Thursday, August 18, 2011

I'm alive ....

I'm here and alive. I just haven't been on the computer too much lately. Sorry about that. I hate to leave everyone hanging, but sometimes it's just hard to get on here.

So here's an update:

Last week I started my new medicine. I am now on Taxol and Herceptin. The Taxol I get every other week for 8 weeks. The Herceptin is every week for 8 weeks, then it switches over to every 3 weeks for one year. Yes, you read that right ... I will be on Herceptin for one year. The good news is the as far as I can tell the herceptin has almost no side effects (there are other things going on that I don't believe are related to this medicine, but it's hard to tell with the taxol right now) and only takes 30 minutes to get so those visits aren't hours long.

The Taxol is much much much much (yes, we are stressing the much) easier than the other two medicines were. That being said, over the weekend I was hit with intense muscle/joint pain that essentially kept me in bed all weekend. The blessing here is that it happened over the weekend, when Saint Husband is home to, well, do everything!

My energy is still tanking. The chemo has been and continues to lower my red blood count every week. It is very likely that soon I will have to get a blood transfusion because of the red blood cell count. I won't lie, thinking about getting a blood transfusion scares me. I know it's safe but still. There is fear there. But. I'm also committed to doing whatever it takes to get through this in one piece, so if we have to add that to the list of things to do, so be it.

However, that is not the most nerve-wracking things on my mind right now. Maybe you've heard it - it's just starting to hit news outlets, but there is a shortage of many chemotherapy drugs in the US right now (here's one article if you are interested). Taxol (yes, the one I'm on right now) is one of the drugs there is a shortage of. My oncologists office does not day to day whether it will be available. Last Wednesday when I went they had it, but tomorrow? The next day? Next Wednesday when I go into get it again? It may not be available. My doctor has a back-up medicine they will use instead, so I won't have to go without chemo while we wait for it to become available. But some people right now are not able to get the chemo they need and it really makes me mad. Also. I don't want a back up plan. I want the plan A. I don't know, cancer and plan B just don't seem like they should go together. But at least there is a back up plan. As I said, some people don't have other medicines they can take instead.

Anyway, that's what's going on around these parts.


  1. I wish I could give you my blood. I'll donate anyway, I just wish it could go to you.

    I had not heard about the chemo drug shortages. That is terrible--bad enough for people to need chemo, and often worry about how to pay for it. They shouldn't have to worry if it will even be available.

  2. i completely understand...the thought of a blood transfusion is scary! two years ago one of my twin sons became critically ill with meningitis and recieved multiple blood/ffp transfusions during the course of his stay in pediatric was horrifying but he wouldn't be here today with out it. Praise God we have these options! i will pray that you continue to recieve your "plan A" meds!

  3. So many prayers for you <3

    <3-Cami from First Day of My Life

  4. That's so awful about the chemo shortages. I hope that you will be able to keep taking "plan a." As for a blood transfusion - it isn't unreasonable, in my opinion, to be nervous or scared about that. Normally, when we watch shows like ER or on Discovery, a transfusion is used in massive car accidents when someone lays near death. Thankfully, you aren't bleeding out when you might need it. But it will prevent you from getting sicker. It will make you strong enough to keep fighting. As scary as it seems, try to focus on that strength aspect. :)

    Re: herceptin - I know a woman who had to take a breast cancer chemo for 5 years after her initial rounds. It sounds like they've done a good job of shortening that extended period - but the extended period is important because it prevents recurrence. :)

    Hang in there - I hope the muscle aches/joint pain eases up and you're able to be yourself more often than not. ;)

  5. Anonymous11:14 AM

    Sending all good thoughts your way, Brandie, for availability of the drugs you need and your continued strength to sustain this long & difficult process. ((hugs)) Chris, San Diego

  6. I hadn't heard about those drug shortages. I'm just not plugged in to that group any more. :( I'm glad the Taxol isn't making you as sick, but am angry that they may not have it for you.

    I know getting a blood transfusion is going to be scary. It's completely rational to be scared of that. Your nurse is going to check, recheck, double check the recheck that you're getting what you need.

    Which reminds me, the Red Cross wants me to come in & donate. When I go in this time, I'm going to imagine the local Brandie my blood might be going to. <3

  7. I'm sorry that during all of this, you have to add that to the list of worries on your mind. I hope - and I'll pray that- you continue to get 'Plan A'.


Seeing your comments makes me smile! Thank you so much =)