Update on Chemo Plan

So…I went to see Dr. O’Shaughnessy (oncologist) yesterday and learned all about my chemo regime.  She is recommending 4 treatments, 3 weeks apart (start date TBD).  And even though my head understands that this is very doable and not too intense, my heart hasn’t caught up yet.  There is something very scary about the word ‘chemo’.  As well there should be.  I’m basically about to fill my body with poison on purpose.   That just doesn’t seem right.   But what’s also not right is the potential that there could still be some rogue cells running around in my body that need to be killed.  I’ll take being uneasy, uncomfortable and emotional over allowing the bad guys to win.

My physician mentioned that there were a few factors that helped her decide on chemotherapy.  Apparently there is a link between melanoma and breast cancer, and wouldn’t you know I had a melanoma last year on my left arm (near my shoulder).  I say this not to scare those of you who have had melanoma.  There are probably thousands and thousands of people with melanoma that never develop breast cancer.  It’s just a piece of the puzzle that factored into her decision.  In addition, my surgical oncologist (Dr. Grant) believed that my margins were clear enough to leave the ‘top girls’ intact during my mastectomy.  When the path report came back, however, there were microscopic cells still in the nips (as you know if you’ve been following along).   Lastly, my Oncotype score as I mentioned yesterday, was in the grey zone of whether or not to do chemo.  Those three factors coupled with her ‘gut’ helped Dr. O arrive at her conclusion that chemo was the smartest treatment safeguard for me at this juncture.  I will still run everything by the folks at MD Anderson on July 12th, but I do agree that it’s better to be safe than sorry.

AND that no nips is good nips.

As I mentioned before, Kim is in town from Boston and we are trying to make the most of this crazy visit.  Typically when she comes to Dallas, we have lots of fun things planned with our collective 7 boys (please gasp), and we laugh the entire time.  This time, however, we have absolutely nothing planned, and we have still laughed the entire time.

Except when we are crying.

Kim and I met at Texas A&M (Whoop!  That’s for you, Leah) many moons ago and have basically talked on the phone every single day since.  She’s my rock and I would not ever want to do life without her.

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Trevor and I have also won Kim over to the dark side of not supervising your children and she’s hooked.  So these guys have been banned to the outdoors for a few days while we sit in the air conditioning and analyze life.

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Today, Kim and I spent the day together researching these things called “cold caps” to wear during chemo in hopes of preserving your hair.  Although this process is quite tedious, I’m going to give it a try.  It’s a bizarre undertaking of basically freezing a swim cap and then adding a helmet on top to secure it as closely to your scalp as possible.  All of this is done only on the day you have chemo, but you wear it before, during and after the treatment (read: hours upon hours).   And according to the picture on the front page of their website, you are able to run through a field of tall grass carrying an extra long scarf with your gorgeous thick hair flowing in the wind after you are finished with treatment.

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SIGN.ME.UP.

I sent this pic to Ashley to tell her I was practicing for my upcoming cold cap days…

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And she one upped me with this reply…

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There’s a reason I can’t ever stay sad around here.

Thank you so very much for all of your care and concern along the way.  My love language must be encouragement because I am FILLED UP each time I read a comment, a text or a letter from you.  It’s life-giving in every sense of the word.

And thank you, mom & Casey, for getting Hudson ready to leave for 2 weeks at camp!  My distracted mind almost forgot he was going, so I appreciate you gathering the essentials today.  If it were left up to me, he would have missed the bus entirely or gotten on with only one pair of underwear.  I can’t decide which is worse.

In closing, the Lord continues to provide me daily with peace, comfort, and an overwhelming sense of love.  This does not erase the fact, however, that I don’t understand ANY PART OF THIS.  Or hate it.  Or have a broken heart.  But I trust in him enough to know that this is part of his plan.  And that above all, his plan is the very best plan.  Period.

Until next time…much love to you all & make every day count,

Jamie

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

PS: I’ve had several people ask me about my ‘carried’ necklace you see pictured above.  My precious friend, Sheaffer, sent that to me shortly after I was diagnosed and I think I haven’t taken it off since.  I received it the very day I had written in my blog about feeling ‘carried’ by all of your prayers.  THE VERY DAY.  Like, there’s no way she knew I was going to describe the way I felt that day.  #chills So thank you guys for carrying me, and thank you, Sheaffer, for the beautiful reminder each day that I am carried.  I bet my neighbor who confronted me about not using a leash wished I had ‘carried’ Dodger on my walk as well.  😉

 

23 thoughts on “Update on Chemo Plan

  1. Jamie, read Janet St James Facebook page. She is the former WFAA health reporter and has breast cancer and used the cold cap. You’ll have to go back about 2 yrs to find them, or they might be on You Tube.
    Love you,
    Susan

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Those cold caps seem to work. Saw several when in infusion room. Think that is wise. Losing my hair was not a good look. Stan never understood. Said
    he has been bald for years….no problem. Love you! Praying for all of you continually!!!! ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So here we go… love your words about trusting god admist hating cancer. It must be the craziest of dichotomies. Thinking of you and praying for you constantly… love you friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Jamie………..you know so much more than I do, but I just have to say one of my daughters’ best friend has cancer and my Amy sat with her during chemo and helped her with her cold cap…………it worked so well for her……….it was the first time I had heard about it………what a miracle……….they have been close friends for years and the bonding during the cold cap time strengthened their friendship and their trust level……….my prayers are with you every day and now include the cold cap detail!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You are amazing and our God is so big and so faithful!!! Praying for you so much on this journey!!! Love following Gods faithfulness through you!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jamie,

    I have prayed and prayed and PRAYED for you!!! We moved to a new house this month and I’m still trying to decorate. Just this morning, I pulled a frame with a picture of John Thomas that you captured with your magnificent eye for seeing the best in all, and I stopped and prayed for you, again.

    You may not not understand what those photos mean to me…I was a newly single mom struggling with working out of town and raising my most prized possession. The moments you captured brought me not only to tears, but to my knees, thanking God for the amazing human being He had given me. I can’t thank you enough for the memories that you created, just for ME.

    But, of course, I digress. My family and I will not stop praying for your inevitable survival and recovery. This is a blessing in disguise, you know. No one else can be a better advocate for breast cancer than the great JAMIE BERRY KRAUS!! This is why you have been plagued with this horrible disease…because you are going to beat it like A BOSS and live to tell about it!!

    The Montgomerys will continue to pray for you and your sweet boys (all 4), but I know in my heart that all will be well. Just know that HE is with you. Always.

    God is good. All the time.
    All the time. God is good.

    Love,
    The Montgomery Family

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is incredibly sweet and touching. Almost brought my husband to tears! Thank you my precious friend!!!! I’m so happy you are doing so well! I remember our photo session like it was yesterday! 😘😘😘

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  7. Immediately after saying my morning prayers for you I’ll say another that a cold cap will work for me. I wonder if it will help STOP my hair loss from age and the minute stresses of life? :)))) Thanking God for your supportive friends and your awesome ability to share your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ava!!! You are so precious. Thank you so much for taking the time to reach out. I’m excited to check out your blog! I appreciate your prayers so very much. And I think you might be in Asia right now so I’ll be praying for YOU too! Take care, sweetie!

      Like

  8. Jamie, every time I read your blog I laugh out loud. And so much of it brings back memories. Your “inflation” entry had me rolling. I remember after my first expander inflation I looked at Kevin and said, “Look! I have 6th grade boobies!” It took me a good 5-6 inflations, one every week. Glad yours are filling faster! You will be well taken care of at MDA when you go for your 2nd opinion (LOVE the warm blankets, and my mother even started asking for one when we went too!). Very impressive cancer hospital. We breast cancer patients even get our own building thanks to Peggy and Lowry Mays! Love you so much, my sweet friend.

    Praying for chemo to move quickly and as comfortably as possible. It sounds like you, Trevor, and the boys are completely surrounded by God’s people through amazing friends and family. You have quite a testimony. ❤️

    Like

  9. It sounds like you have a wise doctor, and one of the things I pray for is wisdom of your doctors. Continued prayer for your trip to MD Anderson. Regarding the cold cap: I have a dear friend who went through breast cancer chemo last year at Baylor, and she was able to do the cold cap regiment (I think it was still in trial at that point) and it worked for her! I was fortunate enough to take her to a couple of chemo sessions and while it does take longer and not too comfy I’m sure sitting with ice on your head for a few hours😨, it was worth it for her. She a fun, upbeat gal, and very upfront. Maybe the three of us could go to lunch after your return from MDA, before you start your chemo. 🙏🏼

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  10. Hi – undergoing chemo now for breast cancer. I wanted to get the cold cap and my Dr said it was very painful with migraines and that it did not work perfectly – that I would have bald patches on my head. So I did not get one and I do regret it. Have been bald since January, I used to have long, thick curly hair – all gone. I got the most expensive wig I could find that looked like my hair – but I Hate it – I can’t wear it at all, I feel like an idiot in it. So here i am bald and still undergoing chemo. I read you had your surgery – it’s opposite for me, surgery is after chemo. Dread that. I wish you well in your fight – you seem surrounded by family and love and those are key to getting through this.
    All the best….
    ariele

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  11. Jamie, you are still at the top of my prayer list! I know you are doing your research and are probably loaded with information about the chemo cold caps. I just wanted to let you know I have a friend who works for chemo cold caps. If you are interested, I’m happy to put y’all in touch with each other. Blessings!

    Like

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