First, an update on Wednesday. We met with Dr. Sheehan for about an hour and left feeling blessed we found another good one! I won't go into all the details, just the conclusion. We are proceeding with chemotherapy. The schedule looks like this:
> Today: I have a bone scan and an MRI at 11:15. This is not a big deal, unless you consider having radiation injected into your body something of concern!
> Jan 6th: we have to meet with the Nurse Practitioner and the Financial Manager at the oncology office. We were very impressed with the fact the doctors office actually calls the insurance company and gets the details of all the expenses we can expect to incur. As for the NP, they will go over the schedule, procedure and side effects. Here is what we already know from the doctor and research we did:
- the treatments are once every three weeks for 6 to 10 treatments
- the day before, the day of and the day after treatment I'll have to take oral steroids. (helps the bone white blood cell count)
- fatigue does not happen immediately, usually 3-5 days later.
- 10-14 days post treatment is a critical time as white blood cell count is at it's lowest (white blood cells help fight infection)
- hair loss will likely occur
- nail discoloring might occur
- mouth sores are possible
- there are other drugs I may be given; anti-nausea and possibly Nuelasta. One of the side effects of the later is temporary bone pain so they might have to give me Vicatin. Nothing like taking a drug to deal with complications from a drug and then taking a third to deal with the second! Isn't modern medicine grand! Yes, I know, at least there are options!!
> January 9th (noon) treatments begin. Apparently it is a 90 minute IV drip and again there are no immediate side effects. I really wanted to start this upcoming week. I see no reason to put this off any longer. If we are going to do this, let's get it started.
So for now it looks like our trip to the beach (Spring Break) and Italy are on hold. However, that is not to say we won't try to work them in between treatments!
While we waited in the Oncologist office there were two men who came into the waiting area. One was in a wheelchair and I would guess in his mid 70's. The other man was probably in his mid 60's. Both were going through Chemo and looked very frail. It was just a reminder of how abnormal this condition is for a 42 year old..........I think a blue FLHW bracelet will fit perfectly upon each of their wrists.