Monday, November 1, 2010

I am not a (known) mutant

Here's how awesome my doctor is:  she called me today at 1:40 and asked if I could come it, just for kicks.  It's 2:40 and I'm already home.  She is so awesome.

As you may recall, my blood was sent away for some genetic testing.  Specifically, we wanted to sequence two genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2) that are commonly mutated in certain types of breast cancer.  The outcome doesn't affect me too much, but it's great news for my sisters and daughters:  I am not a mutant!  My first question was does this mean that I get to keep the right one?  She said that we'll make that decision based on further tests after chemotherapy.  But at least it's up in the air!  It would be a goner for sure if I was indeed a mutant.  Funny how I still feel attached to it, even after the left one has so viciously sabotaged my life.

More good news:  the left breast is responding to the chemotherapy.  It is already less inflamed.  Let's hope it keeps responding.

We also discussed the muddy-brain side effect.  She said that one of my anti-nausea drugs could be the culprit, so I am done messing with that guy.  In addition, she simply nodded knowingly and told me to make sure I keep using my brain.  A friend of mine who went through chemo last spring told me the same thing.  Good advice, but this brain won't go dormant without a mighty fight anyway.

Today is the best I've felt since chemotherapy last Wednesday.  I've been on two (short) walks, engaged with my kids, and executed two (small) projects.  I'm going to go into work for a little bit tomorrow, although I will ask my brother for a ride because I don't feel good enough to operate machinery.  But I can probably operate Excel, huzzah!

Instead of viewing it as 18 monstrous weeks of chemo, let's view it as 6 difficult, side-effect-riddled doses.  So I'm already 1/6th of the way there, which is practically halfway!  Go team!


  1. Sweet! Awesome news, see you tomorrow!!

  2. The sideline cheerleaders are shouting....

    Let's go, let's fight, let's win tonight!
    Let's go! (clap,clap,clap)
    Let's fight! (clap,clap,clap)
    Let's win (clap,clap,clap)
    Let's go, let's fight, let's win tonight
    Let's go!

  3. And remember from one who knows - hair isn't all it's cracked up to be :)

    And for those who care where these little idiom charms come from...
    As a verb "crack", dating back to the 15th century, was to praise or boast. If you "cracked up" something you sang its praises. Therefore something that is "not all it's cracked up to be" is something that is not as good as you were told.

  4. Great news! Also, I have to share some science with you, in case you're interested. I just finished reading "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks", the Go Big Read book at UW this year. If you have time and interest, I would recommend it. It's very interesting and it discusses the ethics concerning the very genes you were tested for! And even more interesting is an article on the NY Times website about them as well. ( Check them all out if you have time... all in the name of keeping that brain nimble! :-) Good luck Heather; I know you're going to do awesome!

  5. Great news indeed!
    I love to hear positives.
    I'm so glad to hear the chemo is doing good!
    Amen sista, let's keep believing.
    Your awesome Heather! And God loves you.

  6. Heather,
    I am so thrilled that your "muddy brain" has been side-lined. At least for a while. That is fantastic!!!! Hurray, Hurray, Hurray!!!. I sent you a package today. It should be arriving by the weekend. I think the idea of saying thanks over the blog is a great one. Again, thanks for letting us know how you are doing. It is so nice to hear and we don't have to keep bugging you all the time.

    Love ya,
    Aunt A

  7. From Andrea...PS I'm so glad you are not a mutant.

  8. I'm glad you had some good news / good times today.

  9. How awesome is it that your doctor is awesome...AND you are awesome. A match made in heaven I say, to kick the pi$$ outta cancer. I can guarantee HK, she loves you as a patient. HOW could she not.

  10. Great news for all. I can't help but remember the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It made me laugh about the boys throwing them on the garage roof and getting lodged in the gutters! Ryan was a Mutant for Halloween once too! Garbage can lid for a shell and all.

  11. It may be good news for us sistas, but I will still get checks more than maybe the average person. Your chemo and diagnosis is not in vain! Anyone woman who is a part of this journey with you needs to have a mammo and a semi-annual check. That is our promise to you. We are all in this together! I love you and am proud of your perseverance. So awesome that you are even considering going to work. You rock!

  12. Heather, Fighting cancer is not the time to worry about etiquette- everyone knows you're thankful so do what works best for you. Wonderful news to hear you're not a mutant and that you're having a great relationship with your doctor. So vital in healthcare these days.Your positive attitude and sense of humor will get you through this. Pam

  13. Huzzah to halfway there! You are the ultimate warrior, Heather! Not like the creepy wrestler, but for sure the toughest chick I know.

    Alex swears by Junior Mints for an upset belly.