Outside the Law

May 29, 2011

Clinical Chemo Trial: Day 70 – So Close and Yet …

Filed under: Cancer — Jeniene @ 1:33 am

Well, here we are – almost at the end of the line.  I just finished my second to last chemo infusion.  One more to go.  Based on every discussion with every breast person at Dana Farber, I had banked on finishing my chemo treatment in early June, enjoying a chemo and surgery free summer, going to Martha’s Vineyard for two weeks at the end of July, having one surgery (a double mastectomy and permanent reconstruction) in early August and then enjoying a (knock on wood) cancer free life for the next X number of years.

But then the Universe once again turned in my direction and laughed and laughed.

On Tuesday of last week, I learned from my oncologist and research nurse that, counter to what the oncologist, surgeon and plastic surgeon all told me, I need radiation therapy.  That means, that I must have the bilateral mastectomy and a temporary implant/expander surgery first (June 21st), then undergo daily radiation for six weeks (the temporary surgery is required because the docs won’t radiate new tissue) and THEN have the permanent reconstructive surgery after that.  If you haven’t been able to follow my timeline, that means that I WILL NOT have a chemo/surgery free summer with an awesome Martha’s Vineyard vacation, etc.  That means my entire summer, fall and very likely winter is totally and completely hosed.

Before you say anything, let me say that I agree with what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking, “Jeniene, regardless of your shitty summer and screwed up fall and whacked out winter, being cancer free come 2012 is the ultimate goal, right?.”  Yes!  I totally agree.  That said, I cannot help but feel an extraordinary amount of animosity toward my entire breast cancer team.  They, in no uncertain terms, suck.

Okay, I got that out.

I have the big scan on June 13th.  That’s the one that will tell me if the chemotherapy did indeed do it’s job:  decrease the size of the masses.  It will also reveal whether there are any other masses that have cropped up over the past 70 days.

I’ll keep you posted on the results.


  1. Actually that’s not what I was thinking. I was thinking, “Good lord give the poor woman a fucking break already!”

    I am so sorry to hear this news. Anything I can do to help, short of flying to where you live because I don’t have a passport.

    Comment by clara — May 29, 2011 @ 2:54 am | Reply

  2. Dearest Jeniene, well, that’s a turn up for the books… so sorry to hear that your summer will not go according to plan. Still, they’re all rooting for you – your cancer team and all (I imagine them as something out of Nurse Jackie I don’t know why) – and they will also not be having a summer as they will be working with you to make sure that you’ve got the best chances of kicking this thing into oblivion! #FCFR!!!!

    Comment by Isabelle Gregson — May 29, 2011 @ 3:17 pm | Reply

  3. I was thinking, “That F*C*ING sucks!!” That’s what I was thinking. Damn, girl. So, so sorry. Your mosh pit is here for you. Let us know what you need. Much love!!

    Comment by Heather Adams — May 29, 2011 @ 5:38 pm | Reply

  4. Yow. I am so sorry your summer is hosed. In your honor, I am grabbing my boobies and thanking them for their cellular ordinariness, no matter how droopy and aesthetically unsatisfactory they may be.

    As I am a big fan of the whole “be grateful for the other crazy sicko things you have managed to avoid,” I present you with the following: you are getting your treatment at the same hospital where a friend of mine is also being treated for breast cancer. While her baby is at home with her husband. The baby she found out she was carrying JUST before she found out she had metastasized breast cancer (forgive me, I don’t remember her staging). She decided to keep the baby and underwent chemo while pregnant and nauseous with morning sickness to begin with, and delivered a healthy baby…and then underwent a double mastectomy as soon as her c-section wound healed. The first pictures of her baby will always include her lovely, hairless, gray, chemo self and a little, pink, healthy, gorgeous baby.

    On that lovely note, be well, and many good thoughts from your newest reader. I hope we cross paths in the real world soon.

    Comment by Jess — June 2, 2011 @ 11:49 pm | Reply

    • Jess, your comment was absolutely fabulous! Thank you!

      Comment by Jeniene — June 5, 2011 @ 3:18 pm | Reply

  5. […] see the benefits in the degree to which my tumors have been knocked back.  And, as you know, I will have the first of two surgeries on the […]

    Pingback by Clinical Trial Day 84: The Last Infusion! « Outside the Law — June 9, 2011 @ 12:46 pm | Reply

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