I am at NY Oncology Hematology getting my first dose of my first cycle of my second chemotherapy regimen: Gemzar (gemcitabine) and carboplatin. I like to sit in an out-of-the-way corner because it’s quieter–no chair neighbors watching TV. It’s the same chemo schedule as before–Day 1 and Day 8 of a 21-day cycle–but very different drugs with more recognizable “chemo sucks” side effects.
I have been very lucky to be on a chemo drug without those side effects all these months! (22 months to be exact).
But now my cancer has begun, as my oncologist said Wednesday, “to start acting the way we expect of triple-negative breast cancer.” Meaning the Eribulin stopped preventing new sites of disease from developing, and up they popped. Last week’s CT scans showed all this:
—the many small “spots” in my lungs grew, showing that they are metastases (which we pretty much knew)
—there’s a 1 cm lesion in my pancreas and some mysterious associated fluid collection around the pancreas
—another small tumor seems to have developed on one adrenal gland
–there are two enlarged lymph nodes in my abdomen
—in the lining behind my left lung was about a liter of fluid that was a mix of blood and pleural fluid. Not sure what caused that, exactly, but it is likely due to some more tiny cancer cells blocking the normal drainage of the area between the two pleural layers (some fluid is normal). I had it drained by the pulmonologist on Wednesday–they took out 600 ml and said there was more in other smaller “pockets” they didn’t bother to drain. Now we have to wait and see whether the fluid will collect again.
Other than the pleural effusion compressing my left lung and adding to my shortness of breath, none of these new things cause any symptoms. We hope that the two new chemo drugs will control or reduce them as well as keep control of my two original mets (R lung and sternum).
So I had a full month off of chemo. And now it’s back to the negotiating tables since the cancer decided it had a lot more things to say to me.