Monday, September 8, 2014

Carboplatin- my new chemo

After a bust at The Mayo, Dr Laudi considered hormone therapy or another IVchemo. A chemo called carboplatin was chosen, because Dr. Laudi felt it would work faster on the liver tumor. We would do two rounds of carboplatin followed by PET/CT scans to see if it was working.

Chemo Buddy Larissa
Hanging out together.
Carboplatin infusing.
Neupogen for after chemo
to increase my body's neutrophils
(cells that help fight infection). 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Mayo Clinic

Here we go:

7am on the road

 We lucked out and found a meter to park the car with 20 minutes to spare before we had to check in.

We made it!

We shared a quick breakfast while we waited.

We checked in and were sent down to lab. Two pokes and two tubes of blood.
My blood got to take a ride on conveyor belt. Our next appointment was not till 2:30pm. With time on our hands and a beautiful day outside, we did a quick Google search to find some fun things to see and do.

My blood going for a ride.

We chose to tour the Mayowood mansion, the home of Dr. Charles Mayo co-founder of the Mayo clinic. The house was built on a beautiful on farm land, close to the river. It was a great tour.

 After the we grabbed lunch, we took a walk around the Mayo.


The Mayo and Me.
Beautiful, interesting art.

   We checked in again and waited. After my weight and vitals were done,  Dr. Hoyday came in and asked us what we wanted for this visit.

I told him, "I want a cure."

He did not want to give me false hope. He said, "I have no cure or magic pill."

We started going over my timeline of the past 5years. He was a little confused about my pregnancy in February 2009 and what treatment I was receiving at the time (I was getting radiation, and had PET/CT scans). We told him about our miracle- our gift from cancer- Olivia Joy. We talked about the hormone therapies, the chemos and the clinical trails. Then, we went over my treatment options still available:
  1. Chemotherapy, ex: Carboplatin, Navelbine, cmf
  2. Anmidex
  3. Exemestane plus Affintor
  4. A new clinical trial Biopsy-Her2 or being put on a waiting list for a current clinical trial
He asked if we been to the University of Minnesota Breast Center. We have not. He said it would not hurt to go there for their research knowledge.

Mark asked,"Don't you guys talk?"

Dr. Hoyday said, "No".

This is an example of our fragmented and broken our health care system. After voicing our concerns about hormone therapy, he felt Exemestane plus Affintor would be a great plan. It would consist of two oral pills and I would be watched closely for side effects. He did not have any new clinical trails to offer at this time, unless I want to do a biopsy. He is going to put me on the "wait-list" for up and coming clinic trails. He told us to take some time and think it over. He handed us my stack of files and shook our hands good-bye.

Five years of cancer treatment.
By the time the appointment was over it was after 5pm. Mark called Dr Laudi to leave a message about the appointment. When he called back, Mark told him about the appointment. Dr. Laudi was also disappointed that there are no new treatments. He gave is input on the treatment options we talked about. Dr. Laudi feels that Chemo would be best treatment because of the liver tumors. The new plan is to start chemo next week.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, September 1, 2014

5 YEARS! (with cancer hitching a ride)

We made it to 5 years living and fighting Stage 4 Breast Cancer!

I am so very grateful for everyone who shares this journey with me. I grateful for every act of kindness given to me and my family, including prayers, thoughts, hugs, kind words, laughs, meals, laundry folding, house cleaning, feeding my kids, giving of your time and money. In America, we are told we can (and maybe should) do everything for ourselves. It took me a long, long time to learn to ask and receive help from others. You all mean the world to me. I hope for the blessing of a lifetime to share with you. Thank you!