Friday, August 10, 2007

much happened today

I went to the doc's this morning for my neulasta shot. While I was there, I rapid-fired questions at the nurse, who gently told me that these were really questions for the doctor. I knew that already, but I didn't have access to the doctor. She said she'd go talk to him.

She came back a few minutes later and said that he said that they wanted to make sure that the fluid issue was taken care of. Hm. That's different than what he told me yesterday (and I haven't had trouble breathing since around the second treatment). She also said that since I'm responding so well to the chemo, that it would be OK to have two more treatments. The answer was really kind of worse than no answer, because I felt more jerked along. As I found out more little pieces, I felt more like I was getting more chemo to cover his ass. Funny, because all along, he's been very straightforward and told it like it is, and I've always taken him at his word. This shook that up pretty well.

I was tired today from not enough sleep (though I slept well), and I was cranky and emotional all day, and I was busy. I'm not sure if busy was good, really. Sometimes busy when cranky is good because it lets me forget that I'm cranky. Didn't work so well today. And I was tired, which made the cranky worse. The emotional part wasn't as bad as yesterday — I could talk about what was going on without crying today, as long as I didn't talk about it too long or too in-depth.

Here's the surprise:

At about 8:00, the phone rang. I answered it, and it was Dr. Oncology! He was calling to clarify what was going on. I'm not sure who, if anyone, talked to him more after I left this morning. It was very cool of him to call, and it gave me the opportunity to ask the questions that I didn't have the presence of mind to ask yesterday.

This is the deal:

He said that basically, I had a lot of cancer and it was kind of all over. He said it was localized (which I knew — all the tests for spread came back negative) but aggressive. He said that this kind of cancer responds best to chemotherapy, and that he wants to make sure that it's gone for good.

I explained that all of that completely made sense to me, but that I was surprised yesterday because it was contrary to what he'd said before, and I'd spent two weeks celebrating, and kind of had the carpet ripped out from under me. I didn't understand why it had changed. Basically, he thought about it some more. Well ... OK. I can accept that. I'm not thrilled about it, but on the other hand, he's thinking about it for more than the three minutes before he comes in to see me and the two minutes that we're in the same room.

He said that most people at this point aren't even close to talking about having only two more treatments, so he's thrilled to be even having this conversation. True. OK. He did apologize once or twice during the conversation for the emotional roller coaster (my paraphrase), which I appreciated.

I thanked him for calling — it was really good of him to do — and that was that.

Funky, no?

So I have two more chemo treatments. Some time before my next appointment, I'll meet with the radiologist and see where things are there. Dr. Oncology, in my appointment yesterday, asked me where I lived, and I said just three miles from there. He said that was good, and he'd set me up with Dr. Radiology, a radiologist in the oncology radiation office next door, who is "very good." From what I learned later yesterday, the orders were very specifically for that doctor and not anyone else in that office. So that's a good thing, I think.

The PICC line is a pain in the butt, but with two more treatments, I'm glad it's there. I'm going to call the office Monday or Tuesday, whenever I regroup from the post-chemo weekend, and ask if I'm allowed to exercise with it in. I'm not sure, because I know I'm not supposed to get it wet, and sweat might count as wet. We'll see.

So that's where I'm at. It's not as good a place as I thought I'd be in today, but it's better than where I was 36 hours ago. Though, really, I'll believe the "two more treatments" when he walks into the examining room and says, "Today is the last one." Fool me once ....

Another brief post to come...

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