This morning I noticed I seem to be having an allergic reaction to something – the dimple on my upper lip is noticeably swollen and my eyelids seem to be slightly puffy. I’m still on the steroid prednisone and think it might be contributing to the puffiness I see in my eyes and face, so I looked up how to taper off it –I’m shocked to find out that it actually shuts down your adrenal glands. Seems prednisone is cortisol (which the adrenal gland is responsible for), and when you’ve been on it for over 3 weeks and at a higher dosage, it takes over the adrenal glands job. Dang, first my immune system and now this.
On my own, I began reducing my prednisone from 30mg on tues and wed, to 20mg on thurs and fri, to 10mg on sat, sun, and today. Seems I might have tried to reduce too fast as headaches, tiredness etc…are symptoms associated with withdrawal and I’ve had a constant headache for the last few days, not to mention I was really tired this weekend. According to what I read, I need to do it at a much slower pace. Will ask the oncologist when I see her tomorrow.
I’m feeling dazed and confused….ok I stole that from a movie but it sums up exactly how I’m feeling.
I went to the surgeon this afternoon to have a re-evaluation done of the lump in my breast and lymph node. The conversation started with him saying “ok, you’ve finished your chemo so when do you want to schedule your surgery?” Now keep in mind that he hasn’t even done the exam yet… So I said “well actually I’m not sure I want to do the surgery” and I proceeded to tell him about the research I had done and that I would like to see if the dietary changes and supplements would have any impact on the cancer. He shut down almost immediately – you could see it in his eyes, and face, and he said something about some people believing in prayer, and crazy treatments – but the correct protocol for me was chemo, surgery, and radiation…end of story. Now I’m not very good with one way, and I’m sure my husband could see me gear up for a debate – so he jumped in and said “how about if you exam her first and then let’s see where we are. So he did, and guess what….NO LUMP. Yep…he couldn’t detect any lump in the breast. When he examined the lymph node he said there was only a “slight” nodule. He then smiled and said “so when do you want to schedule surgery”….HUH? At that point even Ron seemed surprised and said “wait a minute, so what are you going to operate on if nothing is there? Don’t you want to do an ultrasound like you did 5 months ago and take a closer look?” According to the surgeon he doesn’t need to do that. He would go in and remove the “marker” they left behind from the biopsy and the surrounding tissue just to make sure they “get it all.” So I asked how he could tell what cells are cancerous and what cells are not. He admitted he can’t – the pathologist will determine that. So then, what are my chances that you will get it all, and it won’t come back? The answer…..50 50. Now I don’t know about you – but I think I’ll take the other side of 50 that says no cutting, no radiation and lets at least do an MRI to see if it is really gone. So that is how we left it. In 2 months I’m supposed to get a Breast MRI and come back to see him.
Ron and I walked out to the parking lot and both of us were just flummoxed. This should have been a great day – the surgeon can’t find the lump – but instead we are left feeling confused.
Tomorrow I go to see the oncologist so we decided to wait and see what she says.