Today I met with Dr. Phinney, my oncologist from the Toledo Clinic Cancer Centers, and got the scoop on what we are going to do and the time frame for it. It’s a lot of information, so I am just going to list it out, in the order that it will (likely) happen:
- I am waiting for Dr. Bosio, my general surgeon who removed the tumor, to schedule my outpatient surgery. During the surgery he will insert a chemo pump into my chest. More information on the pump can be found here.
- Dr. Phinney has already ordered the chemo and other drugs, which automatically started the pre-certification for the insurance company.
- Once the insurance pre-certification is approved, Dr. Phinney’s office will call me to schedule for me to come into their office for “Chemo Teach,” a 45-60 minute one on one class with a Nurse Practitioner in his office to discuss the chemo treatments, possible side effects, etc.
- During Chemo Teach I will also be given prescriptions for anti-nausea medicine, and other needed medications. I will also be scheduled for my first cycle of chemo at this time.
- I have been referred to a doctor at Flower Hospital for genetic counseling, which will help determine what kind of risks my children have of getting cancer.
- A test on the tumor has already been ordered to determine if my tumor has a specific genetic makeup that may allow for the use of a specific biological that will help the chemo to bond to my remaining tumors/lesions.
Dr. Phinney said that he thinks it won’t be a problem for me to get into their office, with the chemo port already inserted, for my first treatment prior to Thanksgiving.
He also said that I will be doing each chemo cycle over the course of three days. The first day I will get a bolus dose, in their office’s infusion center, through the chemo port. This will take about 4 hours. They will then hook up a chemo pump to my port and I will be able to go home with the pump, which will administer the chemo over the course of two days. The chemo pump is placed in a small
man-purse satchel that I will carry with me. On the third day I will go back to their office to have the pump removed from my chemo port.
Dr. Phinney said that I can absolutely work during the time that I have the pump, and he recommends that I try doing so. He also said that I should try to live life normally, including going out to dinner, to the movies, etc.
I am excited to start the process and am just waiting to hear back from Dr. Bosio on when we can do the outpatient surgery. Today, at least for now, I have a lot of hope and am feeling a lot better about this whole cancer thing!