Yesterday was somehow filled by back to back appointments with my oncologist and the surgeon. Always amazing to me how two quick appointments can fill up the day. I think the three hour nap I took when I got home helped! It was the sleep of intense relief.
I didn’t really realize until getting the pet scan, and waiting through the weekend for the results, just how anxious I was about it. It has been the assumption all along that the cancer had not taken hold elsewhere, and yet we had no hard evidence that this was the case. I spent the weekend feeling pretty gloomy, and imagining what it would mean if they found tumors in the liver.. in the lungs. So a clean scan, despite the fact that it was precisely what we were expecting, was an intense relief. (“yipeeee…. it’s still stage IIIc not stage IV!!!”)
It doesn’t, however, mean much of anything about course of treatment. I will still be receiving 6 months of chemotherapy. This will include a drug called Erbitux (I just made the mistake of looking up images of the side effects. Yikes!) It will also include Oxaliplatin, the drug responsible for the numb hands and eventually feet that I experienced last time around. It is definitely feeling harder this time to march into 6 months of chemo, KNOWING what it does. Last time I was able to take a real, “hey.. how bad can it be?” approach.
Knowing what’s coming, we’re being a little more proactive this time about finding ways to diminish the side effects, most especially the nausea. Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing if any of it works until you’re in the middle of it!
Today is my own. I have no appointments scheduled. I will spend it at the pool hall. On thursday and friday, we will be getting second and third opinions that will most likely confirm the need for the chemo, and reassure us that we’re on the right course. Early next week I will probably have the port placed, though it isn’t scheduled yet. Chemo will start on the 15th. One of the things that I’ve hated most about being sick over these years has been the loss of control.. the feeling that your time stops being your own. To some degree it will be a relief to get into the rhythm of chemotherapy. To know that the first three days of every two weeks will suck, and that I’ll be attached to a pump, but that after that I’ll be left alone for 10 days to recover.
Tomorrow byram healthcare supplies will be shipping out my next order of bags. This time opaque!!! Also, from a different company that makes products geared towards a more active lifestyle.. lower profile and more flexible. I think this will be a real improvement. I’ll keep you posted. Given the side effects of some of the drugs I’ll be on, I don’t think that the sort of bowel regularity necessary for the irrigation approach be expected until after treatment ends. In the mean time, I’ll be trying to find the least offensive products possible!
The Assless should be back in my hands on friday! Sweet!