I entered Phase III of chemo back in April. Because it overlapped with radiation, I decided to wait until now to explain what it entails. Phase III of my infusions is a single drug called Herceptin. It is given every three weeks through my port like my other chemo meds were given. Herceptin isn’t really a chemo therapy drug. It is an antibody that interferes with the HER2/nu receptor. HER2/nu can cause cancer to reproduce uncontrollably. So when I got my pathology report after my biopsy, I was told that I was HER2/nu positive and would need additional treatment to contain and prevent my cancer from coming back. One of my nurses told me to think of this phase as chemo maintenance. I like that.
I have had a couple of days where I had radiation and chemo on the same day which makes for a lot of running around the cancer clinic. It is times like these that I am so glad that I go to a cancer clinic where everything is within the same building. Sort of a one stop shop. And since their medical records are all integrated, if I get hung up somewhere and don’t show up on time, they can find where I am in the building. I find these combined appointments amusing. I go from one check in desk to another and ask, “Where am I suppose to be next?” I do have a master calendar, but I feel like a freshman on the first day of school walking around looking at it and then looking up to see where I am.
The good news about Phase III is that most of the side effects are gone and it takes far less time than other phases. Not only that, I can drive myself home because I’m not having to take the pre-meds that made me so tired. I feel like such a big girl getting to go to my appointments by myself! If all goes well, I can be in and out of chemo, labs and doctor visit in two hours. What will I do with my spare time?
Phase III of chemo lasts until January, 2014.