When Cancer Isn't Enough

Without any back story, a quote I have unfortunately and sadly coined recently was, “Isn’t Cancer Enough?!?”

But first some good news

An update on what’s new with my treatment and status. I received my week 6 MRI results, and they were better than expected. I had to go back to Eric to reiterate the specifics because I just recalled that the results were good news. My tumor is measured by volume and over the first 6 weeks of treatment has decreased significantly! Week 1 (pre-treatment) my tumor was at 6.6 cc’s. At week 3 it was at 2.4 cc’s which was over 70% decrease. At week 6 it was at 0.68 cc’s which was almost 90% decrease in volume. Eric explained it to me (all I heard was decrease) as this… “The tumor is still there, however, it is like a deflated whoopie cushion lying flat on a chair.” The cancer is not visible in my mammary nodes, and we are hoping for nothing residual there. I will still need radiation, but it is great news all around. Next steps are getting to the 12 week mark and that puts us around mid April. At that point we will have several decisions to make pending the results of another biopsy and MRI. The biggest being what type of surgery I undergo. I am still weighing my options between a lumpectomy and mastectomy. Although my tumor is responding great to treatment, in the case at 12 weeks, the MRI shows up clear but the biopsy comes back with residual cancer cells then I will start additional chemo. That additional chemo will go from weeks 13-25 with surgery following. If the MRI and pathology comes back clean, I can move on to surgery bypassing the additional chemo. No matter what, I will have radiation after surgery and round out 12 months of target therapy with weekly infusions. However, it isn’t chemo so I would have little to no side effects like I am currently having.

Other than everyday life, part of my long break of writing things out is that I had a bad week 7 of long infusion. It takes a lot out of me and I woke up with a fever on Wednesday. I had to go to the ER since any time a fever spikes it could lead to infection quickly. To avoid that, doctors advise that I be seen right away. Luckily, I didn’t have an infection but the start of something. Every day since Wednesday, I have felt completely horrible. I slept almost 4-6 hours every day and have had a sinus cold. My mom and dad made it back to Minnesota to visit for a few days. I said toodaloo buckaroos to three of my babies so they could go with my parents over Spring Break. They are enjoying their time on the beach and in sunny weather. I miss the noise and cuddles.

Life with a teenager

As to life with a 16 year old! The past three months have been extremely difficult. However, the past three weeks with my 16 year old, has been more difficult than I care to admit. I did ask Enjoli if I could share a tidbit of what is going on and she said I could. I think this diagnosis has hit the kids differently. I also think if I didn’t have cancer there would still be problems between her and I. but damn, this is beyond what I was prepared for. This is when I said a few times, “isn’t cancer enough???” Can we table this 16 going on 25 attitude until I no longer have to deal with treatment? But she’s 16! She’s figuring out her own stuff and making her own decisions. I will say, I was way worse at 10-12 and not 16. Hahahahaha I realized that she is struggling with her everyday life of friends, school, our expectations, her own expectations…everything. But damn…It is hard!! And I have three more to hit this age. AHHHHH.


I start week 8 tomorrow of infusion and chemo. Here’s to a smooth week and getting back to work. Stay healthy and big hugs.

Thanks,

Erica

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Thanks for stopping by!

I am married and 36 years old, with four kids and two dogs. We all have birthdays coming up in March and they are big milestone birthdays for the girls.
I am currently working where I get my treatment and completely trust my care team. I
appreciate all the love coming through in text messages, IM's, emails, and phone calls. It is this community of people that will make this process easier. 

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