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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Chemo schedule set & Wedding pics

So here's the newest cancer update. Had my oncology appointment w/Dr. Lisa Carey and I will be starting a 16 week chemotherapy regimen starting on Thursday, June 10. For 8 weeks, I'll be receiving 4 doses every 2 weeks (or every other week) of AC (I can't spell let alone pronounce these two drugs but I think they are adrenomyacin & cyclophoshphetene -- apparently they are common chemo drugs) and then I'll be on a round of Toxil for 8 weeks, receiving 4 doses every 2 weeks/every other week, which means I should be done with the entire round of chemo in late September. The schedule may be amended if I have to stop treatment due to low white blood cell count or if I catch the flu (hence, I'm avoiding all populations of folks who get sick--which is why I'm not teaching in the fall). So if all goes well I should be scheduled for surgery in the last week of October or first week of November (that's the bi-lateral/double mastectomy that Dr. Amos will be doing).

The first 8 weeks of the AC chemo drugs take about 3-4 hours (including a clinic appointment w/Dr. Carey & anti-nausea meds they give me) and the last 8 weeks on toxil is longer -- probably 5-6 hours (the infusion for toxil is 3 hours vs. 1.5 for the AC cocktail). Major side effects will include nausea (they'll manage this with meds), low blood count (both white and red), fatigue, and hair loss--but of course there are other symptoms (like mouth/throat sores, bleeding, blood clotting issues) that can also happen (rarer but possible, at least the blood stuff).

So that ends the medical portion of this post. I'll be having out-patient surgery next week Tuesday, June 8 @3pm to put in a port that will go below my collarbone--that's how I'll be receiving chemo. The worst thing about out-patient surgery is that you can't eat for 6 hours prior to surgery and you can't drink anything 2 hours prior to surgery--UGH. But you know, compared with what I'll be faced with in terms of chemo and future mastectomy surgery, not a big deal at all.

Anyway, my parents will be able to go to my first chemo appointment with me on June 10 (Thursday)--they'll head back to CA on Sunday, June 13. I know folks have been asking "What can I do?" Laura & Jordynn are going to be organizing some Google calendars for future chemo help (mostly walking Bruno, dropping off food, and potentially taking me to my treatment if Matthew can't make it--so far he's re-arranged his work schedule to be able to be my chauffer). So if you're interested in getting an email about the google doc, leave a comment and I'll be sure to include you on the mass mail that Jordynn and Laura will send out (you do need a gmail account to access the calendar, so if you don't have one, you may need to contact Laura/Jordynn directly for help).

Finally, besides the chemo treatment and the cancer, the other big life event happening in May was THE WEDDING!!! So I'm going to end on a happy note by including photos from both the small ceremony we had with just immediate family that was held at the NC Museum of Art Park (we got married in the Lowe's Pavilion & took photos there and at the rings) and then the following day we had a party at Johnny's in Carroboro.

Jen & Matthew in the Lowe's Pavillion

Lizzie (Matthew's sister) was the officiant (we ordained her on-line!)

We're Married!

After the ceremony

Leaving the Park through the rings

Deepfried eggplant stuffed with pork (1 of 14 courses that we had as part of our Chinese banquet at Super Wok in Cary, NC)

Peking Duck


The Wedding Party on Saturday @Johnny's (this is the jazz combo who played--they also play on Saturday mornings @Johnny's)

Explaining the 3 different cakes that we had w/the different phrases we used as decoration: "It's your turn to do the dishes" (on the yellow-chocolate ganache-almond buttercream frosting cake), "Can you walk bruno?" (on the lemon-lemon curd-lemon buttercream cake), and "Have you seen my keys?" (on the vegan chocolate-chocolate-chocolate cake)--the flowers were used as decoration compliments of my cousins Jeanine & Eileen!

Our friend Shannon giving a toast before we cut the cakes

Moving the party across the street to our house

Hanging out with friends

Me cleaning up at the end of the night


  1. Please include me on the email! And congrats on your lovely wedding!


  2. Love the photos!
    (But what's up with the last photo? You cleaned up from your own wedding party? WTF?!?!)
    Please put me on the helping-out email list.

  3. Congrats Dr. J!
    You looked beautiful!
    My regards to Matthew and Bruno :D

  4. Please add me to the "what can we do to help" list! These pics are glorious and radiant. You are also the only person I know who would take and post pix of their wedding banquet food!!! It was a stupendous Johnny's party and I loved the comment of your friend who noted all your multiple communities coming together!

  5. I haven't seen you in so long, I forgot how beautiful you are! What glorious photos -- so sorry I missed it. I even considered weaning Wes so that I could attend alone, but didn't manage that one.
    I am thinking about you a ton as you go through everything everything everything.
    Much love,

  6. Lowe's pavillion? You got married at a hardware store? Well, to each his own. :) Seriously, I am very happy for you - except that whole cancer thing. You have always been a strong person, and I am certain that you will defeat this challenge. In the words of Spock from STAR TREK II: The Wrath of Khan, "I have been, and always shall be your friend."

  7. Hi Jen,

    What beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing these; they brightened my morning. I'm so glad you are pulling your community in closer around you as you go through this next period in your life. I'm glad to be a part of it.


  8. I am just reading all this now- I am so glad to have gotten your email with this blog! Even though I am in MA, please add me to the google doc and I will see what I can do from afar...! Absolutely want to help in any way possible. LOVE the wedding pics. You both are beautiful. Asha Strazzero-Wild

  9. It looks like you had a blast, thanks for sharing this with us.