Thursday, December 3, 2009

"The Plan"

Sorry I haven't updated the blog on what CJ and I have decided to choose as our plan for cancer treatment.

We've decided on Plan C. Which wasn't on the original list. (I tend to make stuff up as a go along) None of the options sounded good, so this is our compromise.

Plan C

I'm going to see my third oncologist doctor, Neelima Dendalouri, on December 16th. She is recommended by both my plastic surgeon, Dr. Venturi, and the Johns Hopkins oncologist, Dr. Prowell. According to Dr. Prowell, Dr. Dendalouri will probably recommend the same chemo regimen that Dr. Prowell suggested.

This would mean:

Six cycles of TC. Taxotere and Carboplatin are the drug names. The six cycles take place over 18 weeks. During this time, I will be taking Herceptin along with chemo. I will continue taking Herceptin for the rest of the year, after I have finished chemo.

After this delightful process finishes, I will take a medically recommended break. The doctors want to see any side effects of chemo and Herceptin wear off. This way, any side effects of other drugs that are prescribed afterwords will not be mistaken for the chemo/Herceptin side effects.

And this is where I deviate from Dr. Prowell's suggestions. I am going to use this medical downtime to see how my menstrual cycle is doing after chemo. I will track it with my trusty basal body temp thermometer and my Ovusoft computer program.

I want to see if:

a. I get my period back
b. If I'm actually ovulating
c. How many days I'm fertile and see if that time period has decreased since chemo

Of course, I will also have my first mammogram since treatment and blood work to make sure the cancer hasn't come back.

Then CJ, my oncologist, and I will have a tense sit-down to discuss how many months/years of Tamoxifen I'm willing to do. The longer I'm on Tamoxifen, the higher my chances are of going into full-blown menopause. Not good since I want to have another child. Of my own. Produced and manufactured by me.

We will proceed from there. It's a "wait and see" plan. I can't make a permanent decision about my future until after I've done all the above.

I'm sure this will make my doctor slightly crazy. Too bad. I'm the one who has to live with the long-term consequences.


  1. Thanks for the update, Polly! Sounds like a good plan to me. Hope the next appointment goes well.

  2. You're the strongest women I know! Love you!