Life during chemo: Taxol 7 & 8

by Thursday, January 16th, 2014Breast Cancer18 comments

We survived the Polar Vortex that came the first part of this month. Our car was prepared with extra blankets, mittens, hats etc. Luckily we were able to make it to my chemo treatments without any interruptions.

2014 began with a terrible tragedy in our neighborhood. On Wednesday the 8th of January,  our neighbor Marilyn was killed in a house fire. It’s still not clear as to how the fire started. Marilyn was not well. Over recent years she has had a couple of strokes and was on oxygen day and night due to COPD. It was such a sad, sad day. Her sweet little dog Casper was also killed in the fire. Only 9 weeks before the fire, Marilyn’s daughter Liz passed away after losing her battle with cancer.

I have been using my YMCA membership. I feel so fortunate to have been picked to be a part of the Livestrong program. Our group of 12 meets twice a week with three trainers putting us through various routines. The rest of the week, we are free to use the YMCA as we please. I intend to take full advantage of this.

Mark and I were able to get out of the house over this past weekend to check out the 24th Annual Wisconsin State Snow Sculpting Competition. The Big Chill event has been held here in Racine for the past 3 years. I have always seen the remains of the sculptures, days after the event, and this year I made sure to stop by Monument Square while it was underway. We talked to a few of the artists and cast our votes. The cool thing is that one artist I voted for and we interviewed, Dave Andrews, ended up being the winner.



Monday of this week was my 8th treatment of Taxol, leaving me with only 4 left. On Monday we also had another MRI done to see how my tumor has shrunk. We met with my surgeon on Tuesday, and have decided that I’ll have a double mastectomy and an axillary lymph node dissection.

My doctor called tonight and said that my main tumor has shrunk considerably, and the little satellites around the tumor are no longer visible on the MRI.  She also said the lymph nodes no longer appeared affected on the MRI. It gives me peace of mind that the chemotherapy is working. Now the next thing is to meet with my plastic surgeon in two weeks, to get the date scheduled for the mastectomy and having the tissue expanders put in.

I feel excited and anxious about moving forward. Being done with the chemo is going to be a big transition. The people I have been so used to being around for the past 5 months are no longer going to be part of my life. I look forward to having this part of my journey behind me and getting used to my new body.



18 Comments
  1. Gregory Berg

    Amy- It’s so good to hear about your progress. Thanks for including us in your journey. Very best wishes to you and Mark. GB

    Reply
    • Amy Czerniec

      Greg I am so glad that I had good news from the MRI results.

      I appreciate you taking time to comment and for following along on our journey.

      Reply
  2. Linda Serpe

    So sorry to hear about Marilyn, and her doggie, how hard this has to be on you. What was Liz’s Last name. I knew of a Liz that had breast Cancer for the second time.

    It sounds like you are enjoying life to the fullest, Good for you and hubbie.

    Love, Linda

    Reply
    • Amy Czerniec

      Yes Linda it was a very sad day last week. Losing a friend and our sweet little Casper that everyone adored. Liz did not die of breast cancer. It started in her throat and traveled to her liver I believe.

      I feel so blessed to have you in my life and by my side while I journey a path that you have already been down. Thank you so much for your love and support.

      Reply
  3. Maria

    Hi Amy & Mark – can’t tell you how thrilled we are with the recent results of your MRI!!
    I also wanted to say that I really enjoyed your interviews with the ice sculptures, Amy. You are very engaging and I learned a great deal — so thanks for that.
    I bet the Y is awesome and it is great to get out. So we can expect your next blog to be from there? : ) : )

    Reply
    • Amy Czerniec

      We are both so happy with the results so far. Thanks for the compliment on the interviews you are too nice. I had fun with that, I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out.

      The Y has been fun but I am not sure If I can get any footage there seeing that I would have to get so many approvals. But who knows maybe I can figure something out.

      Reply
  4. Mark Dyer

    I’m so happy to hear the good news from your Dr. , keep up the positive outlook, the mind is a very powerful tool that can do wonderful things in life. How long did your henna tattoo last? Take care my friends, love you!

    Reply
    • Amy Czerniec

      Yes Mark the mind is so incredible. I hope you are doing better.

      The henna tattoo lasted roughly 3 weeks. I would love to have it done again. Maybe before my surgery. You should give it a try, I know someone who does a fabulous job!! :)

      Love to you as well.

      Reply
  5. Bridgett

    Hi honey- So sorry to hear about your nieghbor :-(! You have been amazing threw ur chemo and congrats on your final decision on your next stage! Looking forward to seeing u soon ;-) Have to have u over again to see these pups- getting All over the place! Love u Amy- Keep smiling as you Always Do ;-)

    Reply
    • Amy Czerniec

      I bet those puppies have really changed since Christmas. I would love to see them before you let them go.

      Reply
  6. Rhonda

    So happy to hear that you are making such great progress. Continue to think of you and keep you in my prayers. I am so impressed with your grace and courage. God Bless.

    Reply
    • Amy Czerniec

      Thanks for your support and prayers Rhonda. I feel so much comfort from all of my friends and family.

      Reply
  7. Marianne Germinaro

    Dear sis,
    So glad to hear of your recent MRI reading and that you feel confident of the decision you have made to have a double mastectomy. I’m still praying for you and a that God would give you peace and a calm only he can give you during this difficult time in your and Mark’s life.

    So sad to hear the news of your neighbor and her dog. Was that the elderly lady that would lock herself out of her house from time to time?
    We have to get together sometime soon, I miss you!
    Love your sissy,
    Marianne

    Reply
    • Amy Czerniec

      Marianne thank you for your love and your prayers. It is so hard to make such big decisions like this.

      No Marilyn was not the neighbor that we have been so involved with. Mary Jean is still going strong at 95. You might have seen her on the news coverage of the fire. She was interviewed by various news stations.

      I miss you too. I would love to get together sometime soon.

      Reply
  8. Amy Evans

    Hi Amy,

    I’m glad to hear everything healing wise sounds good! Sorry to hear about your neighbor. How awful. I almost felt guilty watching your video because the weather is so beautiful here today in the 70’s. I’m sure my guilt will subside when it’s 70 there and 110 here.

    By the way, I love you as a Carmelly blond in the surgeons office. Adorable. I can’t get over how great you look through all of this.

    Love you, miss you,
    Amy

    Reply
    • Amy Czerniec

      Boy the 70’s. I can’t wait for it to be in the 50’s at least. Tomorrow is supposed to be well below zero. I don’t know how much more all of will be able to take this.

      I am having fun with the blonde wigs. I never thought I would look good with that color hair.

      I love you too and miss you.

      Reply
  9. Angela

    You are so stinkin’ cute!!! Again, loved the blog, the progress, the updates… and the wigs! such fun looks. You can rock all kinds of styles. Thanks for keeping us posted! love you!

    oh, and I still have your tylenol… I’ll get that back to you I promise! haha

    Reply
    • Amy Czerniec

      Aw thanks for checking Angela. I can’t believe how much fun it is with these wigs, hats and hair pieces.

      Oh don’t worry about the tylenol, I can’t have that right now while I am on chemo anyway. And also don’t forget I still have your henna, so I guess we are even. :)

      Reply

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