Oncology Update: Q & A

No surrogate at my pre-chemo#5 oncology appointment today. Here’s the scoop:

  • Can I avoid the full week of Taxotere-induced agony this round? If so, how?
    The answer was pretty much “Not really”. My oncologist entered the room shrugging and saying “I told you Taxotere would be bad”. She recommended I extend my steroids (dexamethasone) further beyond the 5x8mg doses and to take any combination of my many prescriptions that may help, as needed.
  • What’s her opinion of my long-debated bilateral mastectomy?
    My oncologist is not against the bilateral mastectomy and would support it if it puts my mind at ease. Apparently, though, there is no evidence that would prompt her to recommend it. She gave us the bad news that recurrence in the breast is not as likely as spread elsewhere in the body. Obviously, I can’t remove every organ in my body so I don’t think I’ll put myself through this major surgery “just in case”.
  • When does radiation start? And is it still within walking distance of our place?
    We will meet with our radio-oncologist in the near future to address these questions. It sounds like radiation is no longer available walking distance from our place, though. darn.
  • Can I ask now about plans for my ovaries?
    Yes, I was allowed to ask. The answer was, “We’ll see.”
  • What’s with the sunken, bright read hollows under each of my eyes?
    After hearing about the various possibilities of recurrence and spread of the cancer, I really didn’t care about the look of my face.
  • Is my 105 year old skin here to stay?
    See above.

Scary news or no, I still plan to survive and thrive.

Maybe not long enough to grow my own 105 year old skin, but for a long — healthy, happy — time.

About Andrea

Andrea Ross was diagnosed with breast cancer October 6, 2009 and intends to survive and thrive. You can read more from Andrea here.

  • Steve

    You know what? I was going to vent against the health establishment. Instead: Full props to you, Andrea, on your great attitude; I'll try harder. Thanks.
    As Ever,

  • Thank you, Steve,

    I've been pretty tough throughout this ordeal and almost every time I've been brought to tears it's been by the surprising and extremely touching kindness of friends, family and strangers. Your comment made me cry.

    Nice going.

  • Isabelle

    You look gorgeous, by the way. Just read your post. Maybe one day, that will be me! I hope I have your strength, at that time! Chemo 5 coming up, check. After that: radiation, check. You are one strong MAMA. Thanks for keeping us updated. I love your photos.

  • Thank you, Isabelle. I do hope it's NOT you one day!

    Thank you so much for being part of our journey and all your beautiful,
    supportive comments. We are looking forward to your visit!!


  • Jay

    Speaking of crying, your posts are always so touching and make me cry. You look fabulous in that picture by the way–happy, strong, vibrant and definitely no 105-year-old skin to be found.

  • Thank you, Isabelle. I do hope it’s NOT you one day!rnrnThank you so much for being part of our journey and all your beautiful,rnsupportive comments. We are looking forward to your visit!!rnrnLove,rnAndrea

  • Linda

    I agree, the picture radiates! You do look great…not a day over 25..really. Glad you got some answers and thanks for that interesting link on mastectomy.

  • Sorry, Jay. And thanks for the kind words about my photo. Now to get iphone camera vision implemented universally — or at least on my mirrors!

    But the happy and strong is for real. Even moreso today, because I've started my pre-chemo#5 steroids!

    I'm totally looking forward to our Thursday evening visit tonight!!!

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