Round five - bring it on!

Well here we are - hard to believe, but three weeks have already gone by and it's time again tomorrow for my friendly meeting with the chemo dragon. This time is different, though - I know now that I can and will make it through two more treatments, and then can stick a fork in this part of the "journey!"

Brian and I met with a radiation oncologist last week to determine if we will be doing radiation, and, after much research and thought, we have decided to decline radiation treatments. The benefits of doing radiation on someone like me, who underwent a double mastectomy to remove 98 - 99% of breast tissue, including a small tumor and only one positive lymph node are not conclusive, and Brian and I have decided that the risks of radiation are not worth the possible benefits. As we understand it, I have an approximately 10% chance of a local recurrence (meaning in the skin and remaining breast tissue - radiation does NOT impact systemic recurrence, meaning lung, liver, etc. metastisis) (OK I have no idea how to spell that and I will not justify taking time to look up how to spell such a nasty word) with no radiation, and a 5% chance with radiation. We are at peace with our decision, and ready for the "treatment" phase to be over and the "reconstruction" phase to begin!

We are looking forward to being done with Round 5, and it's associated week-long "side effects" just in time to celebrate Christmas with my parents, Brian's parents, Brian's sister and her husband and their 3-month old baby Elijah who we will be meeting for the first time, and my aunt and cousin. It will be so wonderful to have everyone together and to enjoy Ty's and Elijah's first Christmases. Despite this crazy journey that we have been on for the past few months, we feel truly lucky to have so many blessings in our life. We hope you all are enjoying the holidays; hug your family and friends and tell them how glad you are that they are in your life!

Warm holiday wishes and love,


Anonymous said...

Go in strong, your doing great!

Anonymous said...

You go girl! I wish I had your strength. Your positive attitude WILL get you through this ordeal. Merry Christmas and all the best next year. Much love. Sandy

Anonymous said...

You continue to be as darling as the first time I saw you as a tiny tiny baby. You had spunk and sparkle then (you were the only baby making noise in the nursery) and you continue to have the zest and passion. Love to you and Brian, many hugs and kisses to Drew and Ty. & LOVE LOVE LOVE from all the Lyon's

A.J. said...

I think you made a good decision for yourself. (Side note: my mom declined both chemo and radiation after her mastectomy/lymphectomy. She took Tamoxofen for five years. She is a survivor of 16+ years with no recurrences.)
Here's to being closer to the final stretch! Hang in there.
~Amy A.

jennifer said...

Evidently the strength of your parents came straight to you. I'm wishing you all the best for a good session today and a speedy recovery time.
Merry Christmas to you and yours; I know it will be a lot of fun!

Hillbilly travels said...

Stay strong A! Every time I read your blog it continues to inspire me. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us and for being so open and honest. I'm looking forward to seeing you over the holidays, even if it's just for a quick hug between all of your family events. I get home on X-mas eve so I'll try calling you on the 26th once all the festivities have quieted down! Miss you heaps.


Anonymous said...

Just a quick note saying..."Merry Christmas!" You have so much to be Thankful for..Your strength(to Ruuuunnn... bike, exercise in general) Your spirit..(to laugh,sing,dance and celebrate LIFE!) stay strong! keep smiling!& like I always say.. "Stand Tall...Walk Proud!!"

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