I know it’s been a while since we updated here, I apologize as I have had a busy couple of weeks with out-of-town guests, the fundraiser and treatment or lack there of.
Since we last met here, I was so blessed to be honored in such a wonderful way, at such a beautiful place with so many amazing friends! Thank you to everyone who took the time out of their busy lives to come enjoy the evening with me and to those who donated and participated in every way. It was beyond my wildest dreams that so many people would come to support me and lift my spirits and you all did just that!!
Following the fundraiser I should have had a chemo treatment on April 17th but at my blood workup on Tuesday my counts were so incredibly low that I was not able to have my session and I was quarantined to my house. They call this Neutropenia. Neutropenia is a granulocyte disorder characterized by an abnormally low number of neutrophils. Neutrophils usually make up 50-70% of circulating white blood cells and serve as the primary defense against infections by destroying bacteria in the blood. My blood counts need to be above 1500 in order to receive treatment and at this lab, my counts were below 300.
The following week on April 24th (my scheduled “off” week from chemo), I had an appointment at City of Hope with a doctor for a second opinion. Unfortunately the doctor was not prepared to discuss my case because Kaiser had not sent all my test results, labs and records in a timely manner in order for City of Hope to run their own pathology reports and make an educated second opinion. After leaving there with not much more information that we already knew, I continued to wait for Kaiser to complete the records request and City of Hope to complete their pathology.
Having not had chemo for nearly two weeks, I began to experience the same pain and discomfort in my lower abdomen (my liver region) that I was feeling when I was diagnosed in early March, which I can attribute to lack of drugs attacking and killing the cancer. At the same time I was experiencing pains, I was also a little less fatigued and had an increased appetite since the chemo was basically out of my system. Needless to say and quite surprising, I was looking forward to my next chemo (which was this past Wednesday May 1st) so that the pain would subside.
Yesterday, the City of Hope doctor called with her second opinion conclusion… she informed me that the tumor board met on Wednesday to discuss my case. Their pathologist discussed with the doctor that they feel their findings indicate that the cancer started in my GI track or pancreatic biliary. They feel that they would need to request the biopsy block from Kaiser to continue further evaluations. At this point she indicated that their diagnosis is conclusive with Kaiser (Carcinoma of the unknown primary) which is ultimately not breast cancer. They believe that Kaiser may not have enough tissue left from their original biopsy to continue testing without going back in for additional tissue (another biopsy) and this may not even give a definitive answer as to where the cancer originated. That being said, the consultation has ended for the time being. The treatment plan remains the same, they agree with Kaisers protocol and indicated this chemo covers whatever type of cancer this is, in those areas.
I have still not experienced too many side effects, I am physically exhausted which has been the norm for quite some time. I am not violently ill, just a little nauseous throughout the day, usually when I have an empty stomach. I continue to shed hair more than usual which is expected but I haven’t gone bald yet, obviously 🙂
My spirits are high and I’m taking things day by day. Love each and every one of you!
Thank you for your continued prayers, love and support.
Until next time…