Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cycle 3, Day 1: 3 down, 5 to go!

I've spent the last couple of days focused on getting sleep and rested. Thankfully, it's been a successful quest. I posted to Cooper's blog about it this morning while I was getting my chemo infusion (click here to read it). Sorry for not copying it over, but I'm late for my nap :).
At my appointment today, Dr.Barstis discussed the differences between Cisplatin and Carbopatin since I'll be getting one of them, along with Gemcitibine, for chemo rounds 5-8. Cisplatin has a tendency to cause more side effects (mainly nausea) but might be more effective against triple negative breast cancer...although Carboplatin might also be deemed more effective. We agreed that he would contact Dr.Glaspy and discuss it with the understanding that my position on the matter is this - I will take ANYTHING that is deemed the most effective, regardless of side effects (as long as said side effects are not life threatening of course). Some people would choose fewer side effects and that's OK - this is a personal/individual choice that every patient needs to make for themselves after getting educated on the subject. But for ME - I want all guns ablazing in my fight even if that means praying to the porcelain gods for a week of every month (although Dr.B didn't seem to think I'd fare that badly since I haven't had nausea at all thanks to the anti-nausea drugs I get days 1-3).
We also talked about my return to work, again, because Dr.B is very concerned about my not getting solid sleep DAILY and he's concerned about the effect of adding more responsibility to my plate when I should be working on ensuring I get the sleep thing under control first. Chemo related fatigue usually has a cumulative effect and since I have 5 more to go after today we don't want me to set myself up for problems. I learned that the fatigue I've been experiencing is more related to the chemo than to my son's annoying sleep patterns - although they certainly go hand in hand - a perfect sleep deprivation storm, so to speak. So....we discussed a couple of alternative options to the plan we last agreed upon and I'll be deciding on that tonight and get my revised note from him tomorrow when I go in for my Neulasta shot and then I can call and let folks know what the new plan will be. I'm so grateful to my employer for being so compassionate and flexible during this critical time. I know that many people are not nearly as fortunate as me. I thank God for this and the many other blessings He has sent me.
Also, I've officially met my deductible and out of pocket maximum for the plan year (our plan year is July 1 - June 30) -- so $2k within the first 2 months of the plan year. This is after meeting those same deductibles and out of pocket maximum amounts within the LAST 2 months of the previous plan year (May and June) $4k in 4 months. This is with GREAT health insurance benefits (for which I'm very very grateful). From now through June '10, I just pay office visit co-payments - phew!!
OK...I'm an hour late for my nap and the sitter is leaving in 10 minutes - ugh - BUT Bob is home so I'm logging off and catching some quick zzzz's - doc's orders! LOL ;)


  1. Glad to hear you are having another good day. I pray that you continue to have as good of a cycle as last. My prayers are also with you as you make the decision as to which drug you will be going with in 5-8. I wore my pink for you today!

  2. You are such a courageous, fierce warrior, Julie! What a mighty spirit you have! My prayers for you continue for the very best, effective medicine, full nights and naps of restful sleep, and in thankfulness for the gracious appreciation, praise, and glory you give to God through all of this. Glad today went well. Hope you fare well after Round 3--one more round under your belt! Yet another knock-out round by JPO, at that!

  3. i pray you get the rest you need. i can't imagine how difficult the lack of sleep would be right now. you continue to amaze & inspire me, truly.

  4. Hi Julie - stay off work if you can. I just can't imagine having to deal with that right now. I find for myself that the fatigue has definitely been cumulative during chemo - worse with each session. But there's always good days each cycle too, don't worry. But you want the good days to be doing stuff with Cooper or going for a walk or something you enjoy...

  5. sleeep, sleep,sleep, my girl-chemo makes you tired like never before. I thought it was radiation that did it, but I think its more the chemo. I can take a 45 minute nap 1 hour after I wake up in the morning! Thanks for the fight'en words-keep on keeping on pilgrim!

  6. Julie - we all miss you at work, but I'd rather think of you napping and renewing energy than working on Everyday Coaching workshop schedules. Plus we'd hate to take time away from your writing. It's important and we all thank you for investing the time to share so intimately. Stay focused on you and your family. Sending you all good energy and love so that you can do that! Lila

  7. Julie -

    You're on Cycle 3 already and that is great news. Although we have not met in person, I pray for you and find you incredibly inspirational. Hang in there and fight the valiant fight!

  8. Hi Julie!
    You are always close in my thoughts and prayers and I wear something with LiveStrong on it every day in your honor and my friend next door who was diagnosed with leukemia a few months ago!

    Stay strong in spirit and go with your instinct on your decisions! You know what's best for you!

    Let me know if you need anything or want a visitor. Send me an email.

    I had a friend who beat the worst Hodgkin's diagnosis a couple of years back - his motto was FightStrong!

    Keep Fighting Strong Julie!

  9. Take care of yourself and get that beauty sleep! You are such a badass and even wonder woman needs to rest !

  10. Needless to say-you are in our daily prayers out here in Colorado!!!

    I am praying for you AND Cooper to get sleep. IS there a sleep fairie I can contact for you????

    Keep up the good spirits and I look forward to the next update.

    You are amazing and you look amazing for a sleep deprieved lady!