Keri's Breast Cancer Story: More Chemo

Doug Haberstroh Health Guide
  • My wife Keri was only 25 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her wish was to share her story with the world. At this point in her treatment, in August 2005, Keri was looking forward to almost being free of breast cancer. However, fate had other plans. In this week's message Keri informs friends and family that another round of chemotherapy will start on September 1.



    Subject: Update

    Sent: Wednesday, August 24, 2005 4:51 PM


    Hello all,


    Well, I was supposed to see my oncologist on Monday, but they called and rescheduled my appointment so I saw him today. This was the determining appointment that would tell me more chemo or not. He reviewed with me the report that was given after my surgery and had a different reading of it than the surgeon did.

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    Episode 6: See the full breast cancer comic strip.


    Keep in mind that what they found has already been removed with the surgery, but was found within the tissue that was taken. So there was the one lymph node out of the seven that were taken that came up positive, but also there was a 2mm (size of a BB) tumor that was found in the tissue removed and the area from my first biopsy showed strands that were spreading out from it also within the tissue that was removed.


    So even though these findings are all gone and out of me the fact that they were found lets us know that I have not had enough chemo yet. Therefore I am scheduled to have another 4 sessions of chemo.... I'll give you all just a second to let that sink in. I needed it when I was told.


    My oncologist believes that because I had the bad reaction last time and they stopped the chemo sessions because of that reaction that we ended things too soon and that is why we need to continue them now. Because they only found one lymph node we are still certain that radiation will not be necessary. Also, because the new tumor that was found was only 2mm in size there is no reason for concern that it has spread anywhere else. That's just too small. So it was a good decision to not remove the port so that we can start this right away.


    For now I have been assured that 4 sessions will be all I need and then my treatment will be complete. I start on Thursday, Sept.1 and will do this again every two weeks. I will also be getting the same shot that I was getting last time to help my white blood cells so that I can get this every two weeks.


    I have a new combination of drugs that are different so that I don't have the same reaction that I had last time. One of these new drugs unfortunately will be aiding in the depletion of my eggs so there is a small risk that I may become infertile, but I'm hoping that in only 4 sessions I will retain enough to still have the children that I want to have in the future.



    Episode 6: See the full breast cancer comic strip.


    Unfortunately I will be experiencing all the same side effects that I experienced last time. I will lose my hair again which really sucks because it was starting to get full and noticeably longer. I will lose my tastes again and be tired and achy. I am going to strive to do better through it this time and not end up on my "soup diet" that I was on last time.


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    Now for the emotional side of just really sucks. I am pretty upset at this point, but I know this is still the way to the end of this road just different than I had hoped for. I will still be keeping my spirits up as much as I can though it is going to be a day or so for that to kick in.


    I will again keep sending my updates and keeping you all posted on my progress. Please keep me in your thoughts as you read this email, as I know you all will do. This is just another bump in the road, but we've made it over the other bumps so far so this one should be a piece of cake. I'll email again soon and let you know how things are going.


    Love to you all,




    A Note from Doug: We're also telling Keri's breast cancer story as a weekly comic strip. Check back each week to follow her treatment. This week's episode, Episode 6, focuses on Keri learning that she must start chemotherapy again.
Published On: August 31, 2007