After a Brief Pause…
I was back at the cancer center today. Recovering from a most enjoyable overnight trip to the lake (more on that later) and a few days of normalcy, save for the intermittent pains and laziness.
Today was our consult with my ‘medical oncologist,’ or chemo doctor. He was… intriguing. Even during our pancake powow afterward we couldn’t decide just how to describe him. He has a flair for the dramatic, giving us bizarre, worst-case examples of previous patients and name-dropping various ailments and drugs. But at the same time, he might have been one of the most genuinely caring doctors I have ever come into contact with. He even decided I’d “had enough” pelvic exams through all this and didn’t really see the need to perform another. If he wasn’t so odd I might have put him at the top of my favorite doctors list then and there.
He went over the procedure, the side effects, and the role of the chemo. I think I know what to expect but he said it would become old hat after the first week. We were shocked to hear that my one chemo day a week would be an all-day affair; both JLP and I could’ve sworn that somewhere along the way we’d been told that chemo was only an hour. Turns out, the actual administering of the Cisplatin might take an hour or so, but it’s the two hours each of pre-lubing and post-hydrating of my kidneys that will bookend the chemo itself.
Booze is out during treatment - I guess it, combined with the Cisplatin, can murder my bone marrow (this is where my doctor filled us in on a prior prostate cancer patient who he feared also had leukemia but was just annihilating his bone marrow by splitting a gallon of bourbon a night with his buddy. Totes applicable). I’ll probably also get sick, but he’s already prescribed anti-nausea meds. He basically said I’ll feel like I can totally do this for the first or second week, but by the third will not be so sure. When we discussed that over our pancakes and bennies, JLP boastfully said, “he doesn’t know you.”
We also learned today that I’m one of three (or four) women my age who are all being treated for cervical cancer there at the same time. Seriously, we all walked in over the last two weeks. Normally they’d see a young woman with cervical cancer every three months or so. We’re the talk of the cancer center.
Even after a hiccup with my insurance company over whether they’d approve the IMRT, I’m still on schedule to start treatment next Monday. Apologies for the dearth in posts; it’s been a mix of previous engagements and extreme exhaustion, with a bit of “not much to tell” thrown in for good measure. I’m sure I’ll have more after our new patient orientation tomorrow!