
    I love your blog; I feel so 'with it'!!
    Isn't it wonderful to have daughters to help us with stuff like this??!!

    Love ya,

  8. Love the hair cut, and it suits you very well. I have very short hair, and I agree...getting used to the cold on the back of your neck, took some getting use to, but it doesn't take long. Keeping you and your loved ones in our thoughts and prayers!Stay strong, stay positive!