Monday, November 29, 2004

It's still a good plan.

Fighting cancer is a time consuming business, even in the off weeks.

First thing this morning I took my IV, and then pulled out the huber needle from my port -a-cath. With the needle out, I was able to take a much anticipated shower. Ah, bliss!

Mid-morning I met with my radiation oncologist, Dr. Trivette, to discuss the radiation plan starting next week. He wants me to get a CT scan tomorrow, so he can do revised planning. I'll be interested to hear if they can see any progress on my hematomo or tumor or both.

On our way back from Dr. Trivette's office, Judy got a call from the school that one of the kids was sick, so we detoured over there for a pick-up. Judy called the pediatrician's office and was told to bring our sick child by at 2:00. We stopped at Rite-aid for cough drops and cough syrup, and then went home.

After lunch, a home health care nurse came by to replace my Huber needle. She also drew blood for my infectious diseases guy, Dr. Rowles.

As I was having my new needle inserted, Judy made the run out to the pediatrician. After the nurse left, I went over to IVNA to try to get a flu shot.

At IVNA, I was at least 25 years younger than every other patient there. Nevertheless, they took my word for it that I'm a cancer patient undergoing chemo without any supporting documentation. I was in and out in 15 minutes and $20.

Judy called me in the car and said I needed to advise my oncologist that "there is strep in the house." We have a great pediatrician, and she gave Judy antibiotics for all three kids, even though only one is sick (so far).

I had about an hour to kill between my flu shot and my 3:45 appointment with Dr. Evers, so I stopped in at Target to get a couple of hooded sweatshirts, to give me some head cover without wearing a hat indoors all the time. I'm trying to resolve the conflict between my manners programming and my cold head.

Dr. Evers told me my blood work looked great. We discussed the rescheduled plan, and it's a lot like the original plan.
  • Next week, December 6-10, I'll do another course of chemo, just like the last one, but out-patient instead of in the hospital. I'll have a portable pump infusing 5FU around the clock. On Monday, I'll do a dose of Taxall at the Virginia Cancer Institute infusion center, and Monday through Friday, I'll have a dose of Cisplatin there.
  • Also next week, I'll have a dose of radiation at St. Mary's every morning and afternoon/evening.
  • On Monday through Friday of each of the next three weeks, I'll have one daily dose of radiation.
  • Then on the week of January third, we'll repeat the chemo and double radiation cycle from next week, except that I'll only have four days of (double?) radiation.
  • No sooner than January 31 (and quite possibly later, depending on my condition, recovery, blood counts, etc.) I'll have surgery to resect my esophagus.
  • No sooner than 4 weeks after that I could start the first of two cycles of post-operative chemotherapy.

I expected to start dreading the next round of treatment this week. Instead, I'm impatient for it to start. I feel recovered from the last round, and I want to get it over with.

Tomorrow - just the CT scan. Maybe I'll get to the office in the morning. They haven't seen me bald there, yet, so maybe I can raise a ruckus.


Blogger Tom Wolf said...

Just caught up on the entries I've missed by being out of town for four days without a computer. It's a good read.

At the suggestion of a great friend who teaches junior high humanities, I tried reading "Polyanna" to then 10-year-old Dale last year. I had seen the Disney movie but never read the book. To me the book seemed to embody the opening lines of the Dhammapada: "We are what we think,/ All that we are arises with our thoughts,/ With our thoughts we make the world." I loved the notion of trying to be glad about everything. It's a very tought discipline, and Polyanna was terribly brave about it.

But Dale absolutely hated the book. He so loves to rail against injustice, and he thought that Polyanna was just an insufferable goody-goody. Patience and open-mindedness not being his strong suits, he refused to let me go beyond the second chapter.

I'm still for Polyanna. And even more for you. Glad you are so much alive. Love, Tom

6:52 PM  
Blogger UisceBaGirl said...

I was looking through a catalog this morning and of all things they had these long knit stocking caps made with organic yarn. The 'tail' of the cap went way down the back, almost to the floor on the shorter models pictured. It was right out of my 'Night Before Christmas" illustrations in my imagination. It looked practical, too!

I hope the strep virus doesn't complicate your family life overmuch, and that everyone is well soon in preparation for all the holiday activities your family enjoys.

12:07 PM  

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