The Next Steps

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!

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2 thoughts on “The Next Steps

  1. I have seen Dr Phinney wandering around but never met him. I feel strangely relieved that you are going to TCCC. I may already be too vested in this. The funniest thing about a port is the distinctive look. You will notice others people’s and their scars if one was removed and you immediately are part of a brotherhood. Sorry to have you join but if positive feelings of healing make any difference I’ve got you covered.
    Port surgery is annoying and painful for about three days, then it’s nothing and is a huge help for chemo.
    The chemo nurses are the best at the Holland/Sylvania center and I do have experience to compare with. They are just wonderful.
    I am pretty sure you got this.

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