I met with the oncologist yesterday. I’m going to the chemotherapy orientation today. I start chemo treatments day after tomorrow. I want to get a haircut before then so I don’t have to pick up long hair everywhere.
I will be under a TCHP regimen: three-week cycles with four drugs — Taxotere, Carboplatin, Herceptin, and Perjeta — for a total of six cycles, expected to be followed by surgery. The oncologist recommended starting with chemo because my cancer is aggressive and it’s possible that cancerous cells have started migrating through the body, in which case going to surgery first only gives them more time to multiply. Moreover, the exact same course of chemotherapy would be needed afterwards if had surgery first. Starting with chemo gives a chance to shrink the tumour and stop progress before surgery.
From my perspective, I’m hoping that maybe facing chemotherapy before I have started feeling sick from the cancer and before recovering from surgery will give me more strength through this part of the treatment. I also prioritize the oncologist’s recommendation for treatment over the surgeon because she’s the one who will oversee my case for months and she is the most knowledgeable about the expected progress of cancer.
Fun fact: I learned that the reason to keep my head covered once I lose my hair is not only vanity nor even protection from the sun but also because it’s easy to get an infection through the damaged follicles if I’m exposed to germs.
Don’t send flowers, send pretty scarves…