Last chemo treatment

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Teach76
Teach76 Member Posts: 354 Member

Hello, friends

 

     Tomorrow I will be having my 6 th and final chemo treatment .  While I should be elated at this event, I am finding that I am more nervous than when I began in July.  I have a tumor that had tethered itself to the pectoral wall.  So far it seems that it has shrunk, but is still attached.  I am worried about the next step.  I am hopeful that Round 6 will complete the job, but what if it does not?  In 3 weeks I can have the MRI and surgeon will then make recommendations.  As all of you have stated, waiting is the most difficult part.  I have so many decisions that have to be made - return to work in January?  Take early retirement?  Plan a big Thanksgiving dinner, or just keep,it simple and private before the next phase begins?

 

    Thank you for being here to allow me to vent.  Reading your stories has greatly helped me through these 6 rounds, and I look forward to the wisdom that you will share as I move into surgery and probable radiation.  Blessings to all!

 

teach76

Comments

  • Puffin2014
    Puffin2014 Member Posts: 531 Member
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    next step

    Was the original plan to use chemo to shrink the tumor and then do mastectomy or to totally eliminate the tumor with chemo and do nothing more? I'd be surprised if the doctors weren't expecting that surgery would be next step, though maybe they were hoping tumor would shrink enough that a lumpectomy would be an option.

    As you said, there's still one more round and I pray it accomplishes what doctors had in mind. In the mean time, I know how hard it is to try and plan your life when cancer has messed everything all up. After going through 6 rounds of chemo my recommendation would be to keep Thanksgiving simple and private with your immediate family. Your immune system is compromised, you don't need to be exposed to a large group of people, and you don't need the additional stress of planning and prepping for a crowd.

     

    As for returning to work in January, are those your only options, work or retiring? Any short term disability available? I would imagine surgery of some sort (lumpectomy vs mastectomy) is the next step and that you won't be returning to work in January.

    Prayers that your last chemo goes well for you, keep us informed.

  • disneyfan2008
    disneyfan2008 Member Posts: 6,583 Member
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    Vent away-that is why we are

    Vent away-that is why we are here-to listen and vent..we all take turns...

     

    Denise

  • Teach76
    Teach76 Member Posts: 354 Member
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    next step

    Was the original plan to use chemo to shrink the tumor and then do mastectomy or to totally eliminate the tumor with chemo and do nothing more? I'd be surprised if the doctors weren't expecting that surgery would be next step, though maybe they were hoping tumor would shrink enough that a lumpectomy would be an option.

    As you said, there's still one more round and I pray it accomplishes what doctors had in mind. In the mean time, I know how hard it is to try and plan your life when cancer has messed everything all up. After going through 6 rounds of chemo my recommendation would be to keep Thanksgiving simple and private with your immediate family. Your immune system is compromised, you don't need to be exposed to a large group of people, and you don't need the additional stress of planning and prepping for a crowd.

     

    As for returning to work in January, are those your only options, work or retiring? Any short term disability available? I would imagine surgery of some sort (lumpectomy vs mastectomy) is the next step and that you won't be returning to work in January.

    Prayers that your last chemo goes well for you, keep us informed.

    I work for a religious school

    I work for a religious school within an archdiocese.  So as to not burden the parish, I took an unpaid leave of absence from September  through December and asked them to bank my 65 accumulated days to be there for me when I return.  We do not have short term disability, but the diocese does have long term disability.  I think I will look into that to see if I can qualify beginning in January.

    After meeting with the oncologist and nurse navigator today I understand that there will be no definitive decision on the type of surgery needed until after the MRI in late November.  If the lumpectomy is possible, I could be back after radiation (Jan to Feb).  If a mx is deemed necessary, I probably would be out the rest of the year.  I have IDC with the tumor currently tethered to the sheathing in front of the pectoral wall.  It seems it is still connected to "something", but onco is hoping these three weeks of Round 6 will pull it the rest of the way.

    So I bought my Christmas cards today so I have something happy to do over the next few weeks - who cannot smile at the Peanuts singing carols?  Focusing on side effects, writing out cards, planning Thanksgiving, and conversing with my best friend from high school should help the 4 weeks pass quickly.  I was so organized with chemo and managing my side effects for 4 months, and being a teacher, I am over organized and a scheduler - I just feel the bottom of My plan has fallen out.  I had everything finished by December, but I realize now that is not reality.

    Thanks for listening!

  • button2
    button2 Member Posts: 421
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    You got some great advice

    I would just like to add that you mustn't get overtired during the holidays. If you prefer to go to some other relative's house for Thanksgiving, do so! But if you really would like the comfort of close family in your own home, then make the turkey and have all the other dishes brought over by your guests or frozen from the supermarket. Use plastic plates or get someone else to take care of them. It's not about the food, but the company! I still follow this rule and I am three years out from therapy.... everybody's ok with it because I now enjoy get togethers and laugh instead of snapping at my loved ones because the homemade sweet rolls are getting cold lol....hugs, Anna

  • Puffin2014
    Puffin2014 Member Posts: 531 Member
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    Teach76 said:

    I work for a religious school

    I work for a religious school within an archdiocese.  So as to not burden the parish, I took an unpaid leave of absence from September  through December and asked them to bank my 65 accumulated days to be there for me when I return.  We do not have short term disability, but the diocese does have long term disability.  I think I will look into that to see if I can qualify beginning in January.

    After meeting with the oncologist and nurse navigator today I understand that there will be no definitive decision on the type of surgery needed until after the MRI in late November.  If the lumpectomy is possible, I could be back after radiation (Jan to Feb).  If a mx is deemed necessary, I probably would be out the rest of the year.  I have IDC with the tumor currently tethered to the sheathing in front of the pectoral wall.  It seems it is still connected to "something", but onco is hoping these three weeks of Round 6 will pull it the rest of the way.

    So I bought my Christmas cards today so I have something happy to do over the next few weeks - who cannot smile at the Peanuts singing carols?  Focusing on side effects, writing out cards, planning Thanksgiving, and conversing with my best friend from high school should help the 4 weeks pass quickly.  I was so organized with chemo and managing my side effects for 4 months, and being a teacher, I am over organized and a scheduler - I just feel the bottom of My plan has fallen out.  I had everything finished by December, but I realize now that is not reality.

    Thanks for listening!

    time table

    At least now you have a better idea of the time table that you're working with. It's all those unknowns that make it hard to plan. Someone told me "we make plans and God laughs". Hope this last chemo goes well for you. As you recover, try to increase your exercise and stamina, take a little walk every day, and try to go a little further each time.