Let the treatment begin! I got the first set of shots yesterday. In all the confusion to get the insurance approval for all the medications the doc’s office did not call me to actually talk to me about the side effects and everything I was getting into with the shots. Going into the appointment I was a little nervous. I met with my doctor first and he proceeded to tell me all my bloodwork looked good. I had one rogue cancer marker that was high and did not make sense to him, so we will have to wait for the next set of bloodwork to see if that will go back to normal or stay weird. It was normal before surgery and then high after surgery. Which he found to be unusual. I do unusually well, so he just rolls with it. Aside from that, my body seems to be starting off well and ready for what’s coming. As he was in the middle of his exam a nurse popped in and whisked me away for the shots. Apparently, the chemo nurse who gives the shots needed to go home and was waiting on me. As I came into the chemo room they assumed that one of the nurses had called me and talked to me about the side effects and what was involved. I was able inform them that I had no idea what was coming. So, she handed me a stack of info to read later and told me that what I thought was two shots was actually going to be three. Two of the shots would be given at the same time because they can be painful. The rational is that it is best to just get it all over with at once. Those two shots were the faslodex which is the anti-estrogen receptor medication. This medication targets the estrogen receptors on the breast cancer cells and tries to destroy them, so that any estrogen cannot bind to the cancer cells and help them grow. They told me the side effects could be shot pain or nothing, but to read the info packet. The two shots would be in the butt. The third shot would be given in the belly as recommended by another tech in the room who also gets the same shot. This shot is Xgeva. This is a monoclonal antibody that helps build and repair the bones. This one could cause bone pain or be nothing. The tech who got the shot told me she had no side effects, but she did recommend they inject slowly as otherwise it could cause a significant bruise.
Then I got the two shots. Nothing is more comforting, as you get a shot, then the nurses telling you that they have to regrip the syringe with two hands to force the liquid out into you. Then comment about how thick the liquid is. Oh yeah, patient, you might want to take deep breaths while we do this. Nothing to do but breathe deep, suck it up and go with the slow flow. It was not too bad, but also not great. Then they switched to the belly shot. This one did not seem as intimidating as I used to have to give myself a shot in the belly during chemo in 2012. It was injected slowly and as I have a bit of a steroid belly, it did not hurt at all.
I have been on the phone with various people today as I am still waiting to find out where my last medication is. The shot nurses were surprised I did not have my pills yet. They said people usually get them over-nighted, and I have been waiting for at least a week. So the goal for today is to find where those pills are. So much back and forth! After about 10 different phone calls I realized the nurse at my oncologist’s office dropped the ball and then dropped it again. I was finally able to remedy the situation, and it looks like I will be able to get my last medication by the end of the week. They informed me that I should get a call today or tomorrow in order to set up an overnight delivery for my medication! Super frustrating to have to do all this but at least it is done now. That means that all my communications that happened with friends and family after the 10 phone calls were very confusing because I had used up my brain power and patience getting the medications on track!
Since then I have been feeling really well. The pair of shots have left me a bit sore, so comfy pants are on order today. I may be a little more tired than usual but not significantly. I did feel some slight soreness in my back, but that seems to have passed. I call this a major win. I have meds working on kicking cancer’s and my butt, yet so far, no significant side effects!