2/27 Appt with Dr. Bowen

Today we met with Kristina Bowen, a medical oncologist with GA Cancer Specialists.  She confirmed what we’ve heard to date and recommended “dose-dense” chemotherapy.  Also agreed with chemo first and a double mastectomy.  Didn’t rule out radiation after surgery, but that call will be made later.

Her recommendation is 4 treatments of AC (Adriamycin and Cytoxan) followed by 4 treatments of Toxol.  Plus, 567,849 other drugs to help with the side effects.  I’d go in for treatments every 2 weeks – 14 wks total.  Spring Break in St Thomas is definitely doable and, depending on how I feel (and a sweat-proof wig!), I may even be able to continue teaching Zumba.  Surgery would come a couple of weeks after the last treatment.

We chose to go ahead and schedule a bone scan and a CT scan of my chest/pelvis/abdomen for this Thursday.  Other than the markers of the original tumor (and cancer in the one lymph node) that mean it’s fast-growing and has a high chance of spreading, no one has given us reason to believe that there’s already cancer in my bones or organs.  But these scans will verify that.

We’re still trying to see Dr. Ruth O’Regan at Emory.  The pace is frustrating.  If we weren’t interested in exploring clinical trials, I could start chemo as early as next week.  I had some bloodwork done today and I will have a port inserted into my chest via outpatient surgery as soon as we say we’re ready.

Back to clinical trials.  We found out that another doc in Dr. Bowen’s office is participating in a triple negative trial – I would get the same chemo treatment but also might get (it’s randomized) a drug called MM-121 at the same time.  We still want to see O’Regan, but we made a “research consult” appt with this oncologist for March 5.  The info on trials is very complicated and, while the primary treatment you get might be the same, it adds on waiting, and lots of extra tests.  Tough to weigh it all.

A dear friend sent me a joke today.  If you’ve hung in there and read all of this blech, then you deserve a chuckle, too!

Random guy says, “I got in a fight with my wife last night and it was totally my fault.  She asked me what was on the TV and I said ‘dust.’  Didn’t go too well after that.”



  1. So I spoke to my fav oncologist here at work this am, and the
    Clinical trial you discussed sounded familiar… Lots of numbers and alphabet:-/ He listed about five that he had been involved with… I am going to talk to him again in the am but he said Emory has tons of trials going on right now. I also learned that this area, has one of the highest triple negative populations for some reason. I’m keeping my eats perked and I think of you often:-) so glad you have an appt thur! Can’t wait to hear the good news:-) Love you lots!