This morning Dr. Powers, the oncologist, called me. He told me pretty much what Dr. Mamment told me yesterday – that they had talked and determined that continuing to do surgery was not getting ahead of this cancer. He felt the thing to do was start chemotherapy right away. He said he knew that I really wanted to go home, but if he were to transition me to Hutchinson now, it would delay the start by 2 weeks. He really wanted to start the chemo here in KC, so we could begin next week. I kind of thought that’s how it might end up, and agreed that was a good thing. I think I’d be more comfortable starting it here where my doctor is. Plus, I have at least two more post op check up here with Dr. Mammen and Przylecki. He said what would happen is that when the day is determined, I would go in for lab work, sign consent forms, and meet with the financial office – “to look at our insurance to be sure that this process would not bankrupt us.” Yikes! That kind of scared me!
He also said he wanted to talk about a port. One would be inserted as soon as possible, but it probably wouldn’t be before the 1st infusion. That had been my very next question – about a port. I had been reading about them, and hoped they would be inserting one, especially since I only have the one arm with good veins. AND I hate having blood drawn or IVs started! When I’ve had surgery in the past, the thing I always dreaded the most was getting an IV started! I have good veins, but when you’re lying in a cold room and you’ve been without water for 12 hours, it’s not always easy to get in. If you want to read about ports, here is a link. https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/patient-education/your-implanted-port It allows blood to be drawn and any fluids to be given IV by accessing the port rather than sticking a vein on your arm over and over again. Since the chemotherapy drugs are quite injurious to tissues outside the vein, you want to be sure it is well into the vein.
Dr. Powers said that I would receive the chemo once a week for 3 weeks and then be off a week. I rather imagine that I’ll be transferred to Hutch after this 1st month. I’m hoping so. I know I have to come back here to see Dr. Mammen and Dr. Powers once a month.
It wasn’t long after I talked with him when his office called me with all the plans. It will begin next Thursday, the 15th. I go in at noon and have lab work done. Then I’ll meet with the person in charge of getting all the paperwork signed. Then I’ll meet with the finance office, after which the 1st treatment will be given. The next week I’ll go in at 8:45 for lab work, meet with Dr. Powers at 9:15, and receive the 2nd infusion at 9:45. She said I should be done in time to get to Dr. Mammen’s office to have the stitches removed from this 3rd surgery. The lady told me that I’d be getting a call some time to set up the port insertion. (I hope I'm pretty much OUT for that! 😆)
I’m feeling very comfortable with this plan. It’s actually comforting just to know what will happen 1st and 2nd and so forth. If you know me, you know I like things spelled out. I want to know what the plan is and what to expect next. I don’t operate well when I can’t see around the next corner. I like my “ducks all in a row.” When things are all up in the air, it tends to make me anxious. Even though I don’t know how I’ll react to this medication, I’m getting ready for it. Let’s do it!!!
Guy is going to go back to Little River for a couple days to pick up what I’m sure is a TON of mail and take care of some things at the house. I have a list of things for him to bring back. I would go with him, but I have to have these dressings changed every other day. UGH! I could probably go and do it myself for a day, but I would not be considered “home bound”, and home health would have to either dismiss me or transfer me to someone back there – not worth it for one day.
My sister, Colleen, called yesterday to say that she would like to come visit me. I wasn’t sure when to say was a good time, since I didn’t know at the time what my schedule might be or where I would be. We decided that the best time to come would be in January when I’m settled back in Little River. That will give me something to really look forward to. When we left Alabama, I didn’t know when I might see her again. I hate that it has to be because of this, but I’m looking forward to spending some time with her.
This afternoon Jeannine called, and she may be able to come back to Mark’s for Christmas after all!! That would be nice. That gives me something to look forward to during this first round of chemo, since it looks like we will be here until the end of the year.
I’m even starting to get into a little bit of a Christmas spirit. I’m enjoying my little tree, and today TWO surprise packages came to my door!!! Oh, my!! They put smiles all over my face!! God (and His little angels) are so good!!!
And as always, I remain in His hands…..