5th Line of Treatment, but first…

Disney

WE’RE GOING TO DISNEY!!

At the beginning of the school year, when we saw that the kids had a long winter break, we decided to take a trip to Mexico. As fall went on, though, my cancer was not under control and I was uncertain about a trip out of the country. By December, my oncologist came right out and said no. She didn’t want me out of her reach in a foreign country. She did say I could travel within the US, where she would be able to help me, if needed. So, we decided on Disney. My kids are teens now, and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do with them. But not over winter break! So we are going in January!

It was a good choice to postpone, too. Winter break for me was mostly bed-ridden. I was very sick. My 4th line chemo was brutal. It was like having the worst flu imaginable for 5 out of every 7 days for two weeks, and then a week off to “recover”. My week off didn’t give me any relief, though, and I was beginning to realize that it was symptoms of the cancer that were effecting me, rather than side effects from the chemo. At this point, I had already booked the trip for my next week off chemo. I came close to canceling a number of times, but decided to wait for my next oncology appointment before I made any drastic decisions. 

My appointment was the 2nd day of 2020. The doctor told me the current chemo wasn’t working ( which I had already suspected) and I’d be taking a break while the next line treatment goes through the insurance approval process. At that point, I asked if I could take a break until after the trip. I need to let my body recover a bit and I need to gain weight. I’ve barely been able to eat, and when I do eat, I end up super sick. I’ve lost way too much weight. She agreed. I’m still uncertain about the trip. The chemo is out of my system, but I’m still suffering a lot of symptoms from the cancer. I can’t eat, my digestive system is a mess, and I’m very weak. The trip is fast approaching, and I want to make it happen. 

My doctor also referred me to a doctor at Froedert, who does a procedure that sounds very promising for me.  It is called HIPEC.  http://www.hipec.com  HIPEC is the surgical removal of all visible tumor in the abdomen followed by a “bath” of heated chemotherapy directly to the abdomen. In medical terms this is referred to as cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and hyperthermic intra-peritoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC). So far, this surgery has been used mostly for patients with mesothelioma, pseudomyxoma peritonei and patients with peritoneal cancer from a colorectal tumor. Some hospitals also offer HIPEC treatment for other indications, such as peritoneal metastasis from gastric or ovarian cancer. My oncologist does not know if it’s been used with Metastatic Breast Cancer yet, but my mets are to my peritoneum (lining around the stomach and intestines), so I’m hopeful that I will be considered as a candidate. I am worried that there may be a fight with insurance if I’m the first MBC patient to have HIPEC done. 

HIPEC

I have my consultation for the surgery this Wednesday. I’m very hopeful that the surgery could give me the relief that I need from the symptoms of the peritoneal mets. I will fight to have the procedure done, no matter what it takes! It sounds so promising. 

But first, 

WE’RE GOING TO DISNEY!!

4 thoughts on “5th Line of Treatment, but first…

  1. Prayers continue and I will cross everything I can to wish you good luck. Look forward to reading about your Disney trip.

  2. Sue,

    So sorry to hear about the discomfort you continue to experience. I truly hope that you are able to diminish your suffering! Fingers crossed on finding a way to achieve that.

    I seemed to somehow have lost a week in January (? Oops!). My mom is having surgery on the 20th for a huge hernia (at 78, she wanted to lift a table – go figure…). And I thought it was much farther away.

    Same with a certain birthday girl, I know…! Tee-hee. I recently read a super cool coffee table book (pictures!) regarding nature. And long intended to send for your birthday this year. I’ll do so today on Amazon – its on the way. I think you’ll love it. Very cool just to browse through as well.

    Enjoy experiencing Disney with the gals (doesn’t seem accurate to call them girls any longer – so big and mature!). I’m sure they’ll love enjoying some warm weather with you. Pace yourself, woman – that place is insanely huge and complex compared to the “rinky dink” version we saw when kids. Haha.

    Love you! e

    Pardon errors and brevity – sent from my phone

    >

  3. How beautiful that you are going to Disney. You so deserve this family vacation and hopefully you will feel good to enjoy every minute
    You are always in our prayers!

    Julie Monahan
    Laura Balsiger’s sister

  4. Pingback: Hope – 1knightsjourney

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