60,000-79,999 SparkPoints 70,004

First AC Infusion Done...Gave myself a shot tonight

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

It's been a busy week in terms of my medical care. On Monday, I went for BRCA mutation testing. BRCA is the genetic mutation that Angelina Jolie has that caused her to decide to have a double mastectomy. My particular type of breast cancer (triple negative) is more likely to be associated with the BRCA mutation. It is recommended that anyone that is 60 or younger when they get triple negative breast cancer get tested to determine if they have that mutation. There is about a 15% chance that I will test positive.

If I test positive, I will have my ovaries removed and have a double mastectomy as well has have the lymph nodes removed on the side my cancer is on. If I test negative, I will most likely have a lumpectomy and lymph nodes removed. A tdouble mastectomy and lymph node discection is major surgery, but that is what i will do if I test positive for the mutation because the risk of me getting a new cancer in the other breast is 25%. I'm kind of thinking I don't have the mutation, but I will know for sure on Dec. 31 when I get the test results back.

We spent the night in Nashville Monday night because I had a long day of medical appointments the next day.

Tuesday was a big day for me because I started a new chemo that day. It's commonly called AC chemo. This combination of drugs tends to have a lot of side effects. It can cause severe nausea and vomiting if not covered with anti-nausea meds. I was very happy to learn that I would be receiving an anti-nausea medication called Emend by IV prior to getting the AC. The Emend is very expensive but it's supposed to work wonders. So far, so good. I'm also taking round the clock anti-nausea meds at home over the next 5 days in particular, so hopefully, things will go well on that front.

One thing about AC is that it really causes the white blood cell counts to drop. There is a medicine called Neulasta (also very expensive $10,000) that is given by injection 24 hours after chemo to help boost white blood cell production. Since I live so far away and have a nursing background, they gave me the syringe to give myself the shot today. My chemo finished at 6pm yesterday, so I gave myself the shot at 6pm tonight. I've given lots of injections to other people, but never one to myself. It was a little nerve racking sticking a needle into myself, but it didn't hurt at all. Good to know, since I will be doing this three more times after each of the other chemo infusions of AC.

The problem with Neulasta is that it can cause severe bone pain (since that is white blood cells get produced), particularly in the hips, thigh bones and breast bone. Oddly, they somehow have figured out that Claritin helps reduce the pain, so I'm taking Claritin twice a day right now and will continue it for the next 5 days. Hopefully, it will work it's magic and I won't have bone pain.

The other side effects of AC that pretty much everyone gets are total hair loss about two weeks after the first infusion and taste bud changes so most foods don't taste good. The other chemo just made most things taste bland and I was able to keep about 20% of my hair though that one, so this one will be harder on both of those areas. I know I'll be able to get through it.

Last, but not least, it's really important that I drink a lot of fluids all the time. The chemo can damage my bladder if it sits in there too long, so I have to keep flushing it out. I keep a water bottle with me and take a sip whenever I think of it. Good thing I'm a good water drinker and our water tastes good where I live!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

So now, I just want this AC to zap the living daylights out of what is left of my tumor and any other cancer cells floating around in my body...after all, that is what this is all about!

Let's keep our fingers crossed on that one!

Life is good!
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I'm praying that you don't have the gene mutation! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1595 days ago
    I hope that the claritin is helping and the medicine to bump up your white blood cells helps too. You are so strong and you are getting through this really well.

    I hope that the BRCA test comes back negative. Please let us know what the results are when you get them back.

    I continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1597 days ago
    Kay, I hope things are going well.

    I had one treatment of the AC; I never had any nausea at all even without taking an anti-nausea med. I suppose we are each different in our reactions. Unfortunately, that is when I got all of the infections and was in the hospital/rehab for months. I don't really blame it on the AC though; I think it would have happened whatever chemo I had taken. My immune system was totally destroyed and the doctors said my system was just so sensitive.

    I didn't have the BRCA test but my daughter did. That is how the doctors know that our cancers aren't related. Fortunately, she was in a research project and they paid for the test.

    Your sister in this journey,

    1597 days ago
    Praying are a strong woman, you can do this.
    You are a warrior, indeed...

    1598 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1598 days ago
    You are in my prayers! I was on the AC chemo 10 years ago; it was the very first chemo I had ever had. I hope he Emend works for you, I never tried that one. That chemo really changed the flavor of foods for me. I could not eat red meat, because it tasted "metallic"; even plain water tasted metallic, so I drank flavored water instead. Another tip a chemo nurse gave me was if you are bothered with a metallic taste in your food, to eat with plastic utensils.

    Keeping you in my prayers as always. emoticon

    1598 days ago
  • HEIDI777
    You are in my prayers. You will get done with your AC treatment at a time...getting closer to the finish line! Hopefully the meds they give you help ease the side effects.
    1598 days ago
    Keeping you in my thoughts and are taking good care of you and I'm glad to see that!
    1598 days ago
    Wishing you health and healing.
    1598 days ago
    Oh my are dealing with SO much and I surely don't want to add ANYTHING to your stress levels. I'm going to do my very best to stay positive about this silly little thing that we are dealing with when you are literally fighting for your LIFE!

    I appreciate you my beautiful friend and I'm going to turn my valuable life energy your way and I know it will be much more supportive than murking around feeling sorry for my situation.

    Be strong and know that we all love you and support you SO much! I also have a big feeling you do not have the BRCA mutation. And I truly believe you are going to be okay...I pray for you each and EVERY night and throughout the day..whenever I think of you..which I'm thrilled to say is very often.

    Love you dear you BIG! emoticon emoticon
    1598 days ago
    You have a positive attitude & that will take you very far in this fight. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1599 days ago
    Wow that is a lot to contend with but you are strong, and on days when you dont' want to be strong that is okay too. Remember to take care of all of you, sleep, rest, cry, dream just take care.
    So glad you are able to get all those meds and also know what to do. HUGS and thinking of you!!!
    1599 days ago
    You are a very strong lady with such a positive attitude. You will pull through this. Thinking of you everyday and sending tons of hugs.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1599 days ago
    Thinking of you! emoticon
    1599 days ago
    You are in my thoughts and prayers. emoticon
    1599 days ago
    Just a little tip about Neulasta that you reminded me. I had pain in my lower back and I took a narcotic pain pill (tylenol with codeine) and you know it knocked me out for the night and next day it was gone. I had forgotten about that but you reminded me. Praying for good results on the BRCA test and for the chemo to kick that cancer to the curb!!
    1599 days ago

    You're are stronger than you think hun.

    We're all here for you emoticon
    1599 days ago
  • MATER88
    Please let us know how the test comes out. I will be thinking and praying for you. But it sounds like you have a positive attitude and that helps a lot.

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1599 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    1599 days ago
    You can fight this and conquer the chemo!! You are strong and a fighter, Cancer doesn't hold a candle to you!!

    1599 days ago
    1599 days ago
    I hope that the nausea isn't too bad for you.

    1599 days ago
    You are in my prayers! Sending you lots of hugs!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1599 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.