So - since my last post in December, I have officially started my herceptin-only treatments, which will be every three weeks until September. Herceptin is a non-chemo drug that targets the "Her2Neu" expression of the kind of cancer I had. (LOVE being able to write "had"!!!!!!) Despite assurances from my doctor, nurses and even patients currently on Herceptin, I was terrified of what side effects Herceptin would have on my body. Flashbacks of the exhaustion, GI problems and nauseau kept running through my head as I sat in the doctor's office receiving my first Herceptin-only treatment. Taking just 30 minutes to run through my body (versus 3+ hours for chemo) it felt like a breeze, plus there was no need to go back the next day for a Neulasta shot and fluids like I did with chemo. Easy-peasy, as my 4-year-old would say. Then I waited for the side effects to kick in. And waited. And waited. And finally, when 5 days had passed with no apparent side effects other than some minor fatigue the first night, I just about threw a party! This I can handle for 7 more months! Unfortunately, the one side effect that can be pretty major is that Herceptin can occassionally cause decrease in heart function. Yeah, big side effect. Luckily, the kind of decrease it would cause is not like a heart attack or anything; just a potential (temporary) decrease in ejection fraction and I am monitored every three months to make sure it's not going down. The echo I did in January before starting Herceptin-only treatments showed no decrease in ejection fraction since starting Herceptin (along with chemo) in September, so for now, I'm in the clear. Will be keeping fingers crossed that it stays that way, especially now that I'm back to nice, hard workouts 6 days a week!! Yipppeeee!!!! Both my dr. and personal trainer think exercise is not only fine, but possibly the best thing in terms of keeping my heart healthy, which I was glad to hear, because I am LOVING the frequency and intensity of being able to work out hard core again!! Never felt so good or appreciated the ability to push my body several days a week.
And on that note, I am thrilled to announce that, since completing chemo, finally being able to work out hard again, and beginning a new, super heathly (OK, and very low-calorie) eating regimen, I have lost more than 10 pounds in 4 weeks! Allright, 7 of them were baby weight pounds, but still, I am so proud of myself, and have never been more excited about eating tons of fruits and veggies, severing my 20+ year relationship with Diet Coke to start a new love affair with sparkling water, and possibly the biggest personal feat - replacing white bread with whole wheat products. The difference has been dramatic, and addicting. I am writing down every calorie that goes into my mouth, yet allowing myself tiny treats now and then to keep me satisfied and motivated. And I'm looking forward to maintaining this lifestyle for years to come, and reaping the benefits of truly healthy eating - something I always thought I was doing, but wasn't entirely. With a goal of 5-15 more pounds to go, I am excited to have a rockin' body to match my new fake boobs!!!
Also since kissing chemo goodbye I got to board a plane for the first time in months, and, along with Brian, Drew and Ty, flew out to Indy to see my beloved Colts take on Baltimore last weekend. Words can't truly describe how happy I was to enjoy the pre-game festivities with friends and family, and I won't lie, I even cried when they started singing the national anthem. It's the little things, people. I felt so lucky and blessed to have the opportunity to enjoy the things, and people, I love, for years to come. When the opportunity presented itself to stay in Indy this week and attend the AFC Championship game vs. the Jets this weekend, well, it was no-brainer. We've had a really great time this week, enjoying each other and things we don't get to do all the time.
Love to all... and don't forget to root for the Colts this weekend!