Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cancer treatment with Moe, Larry & Curly!!!

After I posted the fiasco that transpired earlier this week with my oncologist's office, I didn't think it could get any worse. But, alas, it can and it did!
I finally got the appointments all settled with the PA. We were good to go! Then, about an hour later, I got a call from another person (her name escapes me) asking me if I had ever had the Cat Scan! Heeelllloooooo! For pete's sake! I told her that I was scanned back on September 5th and that I know for a fact that Dr. Marks had already seen it because he ordered the ultrasound to check out the ovarian cyst. Geez Louise! Her reponse: Oh.
I'm still not feeling very confident right now in this oncology team. But, I'm not sure any other doctor can get up to speed before treatment starts....which by the way....IS TOMORROW!

When I got there today for the lab work....I waited in the chair after being called to the back for over 5 minutes for the lab tech to come and stick me. When she finally showed up, she was frowning and explained that she hadn't forgotten about was just that my doctor had ordered a lab test that none of them in the lab had ever heard of!! That's right...none of them!
To add to my rising blood pressure....she also told me that they are not allowed to use the portacath for the blood draw. Now....that was one of the reasons I got the darn thing in the first place! Apparently there is a difference between the techs in the "regular lab" and the techs in the "infusion lab". Whatever.
It took three lab techs and two painful sticks to find a vein. But, who's counting?

Getting to see the doctor was a relief by this point. We talked for a long time about all my lab reports...except for the ones that were NOT in my chart...the same ones he left the exam room TWICE to go get while swearing under his breath that "someone was not going to have a job next week". I assume that is the same secretary that messed up so badly with me. Perhaps I'm not the only person she's created problems for. Anyway....he informed me that tomorrow would be my day. Here's the regimen.

I will get 4 treatments of TC or Cytoxan and Taxotere. That treatment every 3 weeks starting tomorrow. The day after chemo, I will come back to their office for a shot of Neulasta...a white blood cell building agent. He also gave me several prescriptions for nausea and anxiety. One was for a drug that I am allergic to....he fixed this snafu pretty quickly once I sent the nurse to tell him. He apologized for all the confusion. Tell it to the judge!!! He switched it for Ativan disolved under the tongue and Tigan tablets for the nausea. I can also use the Ativan for anxiety. I've already taken my Decadron pre-treatment for today. This is supposed to help avert an alergic reaction to these toxic chemicals being forced into my veins. I will also receive all of these meds tomorrow through my IV before the chemo is given. My hair will start to disappear...slowly at around week 2. It will probably all be gone by my next treatment.
If all goes well and I don't end up with any infections or other problems....I should be done with chemo by the beginning of December. He said that "other than the cancer", I am a very healthy woman. I think he was trying to be funny. Oh, one other thing...he said that given all of the factors regarding my cancer....I have a greater than 90% chance of living for 5 years or more.
While I know this is good seems strange to hear. I mean...this implies that there is a slight chance that I could be dead in 5 years. Very, very weird to contemplate this! I must tell you.....I could have gone my entire life without hearing those words. But, at the same time....given the circumstances....this is really GOOD NEWS!!

Anyway, please continue to pray that I will still be able to take care of the kids and work during treatment. Please also pray for Dan...he needs the strength and the patience to be able to deal with all of this.

Well, I'll keep you all informed as much as I can as to how things are going. Tomorrow will begin the new "Chemo Meter" in my posts. This will let you know how I'm feeling by a scale of 1-10.... for various issues (nausea, fatigue, etc...). If I feel up to it...I will post...if I'm not...then I won't. I know you'll understand.

This wild ride is about to begin! Fasten your seatbelts and hold on!!


Beth said...

Hugs & prayers Nancy.

Frank said...

Ah, isn't the medical establishment wonderful! But...consider the alternative. As disorganized as they are, it's the best we've got.

Good luck tomorrow! Don't worry about the percentages. The actuarial people will tell you that all of us have a finite probability of dying in the next five years. I could get hit by a truck tomorrow. Just means we have to make the most of the short time we have here with each other.

It sounds lucky that your chemo. regimen will be relatively short-lived. Get through the treatment and move on. You go girl!

xxoo, Frank