The Good: T's Scans still look clear....no sign of a re-occurrence. (She has scans every 3-4 months for the rest of her life now)....WHEW! So Happy about this....I've been having mini freak-outs for weeks.
The Scary: Did you know that Herceptin CAN damage your heart?
We didn't either....no one ever told us that.
Now that T is almost done with her 52 weeks of Herceptin treatment, our new oncologist tells us she's surprised we haven't re-checked T's heart since August of LAST year.
So heart tests are scheduled.
1. If there is no damage, she will continue on Herceptin maintenance (a lower dose) every 2 weeks for the next 5 years (THIS IS THE BEST WE CAN HOPE FOR)
2. If there is damage (LET's HOPE THIS IS NOT THE CASE), we have to stop all treatment after the 52 weeks are up in a little less then a month, because...
THIS is the drug that works on her type of cancer. If your "HER2NUE +", meaning that this is the receptor that the cancer cells attach too, then herceptin is your drug, because it turns off that receptor. However once your heart is too damaged, you can never use this drug (the one that works best) again. So better to stop now. That way IF there is ever a re-occurrence, it is still an option that we know works.
After meeting with the new oncologist and getting all the info. above, I ran into the old oncologist packing up her office and stopped to chat. I am quite fond of her. She saved T's life.
She took one look at me and pulled me inside her office and told me to see a doctor. Who me?!?!, I said. Then she started asking me how much weight I have lost and telling me how exhausted I look. I was a bit taken back because I've been so concerned with T's health that I don't give mine much mind.....especially since I still have no insurance, until I'm eligible (which should be before the New Year sometime).
Truth is I have lost a LOT of weight in a very short span of time, but to be honest, I just have not been that hungry.....and I've never looked better in my eyes.....LOL.
I know stress & worry has played a major role. I've been having mini panic attacks and also I know, I have a leaky mitral valve in my heart......so basically, when I have a panic attack, my chest hurts like I'm having a heart attack. Now that I know what it is though, I don't freak out. I know it's a panic attack, and I wait it out.
Anywho, the doctor finally let me go after I promised to see a doctor as soon as I have medical insurance. I could tell that she wished I would just go now, but I do not have that kind of money and I'm sure they are going to want to repeat all those crazy expensive heart tests. Sooooo, since I haven't won the lottery this week, I think I'll wait.....hummmm....Do I look that bad?