I woke up this morning coughing like crazy, so much so I almost vomited. Tina listened to my chest when she got home and said I sounded clear so hopefully the bronchitis I just got over isn’t coming back, because it would delay my outpatient surgery to get the chemo port put in.
I went downstairs to watch some TV and fell back asleep, only to be awakened with an upset stomach. After spending quite a bit of time in the bathroom I feel better but am still very tired. I’m back to watching TV and kind of dozing on and off.
Originally I was planning on having some people over to watch the UFC PPV tonight, but think instead I’m just going to go to bed early. I’m way too tired, not feeling all that good and could use the rest. I might change my mind at the last minute but I highly doubt it.
I’m just really hoping that I’m not getting sick again. The last thing I want to do is put the chemo treatments off any longer than necessary. I want to kick this cancer in the butt and get on with the rest of my life.
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!
Everything that has happened so far has been nothing short of a miracle. Getting in to the doctors offices, getting all the tests done and getting their results, having the surgery and it being successful, and such a rapid and full recovery has been a blessing. So don’t get me wrong, I am grateful.
But the past two days, I have been very anxious about my appointment with the oncologist on Thursday. It’s not like I don’t know that I am going to start chemo, but there is so much I don’t know. Which type of chemo, what delivery method, when is it going to begin, how long will I need to have it, which of the multitude of side effects are going to effect me, will I be able to work while going through the treatments, how much is it going to cost, etc.
I am tired all the time and even after getting almost 10 hours of sleep last night, I am exhausted now. I am having a real hard time keeping my concentration on work, family, or anything else. I know that I can’t change anything until I find out Thursday, but that doesn’t stop my head from swimming in it. I just want to know how we are going to proceed and how it is going to affect me physically, mentally, emotionally and financially.