The number one question that I have had in the last week is "what is next after radiation?" Until today I had a very vague idea of what was to come. Today I had a two month out check up and we got the run down of what will be my next step on this road to be diligent that I do everything I can do to keep that cancer away.
One of Matthew's friends at school went home this week and told her mom "Matthew's mom is done with cancer on Thursday"! It makes me smile that Matthew is sharing this great milestone and is excited to spread the word. Yes, done with radiation and the worst of the cancer treatment. (I will not talk about my armpit today...I only THOUGHT it was bad last week!) Now, it is tricking my body to do what we need it to do so that it doesn't feed cancer.
I am what you call "in the middle" of perimenopause. Not at the young end, not at the old end. The average age of women who begin menopause is 51. Chemotherapy stops the monthly cycles of women who are on it. Sometimes it stops it permanently and sometimes the ovaries wake up and start back at it. Most of the time that is determined by a woman's age. Since I am in the middle of the range, we need to continue suppressing the production of estrogen in my ovaries since my cancer is estrogen driven.
There will be a monthly injection of lupron for awhile until we see how my body responds. If all is good, eventually I will be able to cut that down to once every three months. I will also be starting an oral hormone on Friday (not wasting any time) the day after radiation. This will be a daily pill that will be monitored for a couple months to make sure that I am tolerating all of the "menopausal" side effects. Joy!
Once we get everything working and good I have the opportunity to jump into a trial if I want which I think I went into a little bit last week in my post. It is a 50/50 chance I would be on the drug and for ten years I would be closely monitored no matter which group the computer puts me in. I kinda like the idea of closely monitored since this is the second time around with cancer for me, this time in stage 4.
So, we will see what happens. Bring on menopause!