So we finally made it home Wednesday evening. Thursday was pretty much lay around and try my best to catch up on rest from that three-day trip. And yesterday, we drove down the mountain to see my oncologist, Dr Headley. We were hoping all the biopsy results had come in, but they had not yet. However, we did get a partial report. The tumor on my liver is strongly estrogen-receptor/progesterone-receptor positive so that means hormonal treatment options should work even better than chemo for me. The only downsides to that are the Faslodex injections I was getting weren’t working for me, which is why I stopped them in January. And it takes about three months for a hormonal therapy to really kick in, so what to do in the meantime? The other unfortunate news is that this cancer is still Her2neu negative. Her2neu is an oncogene that more aggressive cancers carry that can be targeted with treatment, making it very effective and not very toxic. Metastatic cancers can switch from being Her2neu positive to negative, and back again. So I was kind of hoping mine had done that so I could have Herceptin and, this summer, Pertuzumab, as options. Not this time around. It’s funny really. Only in advanced cancers would one wish for a more aggressive form of cancer so one could have more treatment options available.
Anyway, he ordered a full load of labs drawn so we can see exactly where I am right now, since stopping treatment at Progressive. He prescribed Tamoxifen for me to take … which I have mixed feelings about because it is carcinogenic itself, but I am not in a position, with such diffuse and advanced disease, to split hairs. If this cancer was an earlier stage, rather than the stage that will kill me, I wouldn’t be so quick to buy off on that. Ever since 1999, when I was first dx, I have avoided Tamoxifen. I did take it for about six months until I started spotting, then they took me off it. It can cause endometrial cancer and, since I had dodged the bullet that time, they didn’t want to take further chances. So I really never gave Tamoxifen a good run. I will be doing that starting today. But in the meantime? That is where the remainder of those biopsy results will come in handy. It looks at genetics and statistical probabilities to determine which chemo drugs will, and won’t work, for your cancer. When that comes in, we can then determine if we bring in a little chemo to keep things in check until the Tamoxifen kicks in. I will be seeing Dr Headley again next Friday, so we hope to have a full game plan then.
I will be getting my fluid drained next week. It will be scheduled for the first part of the week so at least that discomfort will be gone. I am still taking the DCA for this cancer so hopefully that will start doing me some good as well. And I saw my VA dr as well, so we can get me on Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) again to start putting back on some of the weight I lost while in Georgia. I have to see their nutritionist next week, hopefully the first part of the week as well, so we can get that TPN on board. But it was not all medical downer stuff yesterday. I also met my BFF downtown and we went wig shopping. I realized that I probably will never have my own hair again. It takes a good couple of years to grow hair back and for it to resume its normal texture. Do I have that much time? Especially without any chemo drugs to make it fall out? So I figured I would need to invest in a really good wig. There is a place nearby that does custom wigs to match the hair you had before you lost it. I called them but I have already lost my hair and now that I am not limited by my real hair’s texture, etc., I could have whatever I wanted. They needed to know what I wanted. So we proceeded to a local wig shop to try a bunch of stuff on. I asked for her high-end wigs so that I could feel the difference between the less-expensive ones I currently have, that drive me bonkers, and the hand-tied, lace-front ones. I have this really small head … I have always had one helluva time finding even a baseball hat to fit me and not come down over my ears. From my crown to the top of my ears, I am much shorter than most, so most wigs come down behind my ears too low. She found the one with the smallest cap and it fit like a dream!!! I liked it so much, I just went ahead and got it. It was probably 1/3 of the price and since I don’t have to style it myself, I can now have long hair again.