I'm pleased to report that I'm feeling great and haven't been blogging because I'm super busy just living life. As you might guess, I'm up to my old tricks! This includes helping my Aunt Kathy celebrate her birthday two times before heading up to Vermont to serve as maid of honor in Ali's wedding on October 3, co-hosting Jori's baby shower this past Sunday, babysitting for a few friends several times over the past couple of weeks, attending a TWIG coffee to say hello and thank so many of my TWIG friends who have been so nice to me over the past six months, helping Melissa S. prepare for her annual fall oyster roast that is this weekend (the forecast isn't looking good...boo!), working on a few design projects, and running around with Michelle -- either at the dog park with River and Lucy or doing wedding errands.
Despite all of the things I'm doing with and for others, I'm actually making some time for myself. I'm walking every morning with my mom and River (always the 45-minute route now!), I've rejoined the gym and am starting Pilates reformer classes this week, and I'm planning my first annual holiday shopping fundraiser at the end of the month to support ovarian cancer research (I need to get the Evite out for that today!). Oh, and Alison and I are going to have a spa day on Friday at...you guessed it...Sugar House. I'm finally going to start using all of the fantastic gift certificates I've accumulated over the past several months to get some much needed massages and other treatments to try and spruce myself up.
Since we're catching up, I thought I'd give you a brief medical update. I had my last chemo planning appointment with Dr. E on Monday, September 28. We went over a long laundry list of topics but here are the highlights:
- He recommended that I get both a regular flu and H1N1 vaccine this fall. I've never received a flu vaccine before (nor have I had the flu) and am highly skeptical about doing so, particularly since I'm not on planes or trains or any other form of public transportation these days. I don't know what it is but I'm just not into flu shots. I'll let you know what I decide to do about this one.
- He wrote me a prescription for Tamoxifan, which is an anti-estrogen drug. I'll take 20 mg of it for at least the next five years but probably for the rest of my life. Fortunately, because my tumor was 92% estrogen receptive, taking an anti-estrogen drug should help suppress future tumor growth. Tamoxifan is particularly effective on microscopic cancer cells so I started taking it last week, which was two weeks after my last treatment. I figured if I'm going to take it I might as well get it started when it's most effective. No time like the present, right?
- He wants me to make sure I get 1500 mg of calcium everyday to help ward off osteoporosis (you know, since I don't have any estrogen anymore at the age of 32 I'm at increased risk for that too...). Have any of you tried to do this? It's hard to take enough pills to get this amount and when I come close to doing so it causes other problems...if you get my drift. So, I'm taking what I can and hoping I get the rest from dark leafy greens. Oh, and my weight training should also help with the osteoporosis too.
- Finally, we discussed when I'll see him next, which is in December. I'll have a CT scan, mammogram (good times!), and blood work before I go in for an exam (more good times!) with Dr. E. Depending on how things look, I probably won't have a CT scan every three months (too much radiation!) but I will have blood work done and see Dr. E every three months for the next two years. Then, if I'm still doing well, I'll see him every six months for the next three years. I'm considered cured at five years and I go back to being a normal, healthy person who only sees their doctor once a year.
Okay, I've got to go. The dog is barking for attention and I need to clear out to run several errands before heading over to hang out with the Pryzstawik kids for the afternoon and evening. I will be back tomorrow to give everyone an overview of another BIG project I'm going to work on over the next year. And don't worry MPR...pictures of various celebrations will be posted before the end of the week!