March 2012 - Denise Neish


Posted by | Surgery, Thoughts, Updates | No Comments


Written Mar 20, 2012 10:50pm

Last time I wrote I was kind of feeling like I was done with treatment, but for being “done” I sure have been in hospitals a lot lately!

One thing that I wasn’t going to write about, (but decided that I will), is that I had another surgery about two weeks after my hysterectomy.  That was stage 1 of my reconstructive surgery.  It was unclear if the surgeon could get the job done in one surgery or not because of scar tissue, and tight tissue from radiation.  I really kind of got my heart set on being done quickly with the one surgery and just healing at the same time as I was healing from the other surgery.  I just wanted to be done, and start running more and getting ready for my race in June.  BUT, it didn’t work out that way.
I won’t go into all the details, but I have to have a follow up surgery in about a month from now.  And in the meantime, I have actually been way more sore than I thought I would be from a surgery that has absolutely nothing to do with my health, just with putting my body back together.  I definitely underestimated the reconstructive surgery!
On another note, I went up to Huntsman on Friday for my Herceptin.  First I had a mugascan, which I have had several times over the past year, to see how my heart is handling the drug.  Herceptin is hard on the heart, just like Adriamycin was.  I had assumed that my ejection fraction in my heart would improve as I got further away from chemo.  It had gotten up to 55%, and I assumed it would only get better from there, but then it went down to 51% the time before last.  I did another mugascan on Friday, and then met with my doctor.  We talked about how long I would do Herceptin, and she said that I could stay on it for longer than a year if my heart was handling it well.  We didn’t have the results yet from my muga.
Then I went down to the infusion room and waited for my Herceptin.  Fortunately the lab took a long time getting it to me, because then Dr. “B” came down to the infusion room personally (which she never does) and told me that I was not going to be allowed to receive Herceptin for a while.  She said, “We just got the results from your mugascan, my dear, and it is 42%.”
I was so surprised!  That is really bad!  She told me that she was taking me off Herceptin for at least nine weeks, and then we would do another mugascan at that point.  She told me that if I felt dizzy or couldn’t catch my breath, then I should call them immediately.  My face was turning red as she spoke because I felt so scared.  I have been feeling so tired lately, and now I know why.  I got Zometa, the bone strengthening drug, and then went home.
After I talked to Branden about it he looked up some stuff that made me feel a lot better.  My heart should bounce back pretty well since I am not taking Herceptin now.  It definitely should not do any permanent damage, so I just need to be off it until my heart is stronger.  Herceptin is a great drug for fighting cancer, but I may not even have any more cancer in me at this point, and most people don’t take it longer than a year.  So, I want to be able to continue taking it, but I don’t want to ruin my heart in the process!  I will just have to wait and see what happens with my next mugascan.  In the meantime, the good news is that I won’t be going up to Huntsman for 9 weeks!  =)
So, I will have one more surgery in a month, and then hopefully I will have time to get in shape for the half marathon I signed up for.  I really have had a hard time running at all lately, and have mostly just been walking, so I don’t know if I will have enough time to get feeling peppy and be able to run 13 miles by June.  I am going to plan on doing it, and try my best to get some running in, but if it isn’t the best for my health, of course, I won’t do it.  I think there is a good chance I’ll be able to do it though.
I will have my next PET scan at the beginning of May.
We have been getting some really nice weather lately, and I have just been so excited to be running, and done with surgeries, and feeling great.  I know it will come, but I am feeling a little impatient now that I am almost done.  Patience.  That’s a hard one!!