It’s only half a year since Erika’s mom successfully completed her treatment for breast cancer. And now Erika is setting out on that path. She has begun her own battle against breast cancer.
She has been diligent at self-exam, and when she found something strange, she got right to her doctor. Tests revealed that she has a small mass that is a rapidly growing form of cancer, confined to one breast. Ironically, this fast-growing cancer is particularly receptive to chemotherapy. So that, coupled with its having been caught early, the prognosis is excellent. Both Erika’s oncologist, Dr. Tsai, and her surgeon, Dr. Anderson, stressed the we have every reason to expect that Erika will defeat this evil beast, even to using the word “curable.”
Erika has already begun her chemotherapy. She has 12 weekly treatments of the relatively milder poisons. (That is, of course, what chemo is.) And then she faces 4 treatments of a combination that incudes “The Red Devil” – aptly nicknamed because it’s very harsh. She’ll have four infusions given every other week, and then she’ll have some recovery time. After chemo we’ll know more about surgery and radiation – whether, and if so, of what kind. Erika’s family is all too familiar with the routine.
This is the same path Kathy followed. And Erika has the same treatment team who cared for Kathy. We have the utmost confidence in and affection for both of them. (In fact even the same radiologist read both mammograms!) For this reason and more, we are all confident as we go forth.
And our friends and family have been heaping support on Erika and our family. As anyone who knows here might expect, Erika is dealing with everything in a straightforward, no-drama way. She’s not repressing her emotions, but she’s also well-grounded and is taking this seriously. She’ll welcome your good wishes and prayers. But she’s not a fan of “syrupy.”(Be forewarned.)
Erika's boyfriend, Haydn (spelled like but not pronounced like the composer) has been a rock. He's accompanied her to appointments (something that was hard even for me, and I'm old and used to hard knocks) and sat with her and Kathy for the first chemo. We commend and love him for himself, yes, but also for the serious care he takes of our daughter. We have every confidence that he will be a primary support for seeing her through this.
Erika’s friend (and one of our second daughters) Rachel Weir came up with the name for this site. It has a nifty pun embedded in it. (We expect nothing less from her! She’s brilliant.) Chemosabe shows in Urban Dictionary with a meaning like “chemo brain”—a family joke for months. And it also resonates with “kemosabe” with its overtones of working together and mutual support. And that is the goal of this site. You’ll be a companion with Erika and us during this challenging (to say the least) time. We all, Erika most, will welcome your interest and support.