In the last month, we’ve been to a ridiculous number of appointments meeting with breast surgeons, breast oncologists, plastic surgeons, cardiologists, radiologists, and I can’t even count how many different various imaging techs. All of these appointments have worked together to form The Plan.
The plan for my treatment is chemotherapy first, followed by surgery, and possibly radiation, then followed by an IV and oral drug for one and a few years respectively.
We mentioned in the Killer Boobs post that my particular type of cancer is Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, this is pretty common in younger women since it’s one of the more aggressive cancer cells (young women tend to have more aggressive cancers). Where my cancer departs from the “young women norm” is that my cells have positive receptors for Estrogen, Progesterone, and the HER2 protein (for some more information on the HER2 protein here’s a video from D-F). These are all things that power or feed the cancer cells, and they are all treatable with some newer, highly effective drug therapies.
So here’s a rundown my chemo plan:
I will have 6 cycles of chemo, each cycle will be 3 weeks apart. The total chemo treatment (barring any health delays) will run about 18 weeks, since I began chemo on Mon 4/7 it will likely go into mid-July.
Herceptin (Trastuzumab) – this drug targets the HER2 protein, it’s a fairly new drug that is very effective at stopping/slowing the growth of the HER2 protein. A big plus of this drug is that it carries few side effects and is generally well tolerated, this is great since I will continue to receive this drug every three weeks for one year.
Perjeta (Pertuzumab) – this drug also targets the HER2 protein and is generally used with the above Herceptin as well as another drug that I am receiving. I will receive this for the 6 cycles.
Taxotere (Docetaxel) – This is a chemotherapy drug that works well with the above two to attack breast cancer. It carries the ‘normal’ chemo side effects with it, nausea, fatigue, low blood counts, and so on. But it has a proven record of working well on the type of cancer that I have.
Carboplatin – This is a fairly common chemo drug as it’s been around for a while and is used to treat a wide array of cancers.
After I’m done with the chemo listed above I will have surgery and then go onto some more drugs but we’ll get into that in another post.
Love, Hope, and Laughter!!