I finally finished all 6 rounds of TCHP. I’ll be getting infusions of Herceptin and Perjeta (hormone targeted therapy) for the rest of the year, but the side effects wont be anything like chemotherapy. I’ll be in the infusion room for just an hour every three weeks— What a relief! My double mastectomy is tomorrow and I spent the entire day at the hospital preparing for surgery. I had labs in the morning followed by my Herceptin and Perjeta infusions.

Afterwards, I got ink injected deep into the tissue of each breast right around each nipple. I had read about this process and dreaded it for weeks… It sounds so disturbing! It stung a little but wasn’t nearly as painful as I expected so if you’re worried about this process please don’t be. Honestly, accessing your port is more painful than this! After getting the ink injected and letting it flow through my body for about an hour I got a scan so that my surgeon could identify my sentinel lymph nodes. They will remove these lymph nodes during surgery and test them to see if my cancer had spread outside the breast before we started treatment. I had expressed to my therapist that I had a lot of anxiety about this process, worrying that the ink would build up in my lymphnodes and send me straight to stage 3 cancer! She recommended that as soon as I got injected I do some deep breathing and visualize the ink flowing freely through my body. I really think this tactic helped me to calm down. I finished out the day by getting an echo to ensure that my heart is healthy enough for surgery since TCHP can cause heart damage. It was a long day but Xavier and I took advantage of our last night before the surgery by getting dressed up and going to a nice dinner!

We have to be at the hospital tomorrow at 5:00 am. I’ve been nervous for the surgery all day but I am ready to get all of this behind me!

hilary schleier