Today I met with Dr L, my oncologist (and my pal, Peggy, came along for company!). The good news is that my blood cell count looks good and my side effects from last week's chemo are pretty minor at this point -- two different kinds of rashes (non-itchy; and there is a chance that at least one of them was heat-related) and congestion in my nose. I was pretty sick (i.e. tired and grumpy) for a few days after chemo but that is pretty much par for the course.
I also asked Dr L lots of questions about the hysterectomy in December and I think I have finally made the decision to go ahead and do it. I am most concerned about some of the side effects I had been hearing about from some of the women on breastcancer.org but she said that these are all related to menapause for the most part and I AM going to experience these while going through menapause at some point anyway. Again, she thinks that if I take the ovaries out there is no reason to keep the uterus in there anyway. AND -- I won't have to take Tamoxofin for five years with the hysterectomy. There is another hormone treatment drug I will have to take; I forgot the name but it's not for 5 years (which makes me happy!). There is also the insurance issue -- I can pretty much get the surgery paid for (hopefully) if I do it before the end of the year.
The only issue we talked about was radiation (or "rads" as they are called by in-the-know-cancer-patients!). Rads happen everyday (excluding Saturday and Sunday) for something like 35 treatments. Dr L wants to get this new step set up by my next chemo date (August 24) but my concern (since it is 6-7 weeks) is that I will be leaving town twice in October. On Oct 15 (a Friday), Jim and I are flying to San Francisco for the Nike Women's Marathon (no time for rads that day as I will be going from work to the airport). I won't be back until the following Monday night so that also leaves out that day for rads. And then later that week I leave for a conference in Kansas City and that takes Thursday and Friday out of the picture. Dr L wants me to call Dr B and find out how rigid she wants the treatments to be. If Dr B wants them everyday no matter what I won't be able to start rads until the end of October -- which does get in the way (possibly) of chemo and the hysterectomy.
Whew! And that's about it on the cancer front! Work-wise, I have a few of my syllabi ready for the new semester and I have been reading some articles on themed ENG 101 classes. Tomorrow, we are meeting pals for lunch and a film ("Eat, Pray, Love") and then Sunday we are hosting our nephew's birthday party -- can you say "rock climbing"!?!?! I can't wait! :D