I felt like it was time to give everyone an update on my health. It feels good for me to write how I am feeling down. This is an open and honest blog post about what it is really like living with Metastatic Breast Cancer…
Last week was my second off week from taking Ibrance due to low Neutrophils. I ended up having an appointment with Dr. Hilton who was heading a trial here in Ottawa at the hospital. My appointment was on Thursday and I ended up talking about how I felt so yucky When I wasn’t on Ibrance. He quickly came up for a solution for me, which made a lot of sense. So, he said if you go do your blood work now and your neutrophils are above 1 then I can go ahead and start taking Ibrance at a lower dose. Great!!! My Neuts were 1.3 so I started taking the pill again on Friday.
I woke up Saturday with extreme bloating and pain in my stomach and noticed that my skin and eyes were really yellow. After a quick chat with a close doctor friend of ours in Montreal, we had a feeling it had something to do with my liver so we decided to go to emerg Saturday morning. I never thought that I would end up staying at the hospital for 4 days…(It also didn’t help that it was a long weekend and nothing runs as normal) We spent half the night in emerg before they moved me to a private room in the oncology unit at 3 am Sunday morning. I didn’t even know where I was until I got up Sunday morning and saw I was in the oncology unit. We were terrified to say the least. I was really yellow now, like an umpa lumpa from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory yellow! Your Bilirubin blood count detects liver disease and jaundice and it was through the roof. Finally, Sunday night they brought me down to do a CT scan. Everything felt like it was taking forever to happen because of the long weekend. Finally, Tuesday morning they said Dr. Hilton would be coming by to talk to me. We were so unbelievably scared about what he was going to say and we had a good reason too. He came in and looked at me and said “we’re going to have a really, really, tough conversation right now. You’re in liver failure… My bilirubin was continuing to climb and Ibrance was not working for me. He wanted to start me on infusion chemo that afternoon, the same type off chemo I did during my early diagnosis that made me lose my hair. But this time at a much lower dose since we are playing with fire considering the state of my liver. This certain type of chemo you can only have so much in your life time before it starts to effect your heart so that, and the state of my liver, is why I am doing the small doses. At this point, I was willing to do anything. The infusion only took 15 minutes and I cried through the whole thing. I can’t thank the wonderful nurses enough for sitting with me while it was happening to keep me calm and reassure me and my family. It brought back a lot of bad memories and I was scared how I would react to the side effects. After chemo was done I took a pain killer and passed out until the next morning. Every morning, they would come and take my blood to check that Bili count. Wednesday morning was the test to see if the chemo would help bring down that number AND IT DID! Over 30 points down… I looked at Matt and we just started balling. We couldn’t believe it, it was working already!
I’m still not out of the woods yet, It’s very touch and go. I see my doctor again tomorrow for another blood test. We are just taking it day by day, minute by minute right now. Counting our lucky stars that I am still here. I’m happy to report my skin is looking less and less yellow, and that I am home now.
I can’t begin to thank Matt, my family, our friends and even strangers for the out pouring of support, prayers and positive vibes during this difficult time. We are completely overwhelmed with love and are forever grateful for our army!!
“Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.“ – Jack Ma