A big disappointment

Well today was supposed to be chemo #2 day.  I had even planned a party tomorrow to celebrate being halfway through “the treatment”.  But no, it was not to be.  I am so disappointed, I can’t even begin to tell you.

My day began with a consultation with the most excellent Physcial Therapist, Peeta.  She is very good, and shortly after beginning my treatment she looked at my chest, specifically the right breast and asked, “why is half of your breast red?  I think you have an infection.”  I felt alarmed and crestfallen all at once.  The right breast is the one with the expander implant in place and had just been expanded yesterday by my plastic surgeon.  Awww jeez…and the expansion was not even that uncomfortable yesterday like in previous visits.  How could it be infected?  Anyways, Peeta completed her PT, gave me a prescription for a compression sleeve to relieve some of the discomfort of the left arm where all the lymph nodes were removed, and sent me on my way, with instructions to show this condition to Dr. Schott, the oncologist.

Both Dr. Schott and her nurse practioner Joan were not in today, so I had a new and diligent NP, Tammy, who took one look at the right breast and pretty clearly said she did not want to take a chance at chemotherapy with even a small potential of an infection.  I kind of whined about it, and she asked if it was OK to pull another Dr. in to examine my breast.  Hell, I would let the janitor take a peek if he would have said, “Nah…it’s OK!”  So of course I said YES, YES bring another doctor in.  It took what seemed like a very long time…… I laid there on the table and tried not to cry,  tried not to feel sorry for myself, but I felt overwhelmingly sad.  Eventually a  great big Doctor came in, took one look at what honestly is a very light shade of pink on one half of the breast only, from the vertical scar to the center of the chest, and he quickly said, “no, I don’t think you should do chemo today.”   They explained that it was probably only a very slight risk of infection, but if it was an infection having to do anything with the expander implant, then undergoing chemotherapy at that time would only increase the chance of losing the expander implant.  After all the work and energy that has been put into that side of reconstruction, it would be a shame to lose it, and go back to square one.  They gave me a prescription for antibiotics, and sent me to reschedule all the rest of my my chemo appts.

Of course.  They are right.  I know they are “erring on the side of caution”.  But another week of delay means another week of missed work.  Another week further away from being done with chemo.  Another week delay of getting some sembelence of my life back. 

But I think they are right.  But I am so sadly disappointed.  I have been looking forward to this day so much.  It takes so much energy to plan for chemo, to be “up” for chemo, only to have it taken away.  At the end of today, I was going to be halfway done, and now I have to wait another week.  And I know it is the right thing to do as I write through my tears.  I wish I were mature enough to accept this today, but as with the other difficult things I have experienced lately, I guess it will take a day before I straighten up and stop whining about it.  :^(


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One Response to “A big disappointment”

  1. Betsy Says:

    I have been in treatment for breast cancer since June 3, 2008. I know how disappointed you feel about not being able to have your treatment today. If I have learned anything in the last year, it’s that there will always be setbacks. I used to tell my kids that “patience is a virtue”. It has come back to haunt me. I have learned the true meaning of patience.

    My first chemo, before surgery, was supposed to be 4 treatments and turned into 9. I am not a candidate for an implant because my tumor was so large against the wall of my chest that they had to take a skin graft from my thigh. I wanted a double mastectomy, but because I bled so much during surgery, they could only take my right breast. My chemo after surgery was a nightmare because I had a bad reaction to the new medication and lost the whole month of March. I finished up chemo at the end of May and started radiation, which I also reacted badly to and now have to see my Dr. on the 20th to find out what is next.

    Every day is a new day for me. I have learned that although there are setbacks, they don’t hurt as much anymore. My cancer has taught me that I am surrounded by so many people who love me and care about me. I have had the most unlikely people pray for me. I have learned to love myself and take time for myself. And, although I do still have “one of those days” every once in awhile; there’s nothing more cleansing than a good old fashioned cry.

    Hang in there!

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