On our way to Seattle ... with two wedding dresses in tow =)
Falling Waters ... our beautiful venue
Hair, Make-up, and wedding party prep ... in the fabulous glamping tents.
An amazing ceremony, party, and all around celebration with our friends & family.
Good News ... Bad News kinda day at the Dr.
Good news... MRI shows no node activity in my lymph nodes. Tumor did not grow
Bad/Confusing news ... Tumor did not shrink away from the chest wall, appears to and shrunk into it. Does not appear to have invaded the chest wall, just sitting on top of it. Two radiologists and Dr. Tjoe all measured the tumor size differently... some interesting things on the MRI images, show different opinions on tumor size based on the images. May be scar tissue, fibroids, etc.
After a lengthy discussion with Dr. Tjoe, we confirmed to move ahead with the plan ... lumpectomy to remove the tumor from the breast and to remove 1-3 lymph nodes (assuming they can confirm positive node from before is sentinel node in pre-surgery tests). Node plan is a variance from standard of care, but one we feel balances all of the health risks; cancer recurrence, lymphedema, etc.
This was overall great news. MRI shows chemo had less than desired results, but also confirmed the tumor does not appear to have spread, so growth was controlled with chemo. Kinda sad after 6 months of chemo and all the grossness that come with that treatment to feel it was marginally helpful (my words, not my Dr's).
Happy to leave for Seattle to marry Ms. Heather Dooley again with a clear plan. My surgery is scheduled for Sept. 8th.
Started my day fighting construction, and thankfully not traffic, to go to Aurora St Luke's (a different location from my normal Sinai) for my MRI. Sinai is getting a new MRI (handy down from St Luke's) and doesn't have a working MRI for breast imaging.
My visit started off a bit unfortunately ...
Good news... I figured out where to park and the walk wasn't too bad.
As for the injection ... they had to poke me with another needle. Apparently you can't use a port when you are laying on your stomach in an MRI. Last Tue when my port was being cranky and they couldn't use my port for my blood withdrawal, they had to take blood from my hand. My hand bruised pretty much immediately, and it didn't look pretty. With our wedding this Saturday, I wanted to avoid adding a new injection site with new bruises. As a result, they used Ultrasound to find a vein on the inside of my upper arm. Between that action my the med tech and arnica (major bruise healing natural root), I settled into the MRI in pretty good spirits. 1 hr in the tube and I was good to go. Not the most comfortable way to spend an hour, but also not bad. I find it much better to be face down than face up in the small tube. I also fell asleep for most of the hour. Those magnets sure have a way of putting me to sleep.
Today, I completed my last chemo treatment ... six months of chemo in total. 3 on A/C and 3 on Taxol. Today was treatment 12 of 12 for Taxol. Adios Taxol! Please give me back the feeling in my feet and finger tips.
In a weird way, I didn't want today to come. Not because I didn't want to keep doing chemo, duh! I hate chemo. It's gross. But, it's a necessary evil. So I must buck up and get it done. Step 1 of 3 for treatment was a long haul of 6 months of chemo. It was a tough routine to get into, but once there ... it was a routine. Next, I move into unknown and face decisions I don't want to second guess and fear. As much as I preach change at work, even I have a hard time with change. Who doesn't. It's human nature. I've been visiting this clinic 1-2 days a week for 3-5 hr appointments. This place has became routine. And in a state of unknown and uneasiness about he next steps, I say goodbye to my routine that has kept me going through this for a challenging but manageable journey through chemo.
In less of a weird way, and something I've been counting down shamelessly to anyone who would listen ... LAST DAY OF CHEMO! Since I'm more visual and wordy, I'll let the pictures and captions walk you through the day.
Meet the women of Sinai's Vince Lombardi Cancer Center ... or what I sometimes call it in my head, VLCC.
We arrive at 1 pm and started our day by dropping off a tray of lemon and chocolate chip bars for the valet crew. These guys are awesome! They take great car of us and our cars and their service is free! Amazing. Awesome.
We were in celebration mode since we walked in the Vince Lombardi Cancer Center - Sinai. This has been a second home to me for the last six months, 1-2 a week. The women that work there are just fabulous. Today, we will introduce you to them. Front Desk Cathy was on vacation for photo day. We also didn't see my nurse coordinator Monique. Hopefully we can get some later of them =) They missed the tray of treats we brought the clinic. Food treats, especially Heather Dooley made treats from scratch, are always a big hit ;)