What’s up, doc?

Last Friday, Zsolt and I met with the lead oncologist. We arrived with a list of questions, but before I could even mouth the word  “Christmas”  we had to first cover the basics.

The basics

Doctor: How are you feeling?

Me: Fine.

Doctor: Any mouth sores?

Me: No .

Doctor: How are your fingers and toes?

Me: Good.

Doctor: And your energy?

Me: Still tired.

Doctor: How’s your mood?

Me: Okay.

Doctor: And your bowels?

Me: Fine.

Doctor: What about nausea?

Me: No.

. . . . .

Doctor: Okay, let’s talk about Christmas.

FINALLY! So that ended the basics. Basically, I’m coping with chemo and plugging along. I get tired, I get sore, I get better, I go to work and proceed as normally as possible.

The conversation then shifted to how many doses of paxlitaxol are ‘enough’. Honestly, he gave the same vague answer that all the doctors have given – in that, studies are based on twelve doses, reducing that dose might/could/possibly make a marginal difference in my chances, but he can’t say for certain. It was his opinion, however, that I finish the entire course.

Blah. Okay, fine.

It was also his opinion that finishing chemo in Canada is entirely possible. He would send an email to the hospital in Ottawa, and we’ll see what they say. Nice!

I realize that travelling during chemotherapy will be exhausting. I am aware. But I want to go home, and this is a compromise.  So, if everything works out on the Canadian side of things, I will be able to see my family over the holidays. That means a lot to me.  Zsolt will drive me to the airport, an airline rep will take me through the airport, and then (with thanks a whole lotta air miles) I’ll fly first class home – where I’ll be helped off the plane and delivered to my family. It will be exhausting, but at least I’ll be supported. Plus Air Canada has those pods up in first class, so I’ll be able to lay back and sleep.

Next week we should hear more – hopefully by then the ball will be rolling.

It’s good news that satisfies everyone.  Zsolt is happy, I am happy, and hopefully the journey isn’t too difficult.

Thumbs up for a good meeting! Yay!

Number six

Okay – here we go, treatment six. Any takers on whether or not I keep my cool (keeping cool, aka not vomiting)?  After last week’s experience at the hospital maybe that ‘exposure therapy’ will make a difference. Actually I’m optimistic.


This week I’ve got fresh blood, and rest, and  . . . hope?

Zsolt was reading that people’s number one fear with chemotherapy is nausea. I totally agree. Last treatment was my first without any nausea – and every moment for the following few days I waited to feel that lurch in my stomach. Wait, wait, wait. Didn’t happen.

Today I’ll wait again, with a little more hope that it won’t happen.

Things we’ll bring to the chemo ward:

My new toque (hat, beanine)

Eat Pray Love (I’m enjoy this book – though the chemo makes me tired, so maybe I won’t get around to reading today)

Mp3 player (only to drown out chemo conversations I don’t want to hear: “oh yeah, I was sick as a dog last week . . .” etc)

Blanket

Orange slices

Water

Patience

Last chemo I was so tired afterwards the only thing I could do was sleep. Even as the treatment progressed I become more and more desperate to drift away. It was something like a long flight – I can never sleep on those planes, but oh, do I ever fantasize about my bed. Same with the chemo chair, comfortable enough (for a chemo chair) but not my bed.

Anyhow – here we go again. Fresh blood. Rest. Hope. And no getting sick. No getting sick.

Fingers crossed. 🙂

Another question I need to ask myself: Having now missed two treatments, should I lose those chemo sessions or have them? Frankly – I don’t want them. But how will my overall success be impacted by missing treatment? One doctor said that I shouldn’t miss any. Another doctor (or was she the head nurse?) said that people often stop about 10/11 treatments because of the side effects. Who can I talk to in order to clear up this confusion? I don’t know. I just don’t know. Zsolt isn’t happy with my missing 2 treatments. One was fine, two makes him uncomfortable.

What the heck am I supposed to do, and how can I make an educated decision?