Jan & I met with Dr Colleen Austin and her staff on February 2, starting the process that will lead to her chemotherapy treatments. We both liked Dr Austin a lot, and feel very comfortable with her managing the chemotherapy stage of Jan’s treatment.
Chemotherapy will begin as soon as a barrage of tests is completed, including a PET CT scan, an MRI, an Echo-cardiogram, and a nuclear stress test. These are done to establish base lines against which later tests can be measured. She will also have a port for administering the chemotherapy drugs installed. All but the PET CT scan are scheduled to be completed Thursday and Friday of this week; the PET CT is still unscheduled but will happen as soon as possible so we can get the treatment under way.
We will attend a Chemotherapy 101 orientation given by Dr Austin’s staff Friday afternoon; Julie will attend it with us so she will be prepared to stand in to support Jan during treatments & recovery if necessary.
Jan will receive eighteen weeks of weekly treatments using a combination of Taxotere, Carboplatin, and Herceptin (TCH). At the first session, she will receive all three drugs. In the second and third sessions, she will only receive Herceptin. The three week cycle will be repeated 6 times. After the eighteen week course of treatment, Herceptin will be administered for the next eight months to make sure the disease is in remission. Dr Austin indicated that the sessions in which all three drugs are administered will be the difficult sessions.
Our meeting with Dr Austin was stressful, as it brought Jan face to face with what she will face over the next four months. She received all of this quite well. I was proud of how she handled it, and look forward to getting her treatment under way.