Lezlie Russo

First post: Nov 1, 2021 Latest post: Feb 17, 2023
Wow, November 1, 2021! Where does the time go? Today, I am 64 1/2 years old which means I must now register for Medicare! Say what??!!! Oh well, with age come benefits, right?

OK, enough small talk, I guess. For those of you who don't know, I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma in my left breast, It is Stage IIB grade 3 . It is also Triple negative which tends to be more aggressive with a higher rate of recurrence. A lot of information, I know; but bottom line is that my fine team of doctors at Kaiser recommended taking a very aggressive approach at killing this beast within met wit Chemo before surgery. After consulting with my dear friend who is also a well-respected breast surgeon who agreed with the plan, I decided to move forward with the plan.

All of that said, after going through numerous scans and tests to determine the current state of my body (which helped ensure this old girl could take this!) and placing an access port in my chest my first chemotherapy treatment was October 18th. There are two drugs used in my current A/C treatment plan, Adriamycin and Cytoxan. Adriamycin is often referred to as "Red Devil" both because of its bright red color and its nasty side effects. For me, I choose to think of it as the Blood of Christ because it, like the Blood of Christ, can heal me! I will have four cycles of this treatment each two weeks apart before proceeding to the Taxol treatments. The total plan for Chemo will go through late March 2022. Hopefully, completing everything, including the follow-up surgery by my 65th birthday in May.

That first round went pretty well. They pumped anti-nausea drugs into me before the treatment, so the dreaded nausea was not a problem, however, it was nap time for about 12 hours right after! I was prescribed a variety of drugs and steroids in the coming days to help counteract nausea and other side effects. I also had to do shots in my belly on days 3-9 to help ensure my blood counts didn't drop too dramatically. The first week was pretty uneventful other than some fatigue.

The week of the 25th brought on some tummy trouble though with indigestion, and some waves of nausea. Yet another "pill" was added to my medicine arsenal.   I have never been a napper, but the mild fatigue and disruptive sleep has made this a frequent necessity; so I am thankful to be off of work on disability. On the 27th, I learned what "the metallic taste", that some friends who had gone through cancer treatment described was. Suddenly, my new stainless steel water bottle became my worst enemy! My taste buds were also weakened which made cooking and enjoying tasty food a necessity rather than a pleasure.

A few days ago, I took a friend and went wig shopping. Of course, vanity is not my thing, however, likely becoming bald is not exactly my thing either, so, I wanted to be prepared to at least be more presentable when we went out and/or for special occasions. Shout out to the staff at "Wigs R Us" in Roseville. They did a nice job of introducing me to some different and classy styles that actually looked real. They made me feel right at home and even had Christian music playing during my visit. They told me not to worry about the color as I tried them on, but to focus on the style. There were several that I found very cute. Interestingly, one of the ones that Vic liked was actually a light to mid auburn color. I have never had dark hair like that before and even the stylist there and later my personal stylist said that it "made my eyes pop". So, who knows, maybe it would be fun to change things up! Funny thing is, the next night hair began to come out by the handfuls, so I guess I'd better hurry up make a decision!

Well, that brings this pretty much up to date. Treatment #2 is at 1:00 PM) today, so between me or my girls, we will provide another update soon. To you my friends and family, I appreciate your prayers and loving support. Please know that I truly believe "God's Got This!" He knew about this cancer long before I did. He had a plan for me as I walk through it and I trust that His ways are perfect and right. I will hold on to His promises and His Word, and keep firmly in His grip during this time because He loves me and I Him. I only hope to bring glory to him as His disciple as I do! God Bless you all!

Till next time, I send my love,