Tuesday, January 25, 2011

*UPDATE* (from yesterday)

Sorry I didn't update yesterday...it was a long day and by the time I did get home, I ate dinner and went to bed. But here is the good news that I received from my oncologist... the chemo is working and it has shrunk the cancer by 30 percent! Not bad after only 3 treatments. I would have liked to have heard, "Going, going, GONE..but maybe next time!

The PET scan also revealed that the areas that "lit up" on this new PET scan only had a light up score of 3.7 as compared to my original scan in October which showed them at 5.0 (it's very confusing and harder to explain...but just know that the lower your score on the scale...the BETTER it is!) All in all, the bottom line is that the cancer IS shrinking, and that's the best news I could hear. So, what does this mean? According to my doctor, as long as the chemo is working, he wants me to continue with 3 more treatments, and then get scanned again. (Is anyone thinking "Ground Hog Day" here?) I am having chemo this morning, chemo #4. Then again three weeks from today, and once again, three weeks after that. That will bring us to March for the scan.

I will be also visiting with my surgeon at the University of Michigan on Thursday to see if she agrees with the decision made by my oncologist, or what her view is from a surgical standpoint.
My oncologist told me yesterday that the smaller the cancer, the smaller the surgery! That makes sense to me, and one doesn't want to rush into surgery anyway. But I will wait and see what Dr. Newman thinks on Thursday. I'll let you know what she says.

The physical therapy before my doctor visit went well. As well as physical therapy can go I guess. The swelling in my arm was measured, and there was a measurable difference in my upper arm from the last time I'd been measured, and sadly, not in a good way. No wonder I was having so much pain in that area...it was 4 cm larger than last time. (which means a LOT more fluid was stuck in that area) I will be having P.T. on Wednesday again, and probably a few more times after that. Hopefully, chemo #4 and physical therapy will help reduce all of this extra swelling.

I did also attend the "Look Good Feel Great" program which is hosted by the American Cancer Society yesterday afternoon. (Now you know why I came home, ate dinner, and went to bed!)
It was being held right there at the hospital, so I didn't have to go out of my way exactly to attend. It was a lovely event, and I left with another new hat (lol I may have to remain bald for quite some time to wear all of them) and a HUGE bag of cosmetics and skin products. (Yes Rachel, new make up next time you come home)

All in all, a long, but productive day. I'm actually kind of looking forward to just sitting today at chemo. I might even take a nap! :)

Thanks for checking back to see what's going on. I'll be back on Thursday with the news from U of M.

Have a wonderful day!


  1. Hi Joanne I have just had chemo therapy session 1 as adjuvant treatment following breast cancer surgery. I have been very worried about starting this .I have heard and read so much about the negative effects and the dangers that it can actually do more harm than good but decided I should follow medical advice and take it when offered.
    Reading your blog really helped me .You sound so positive about the experience and has given me strength to continue with a positive outlook

    God Bless