Updates on Kathy's battle with breast cancer.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Chemo starts on Monday!

Yesterday we met with the oncologist.  He said I'm between a stage 2 and 3, which is a curable stage.  Since the cancer is in my lymph nodes, chemo will be needed.   We are doing it before surgery in hopes of shrinking the mass, making surgery less invasive.  It will also allow us to know if the chemo is working, by monitoring the mass along the way.  We had hoped to start on Friday, but they were hesitant that I would be able to enjoy Saturday's prom--the big dance we've been decorating for all week.  So, we opted for a Monday start--1:00 p.m.  I can help with the gym ceiling dismantling at 8:00 a.m., and then start a new chapter in my cancer adventure.  Below is a sneak peek of the gym, still in process.

For now, this is the plan, though it can be tweaked according to needs and responses as we go along.  We'll do 4 treatments of AC (two drugs), spaced 3 weeks apart.  Those will take about 4 hours of the IV each time.  This will go through late August.  Then they'll do 12 treatments of T (I'll list the names next post when I have them in print form), once a week.  This will take me through Halloween.  It's supposed to be less fatiguing then the AC dosage.  They will then wait about a month and do surgery (early December).  About a month after surgery, they will do radiation 5 days a week for 6 weeks.  That will end around Valentine's Day--very fitting, since it's sweet that this will be about 9 months rather than 12!  

I'll lose my hair in early June.  Insurance often pays for a cranial prosthesis (fancy word for wig).  The 3rd week between treatments is supposed to be the week I'm feeling the best.  Girls Camp hits a 3rd week, so that's another tender mercy.  They say to keep your regular life going as much as possible.  Exercise helps lessen the fatigue.  The anti-nausea meds help a lot with that, so the biggest side effect is fatigue.

It feels great to know our plan.  I still feel the peace and uplift of your prayers.  Thank you so much.  Starting chemo is scary, mainly the unknown of what it will feel like and how it will affect my day to day life.  But, I'm thankful for the advances of breast cancer treatment and that the outlook is positive. 

It's interesting that 2 summers ago we took our stake youth group of 150 kids on a pioneer trek.  The lesson we all took from that was, "we can do hard things."  The mud was shin deep.  There were hills that looked impossible to climb.  Through working together, we were able to do those hard things and came out stronger and closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ through the process.  We also grew closer as a group.  That experience taught me a lot.  I thought the lessons were for the benefit of the youth, but I'm so thankful to have been a part of that experience.  It helped me learn from them that we can do hard things.  We can't do it alone, and we are never alone. The link below is a slide show/video Kirsten made from trek pictures.


  1. Thinking of you and praying you feel okay through the chemo. I'm glad you get to enjoy the prom and all your hard work! I sure wish I could see it, so you'll have to post pictures. I love the theme. I'm glad you have such a positive attitude, and I know that will make it more bearable and allow Heavenly Father to continue to strengthen you through this trial!


  2. I check in on your status updates every day. Oh yeah! You SOOOOO got this! You'll be kicking booty with this cancer smancer! Love your..."Let's do this!" attitude!

  3. I know this will be said a million times over by anyone that knows you- you are one of the most amazing women I have ever known. I love you very much and know what support and love you have surrounding you. You will get through this. Have a GREAT time at the Prom :) Please give the rest of your family a hug from me. I wil be thinking of you all!

  4. I'm glad you're keeping this blog. I feel so far away from you, but at least I can keep up on your progress. I'm happy for you that you still get to do the prom. You are an amazing person and you can do hard things!

  5. Kathy. You look amazing....You are amazing. I am so grateful that I had the chance to get to know you in Indy. I learned so much from you with photography and you were so helpful to our family when we were moving from Indy. Good luck on this journey. Our prayers are with you.

  6. WE love you so much, Patty and I are praying for you daily and know you will come through this stronger than ever. When we went through this it brought us so much closer as a family and reminded us of what is really important in our lives. Love you all.
    Mark and Patty Larsen

  7. Kathy , thanks for sharing your adventure as it helps us to remember what really matters... you and your family will continue to be in our prayers .. the gym looks amazing :) have a wonderful time this week-end.

  8. I love you mom! We will be with you every step of the way!!

  9. David says: So glad that I will not be the next person in the family to go bald! Hang in there!

  10. My eyes are filled with tears as I read this! I learn so much from the graceful way you are enduring and overcoming this mountain! I love the article you mentioned in your last post. I had an answer to a prayer when I listened to that during conference. Another really great talk was given as a BYU Devotional by Dallan R Moody called "What Happens When Life Gets One Degree Colder" Powerful! His message is We are being exalted thru our trials. Good luck tomorrow! I will be praying for you! I love you!! Tammy Potter

    1. Okay, Tammy, this is my first try at replying to all of the beautiful comments on this blog. I'm not sure how this works, but we'll all know soon. I don't know if this will stay public, or go directly to you; but, I loved Dallan Moody's talk. As you saw, I shared it in a post, and several have commented about how helpful and uplifting it was to them too. So thank you for passing this along! It is always so nice hearing from you! As I push "publish" we'll then know what happens with these mysterious replies. I mainly feel like I'm already so "wordy" that I don't want to burden anyone else with having to read any more than they want to. Love you!