My oncologist was elated with my progress. He was amazed at my bodies positive response to Letrozole therapy, how the cancer spots in my ribs and in adjoining lymph node were clear, and he he was confident in calling it resolved (in my chest area). However, he was unable to discern if the spots in my spine were cancerous or scar tissue! Taking no chances, he decided to add two additional therapies – 1) Zometa infusion every three months (to rebuild my bone so that future problems or breaks can be mitigated), and 2) start Ibrance oral chemo to augment Letrozole therapy as studies have shown that women with advanced breast cancer who take both Ibrance and Letrozole lived about 20 months without their cancer getting worse, compared to about 10 months for the women who received letrozole alone! He did, however, warn of the drop in blood counts (both red and white) seen with Ibrance and asked for greater vigilance around infection, fever, anemia, fatigue, weakness, nausea, etc.
My appointment for Zometa came first. I was given Zoledronic Acid 4 mg in Sodium Chloride 0.9% 100 mL IV at the infusion center. It was a short session and the nurse upon my discharge went over the potential side effects but mainly that I will experience flu-like symptoms, fevers and chills. That night and the next morning were was pretty uneventful, however, that was short lived! I started spiking a fever of 102.8F, then the chills came and my joints very achy. I piled couple of blankets despite being a hot summer day (with no air conditioning given the proximity of my place to the beach). It totally felt like I was having a bout with flu! Also, internally, I was feeling that I was burning up. I drank a lot of fluids (a lot!) but my month and my body felt parched. Tylenol (like the nurse suggested) did break the fever to 100.3 but the low grade fever continued. By the second day, my teeth were chattering as it does in winter time and despite being under layers of blankets. However, on the third day, I was back to normal with no fever, chills, or weakness, go figure!