The second leg is underway

I can now officially say “Happy New Year!” and “Welcome, welcome to 2018!”.  The year is off to a quick start and I can see and feel the energy around me as everyone has hit the ground running.  We should all take a good week or two off around the holidays or really anytime for that matter, it is truly amazing how this rest and time away from the standard day-to-day can re-energize society.

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For me this break could not have come at a better time.  I was able to return to work last week and it felt fantastic to use my brain again in a way that challenges me and brings joy.  Like I mentioned, everyone has come back running so it was a sure fired way to come back and I welcomed it with open arms.  Now is a time when I could easily fall back into my longer hours and get caught up in the hustle and bustle…so I am working on separating my needs to feel challenged and useful all the while focusing on my health for the long term.

So I guess it is lucky for me that I have a tight schedule and really good doctors and nurses who are reinforcing my requirement to focus on me.   This week has been a very exciting one.  I have had my last plastic surgery appointment for a few months and we are all very pleased with the successful surgical outcome and healing.  We will pickup the next phase of my reconstruction once I complete my chemotherapy.  And speaking of chemotherapy…this is how the second leg of my race has kicked off.

Just yesterday I had another surgery to place a chest port. This port enabled my doctors to start the IV chemo and hormonal therapy.  The steroids I began yesterday to prepare for my first chemo was  similar to stopping at the goo station after mile 3 which gives you a good boost of energy to start your next and most difficult leg of the race.  So here we are, heading to mile 4 and then carrying through to mile 10 over the next 18 weeks.  And yes, that is right, I said 18 weeks!!  Last week my doctor finished all of his consultations with the St. Thomas oncology board and decided upon option 2 of the chemotherapy treatment.  I now will have a total of 6 treatments over 18 weeks and have also started the herceptin treatment in conjunction which, if all goes to plan, will mean I complete all of the IV treatments in 12 months; a whopping 5 months shorter than the first option.  It is hard to explain just how happy this made me – I guess it also showed me that maybe we should deliver bad news first because then it can only go up 🙂

All that being said, today I completed my first round of treatment.  I spent a good 8 hours at Tennessee Oncology with my mom by my side.  I received all of my treatments and am still feeling really good this evening.  I know that this will likely not last and it will all hit me this weekend, but for now I can focus on the good – only one more handful of the tough treatments to go.

Oh and the best part of my week…I took the decision away from cancer to slowly take away my hair and I decided to shave it all off and enjoy wearing this super short look for a period of time.  A few friends and family members came out to the salon with me and we made it a great experience.  By far was one of the best experiences that has come from this journey.

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