***UPDATE SEPT 2019, scroll to Journal entries below for current story***
I am sharing my mom's story - I have a lot of family and friends that are eager to know "how is mom?" and this a simple way to share. There is also the therapy aspect of it for me to create (#) a journal of the events that will forever change her and our family. What I share is only what I feel and learn from mom...as well as what I know she has shared or is comfortable sharing. So, with that being said, here is the story so far...let's go back a few weeks from now... On Tuesday July 15th, Mom was diagnosed with "invasive ductal carcinoma." The original treatment plan was to have a lumpectomy and radiation. A few days later after mom was given the diagnosis, the surgeon had met with the group of specialists (aka the tumor board) - it was deemed necessary to add chemotherapy to the treatment plan. The question then became to do chemo before or after surgery. The primary difference between the treatment is that pre-surgical or "neoadjuvant chemotherapy" is specific for the her2 receptor and neoadjuvant chemo is better for this receptor. Chemotherapy/antibody infusions are completed every 3 weeks locally in Port Huron for 4 1/2 months. After the chemotherapy is completed a lumpectomy and subsequent radiation will begin. There are still a lot of unknowns, but we do know is that she has an army of family and friends that are helping as much as possible.
On Thursday July 31st... mom had Chemo day #1... My Aunt Lynn (a retired nurse) was able to be there with mom and keep her company as well as assist in the translation that my mom often refers to as "Docterease." The medical jargon is often overwhelming and it is a huge benefit to have a nurse as an aunt and cousin that is an M.D. The following day mom had to return to the medical center for additional medication to hopefully give her white blood cells a BOOST! The chemo creates immunosuppression (weakened immune system) and this booster for the WBC is to help counteract the WBC drop that happens in this process. Chemo Day#1 mom also learned that in fact she should have a port placed. Although she is a great patient and typically an easy IV start (#)... With the ongoing blood work, chemo, and if needed, hydration it is better for her in the long run.
Today, August 5th... she had her port placed - an out-patient procedure and although surgery is short...ended up being a long day for her and Aunt Lynn. She is 5 days post first chemo round and has been feeling ok. She did share one morning awoke to some pain (the WCB (#) booster can cause aches from the bone marrow stimulation). Overall she has an amazing attitude and will to fight this.
I've created this site so that when updates and news become available we can reach everyone quickly. This by no means is a substitute for an in person visit or phone call - but rather, an efficient way of keeping everyone that wants to know what is happening fairly easily. She did say to me over the weekend that early afternoon is a good time for her to nap :) and she is taking full advantage of the time for her body to heal and fight this nasty disease.
You can setup your account (#) so that you get a text or email when something is posted. Or you can visit whenever you want to check in on us.
Keeping a positive outlook (#) is our goal and keeping mom healthy on this journey. That being said, with chemotherapy mom will taking care to avoid illness, so if you have been sick or been around someone sick...go with the phone call till you feel better in lieu of the in person visit. :)
Obviously this isn't meant to be accepted as medical advice etc... I am translating the medicine as it has been explained to me. As a Dentist, this is clearly outside my scope of practice and by no means have a 100% understanding of everything that is ahead of her.