Single Shot gets double whammied

12 Nov

Originally published October 13, 2011 on SingleShotSeattle.wordpress.com

As some of you may have noticed, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything new on this blog. Part of the radio silence was because I was really busy with my writing; in addition to my usual freelance assignments, I started working on a novel.  

But in February of this year, I was sidetracked with something else: breast cancer.

I don’t know if breast cancer and the single life are all that intertwined —  there are plenty of studies regarding breast cancer and age, ethnicity, geographic location, etc., but nothing on marital status — but I thought I might as well start posting a few of my thoughts and stories on the subject. What the heck, it’s my blog.  ; )

But first a few vitals for those who might be interested.  After finding a weird “tuck” on my left breast, I went for a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound on February 4, 2011 and was told I had three tumors in my two breasts. A needle biopsy the following week found yet another tumor. On February 11, my radiologist called to tell me all of the tumors were positive for invasive lobular carcinoma. On February 18, I met with my surgeon for the first time and she told me I would need a double mastectomy (talk about a bad first date). After two very rough months, that took place on April 18. 

While at first my surgeon thought I might be able to get away with “just” the double mastectomy and hormone therapy (i.e., tamoxifen for the next five years),   more fun awaited me when the post-surgery pathology report came back. Due to the size of the tumors (the “two” tumors in my left breast were actually one) and some minor lymph node involvement (again on the left side), I was told I would need further treatment.

So what did I do with my summer vacation?  Chemo, which is not nearly as much fun as it seemed on Sex and the City. I had four infusions total — my particular cocktail was taxotere and cytoxan — with my last infusion taking place August 8.  Chemo was every three weeks with only the first week being the really bad one. But it does wear a body down, so much so that by the time I was done, I could barely walk up the four flights of stairs to my apartment without stopping to rest about eight times. Thankfully, after a few weeks’ recuperation, I was up and running again – literally. At this point, I’ve been able to kick all of the chemo side effects to the curb (except for the hair loss, grrrr) and am halfway through radiation. Woo hoo!

So that’s the scoop on that.  As for the single life – particularly life as a single woman with breast cancer — I’m doing a series of stories on the subject for Today/MSNBC.com. I’ll post them as they go live. And I look forward to any questions you might have about this whole breast cancer thing, which I’m personally trying to treat like a really bad case of the mumps.

That’s it for now. Cheers to you all and thanks for reading.

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Single Shot gets double whammied”

  1. Kim December 8, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

    I’m on the same chemo treatment/schedule that you were on. I just got home from my first session and the only side effect that I’m experiencing is that I’m a bit thirsty. That could be because of the half a sleeve of saltines that I wolfed down while getting my pre-meds. Nerves, anxiety, etc…no pill can fix what a saltine can do.

    • singleshot1 December 8, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

      Congrats on making it through your first session, Kim, and drink as much water as you can (thirsty or no). You want to flush that stuff out of your system as much as you can.

      FYI, I was fine the first and second day, but by day 3, started to feel off. By day 4 & 5, the nausea, bone pain and overall crappiness set in pretty hard. Take your meds as prescribed (they gave me Zofran for nausea and Vicadin and Claritin D – oddly enough – for the bone pain). There may have been other drugs, but I’ve spaced them out (chemo brain does exist).

      One more thing try to keep as active as you possibly can, even on the days when you feel like death warmed over. If you can even get out to walk a mile, it’ll help you a lot during this whole process. Thanks for writing and thinking of you.

      -Diane

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: