So far this new chemo (Taxol) seems to be easier on me than the previous 8 weeks. I haven’t had to use any anti-nausea meds (HOORAY!), and the fatigue hasn’t been quite as bad. I still wear out fairly easily, but Dr. Jones says that I will have residual fatigue from my previous chemo regime (Adriamycin/Cytoxan) for a few more weeks. I’m hoping this is true. One other side-effect predicted was achiness around day 3-4… and sure enough I had a backache and quads aching, as well as random little bursts of achiness here and there on Thursday and Friday. Fortunately ES Tylenol seems to keep it to a minimum. Today is not as much, but still feeling calf twinges.
I am still hairless on my head, still have eyebrows (though thinning a little bit), and my eyelashes are definitely getting thinner. My eyes have been irritated off and on, as if there is stuff in them, and I wonder if the flaky dry skin on my head and around my eyes is falling into my eyes more easily as the lashes thin. My skin is dry and not as elastic as before (you can see the wrinkly bag under my eye in the photo below). Lotion helps with the dryness, but not the elasticity.
Wednesday afternoon I had my results appointment with the genetics counselor, Tarah. The good news is that I don’t have any genes specifically related to breast cancer, YAY! There is one gene that has a variant of “uncertain significance” and, according to Tarah, these things happen, but are not reason to worry. When I first met with her and we talked about which genes to test, she had said that the more genes we test, the more likely it is that something of uncertain significance might show up. We had 36 genes tested that are considered the breast/gyn cancers panel, and the preliminary-evidence genes for breast/gyn cancer. Some people only do the top 15 or so, but I opted for a more comprehensive one. So one gene had a “sequence change replacing threonine with arginine at codon 1376 of the BRCA1 protein”, and that is a variant, but it “has not been reported in the literature in individuals with BRCA1-related disease”. In other words – There’s no evidence that this variant is related to cancer. Tarah also said that everyone has genetic variants and that’s what makes us unique. I’m satisfied with that, and am happy that (as far as we know) I’m not passing any breast/gyn cancer genes on to my kids.
Meanwhile, back in the everyday world, Kevin made a huge seafood chowder, and homemade focaccia bread earlier this week, which we had for supper Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights. Last night I had a reprieve as we ordered out teriyaki. Tonight we’ll finish the chowder and move on. It was really, really good, but it’s time to eat other things!