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Updates

Read the story as it happened. Starting with the first e-mail I sent to my family and friends, I've compiled my updates I wrote as the story unfolded. Take a few minutes to experience More Great as those who love me did. 

Update 8: October 30

Melody Raines

Glossary of terms in this update:
 
1. chemo man -- my medical oncologist
 
2. HER2 -- a genetic protein that promotes growth. We should have 2 copies
of the HER2 gene in every cell. My cancer cells have more than 2, which
means they duplicate even faster than most other cancers.
 
3. port-a-catheter (port) -- a big plug for the chemo IV. Its about 1 inch
in diameter and sits maybe 2 inches below my left collar bone. It has a
catheter (tube) attached to it that runs over my collarbone and connects to
the jugular vein in my neck. Then it runs back down into my chest somewhere.
I can see the majority of this contraption bulging under my skin. I'll show
it to you if you want to see it.
 
Now for the update . . .
 
I found the perfect wig today. At first I told the saleslady I wasn't sure I
wanted a wig; I'm way too practical to spend so much money on something I
may not even wear. Then she put it on my head. I LOOKED GREAT! I'm going to
wear that thing all the time. I may even shave my head for a year or so just
so I can keep wearing it. Think of all the money I can save on haircuts.
 
Last Wednesday I met with chemo man, and on Thursday I went to chemo class.
My first chemo treatment will be on Nov 16 (I may have to debut the wig a
little early). I'll take 8 treatments--one every 3 weeks for 24 weeks (until
mid-May). Then I'll take Herceptin, the wonder drug for those of us who are
HER2 positive, once every 3 weeks for a year. So thanks to Herceptin, this
chemo port will be my bosom buddy for the next year and a half.
 
But I will have no bosom for a while. I'm having a double mastectomy on Nov
1. It's scheduled for 8:30 in the morning and should take only an hour or
two. It's a fairly simple surgery: slice, scoop, sew. Technically, it's an
outpatient surgery, but they want to observe me there at the hospital for 23
hours. That means I'm staying overnight. I hope they don't make me eat
hospital food.
 
Thanks for all your prayers,
Melody
 
"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7).