Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Part II of Today's Adventures!

So after class at about noon, I sped into the city to pick up Jim and then we were off to the St Louis Cancer and Breast Institute on Chippewa where I see Dr. L, the oncologist, and get my chemo treatments (this was #5, just one more to go). First, we talked to the doc (she did a quick check-up) and then on to the chemo. I was hoping that we might be out of there earlier because Dr L said she was taking one of three drugs away that I get (two are "pushed" through my veins by the nurse and the third is a drip that takes about an hour). Apparently, one of the drugs that I take does not "play nice" with radiation so she is simply taking that one out of the rotation for the last two chemos. The good news is that the drug she is taking away is the one that probably gives me the intestinal issues so, hopefully, I won't be experiencing anymore of that (fingers crossed!). But it was one of the drugs manually pushed through my system so we were still there for awhile since I had to wait for the drip (and the steroid the nurses run before hand seemed to take forever today!).

As soon as my treatment was done, we jumped in the car and drove to the St Louis Cancer and Breast Institute over in Chesterfield (about 30-40 minutes away?) where I will be getting my radiation. I have to admit that I have been a little nervous about starting this new chapter ... as soon as I walked in, the nurse had me change and we walked back to that scary radiation machine. The two nurses were doing a lot of talking (mostly stuff I didn't understand) and eventually got me situated in the "cradle" we made at the simulation last week. Here's the bad news: I thought that we were starting radiation today but I was wrong. First, Dr B (my radiation oncologist) wants to do a series of "films" (X-rays) that I will need to re-do every five radiation treatments. So today I was back there for about 20-25 minutes getting all kinds of films done and I was waiting for the big "radiation" moment. Which didn't happen. At all. But I did walk away with even more writing all over my chest, breasts, and right side! (I am trying to resist the urge to pull out my own marker and connect the dots!)

I will be back there tomorrow at 2 PM (my daily schedule for the next 6 1/2 weeks) and here is the big question that I need to ask: Did today's "treatment" count as one of the 33 radiations? Or does that countdown start tomorrow? And what about the films done every five treatments? Do those count? If not, this might be pushing back the whole process another week or so and that simply sucks. I wanted to countdown to start today, not tomorrow.

PS: Thanks for the fabulous comments and support from everyone! I definitely needed the good vibes today.

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