Monday, May 26, 2008

Local Chemo (Arterial Infusion)

So I went to Hayward on Friday to have the local chemo treatment done. I had to go to admitting first (I normally do this a few days beforehand) because it was out of town. Then to the waiting room. The nurse called me after a while and took me back. She prepped me, and then Dr. Godfrey came in around 10am - the time it was to start. He said the other dr to be assisting was held up, so it might be a while. I then showed Dr. Godfrey another black mark that is about 1" from my most recent surgery. After checking it out, he said I may have to have another surgery before radiation. ANOTHER SURGERY?? I don't know how much of this I can handle. Let me just get through one thing at a time. So anyway, he finished up with me and not too long after Dr. Dybbro came through and talked to me also. I asked him a few questions about the procedure, and was so cute - he said, I'm just "The Plumber." I had to lol.. he was the one whe was inserting the tubes, but Dr Godfrey was actually administering the chemo. Anyway, not to long later they wheeled me over to the OR and it was soon underway. Everyone in there was just fabulous. All of the nurses and assistants were great. I was so happy because I was having a bad hair day, and they put a blue hair net on me too! So what'd they do to me? Well, it's hard for me to explain it, but I'll try. Dr. Dybbro went in thru my right leg to get to the left one. Dr. Godfrey wrapped a warm "blanket" around my lower left leg (knee down) to stop the blood from flowing. They wanted to keep the chemo confined to my upper left leg. Then they had some filter system (I could not see anything) to filter the chemo through at the highest possible dose. This took about 2 hours or so, but it seemed about 5 - 10 minutes on my end! Anyway, after the procedure I went to a recovery room. I was there a few hours, then they let me go home. I went home & went to bed. Couldn't do much else. Saturday, I was sick sick sick. I couldn't even hold water down. Linda came by for a bit with Joanne & Jasmine, and they gave Reanna a ride to work. Lori also came by for a bit. And Felecia was there with me all day too. Everyone helped me out a lot. On Sunday, I still wasn't feeling well. I rested all day, but I was able to drink a little bit of juice. Yeah.... First thing down since Thursday! I even ate a piece of pizza for dinner. I was shocked I held it down. But I figured if I gotta taste it 2x, it might as well be something good! So here it is Monday, Memorial Day. And I'm feeling ok. Still not 100%, but I'll be there soon.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Healing is Key

I'm healing right now. I think I like this process :) It's getting better day by day. I just went back to work part-time, and it feels so good to get out of the house. But of course everything happens at once. So now that I'm back to work, there are tons of errands to be done, and it's hard to do it all! Slowly but surely things are getting done though. Today Reanna & I spent almost 4 hours at the Passport office today. I knew we should get there early, but we got there late. It opened at 9am, and we got there around 9:15. The office was already packed - we pulled number 74, and they were on #48 when we got there. I thought DMV was slow. Anyway, we got out of there at 1:05pm, and then we had to run home to get her clothes for work, then I had to run and take her to work. Whew, we barely made it! Luckily she has 10 more years before it has to be renewed again!

I got a message last week, and my local chemo will be on Friday. I guess I'll have a nice Memorial Day weekend. Much different than last years that's for sure. Yep, last year Reanna & I went with Claudia & Germ to the Sacramento River and we just kicked back and relaxed while riding a raft down the river. In the sun all day (with sunscreen, although this was pre-melanoma). Guess I won't be doing that this year.

I watched Sicko last week, and it was pretty interesting. I'm lucky that we have good health care, but it's amazing what some Americans have to endure and what neglect they receive because they are not insured. I saw where one guy (I think he was in France?) took an extra 3 months off, with 100% of his pay, before returning to work to heal. After that, I kinda thought - should I have done that too? I feel like I'm healing pretty well, but am I over-doing it by going back so soon? It's not that we need the money (although it helps). I guess if I feel like I'm over-exerting myself, I'll stop going in, but for now part time is o.k.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

2 More Doctor Visits

On Monday I had to go visit Dr. Kutner to get my stitches removed, and my drain tube. YEAH! I was so excited that I could shower again. Since I could not drive because I was still on pain meds, my mom took me to my appointment. It was very painful getting in/out of the car and walking, but I managed. Dr. Kutner is always very very nice. But this time she did not answer my questions as much as she normally does. It seemed as if she knew the answers, but she kept referring me back to Dr. Godfrey, who I had not seen yet. So she removed my tube, and all of my sutures. I asked her how many stitches there were (I'm just nosey) and she just said, "It's one long one." Thanks Dr. Kutner. Anyway, the first few pinched a bit, but after that, no problem. She told me I must be numb still if I didn't flinch, etc. I thought that too, because when she removed the stitches from my 1st surgery, it was pure & utter pain. PAIN. Oh yeah, I think it helped that I took a Percocet before I left the house. There is still a huge hole where the drain tube was removed. Much bigger than last time. So now I'm just waiting to hear from Dr. Godfrey. I'm really curious about the local chemo he is to do.

Waiting for info from Dr. Godfrey. By the end of the day, no phone call. So I called his office myself to schedule an appointment with him. It's Tuesday @ 11:30am.

So my mom & Reanna go with me to Dr. Godfrey's office in Fremont. So I go to sign in, and the lady asks me if I have a question. I thought, question - no, appointment - yes. So I give her my Kaiser card, and she tells me he is in Hayward today. Oh no, that is like 15-25 minutes away! So she calls Hayward to tell them we are on the way. So my mom hurries and gets the car (it still took 15 minutes for that - parking was awful) and we rush over there. We checked in a 12:00. Great, his lunch time. So when he got to the room he was not as happy as the first time I saw him. I think I was using his lunch hour! Oops. Anyway, he was still very nice to say the least. I really like thim. I was really worried because the night before I was reading and what local chemo was. I got really scared because it seemed so intrusive. So I ask him, and it's no where near what I thought it was. Woo Hoo. It's still chemo, but I though that they were going to cut more off of my leg, do skin grafts, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Luckily not. Yeah. They are just going to insert the chemo on my leg, and not through my whole blood stream. They are going to do this in about 3 weeks. Cool. So I think I might go back to work for a while because I'm tired of being home all the time. I just hope I have some energy for that!

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Next Step

I'm recovering from my surgery pretty good. I'm up and around the house, but still having others do little things for me. Things that seem little, are really big. So thanks to all those who have helped me.

I went to the CTC (Cancer Treatment Center) today and met with Dr. Benjamin Fisch. I really like him. Sebastian came with me to my appt. It is where I will do the radiation treatments. I'll be doing around 25 treatments. He said between 20 - 30, but it looks like 25 will be the magic number. I didn't realize how many appts it takes to get ready for radiation, there are about 4 more pre-appointments.

I thought I was only going to have to do radiation. Nope. I'll be going back to Dr. Godfrey and I'll be doing chemo before I start radiation. So even though I started the radiation process, that will be put on hold until I'm done with the chemo. I have no idea how long that will take, but the Drs already know how hard of a time I had with Interferon, so they are going to probably do the least as possible with the best effect.

The reason for the chemo is that the pathology report came back positive for cancer. As much as tissue that Dr Kutner removed, she was not able to get it all. :(