Friday, October 10
I wake up at six forty five this morning, and I want to take a shower and put on a fresh bag before I start the day. Filipa is coming over to help out today, and I worry that she might come over before I am out of the shower. I unlock the front door just in case, then take my shower. These morning activities don't usually take too long, but I guess I am just in worry mode today. I am showered and all set to go well before seven thirty.
I get the kitchen in order, wash some dishes left over from last night, and make our cups for the day. I label each cup with a picture and a name, the older children can read their name, they younger kids can identify the picture. I write the names of the children in capital letters which is followed by a simple drawing like a star, dog, cat or some seasonal item like a pumpkin or ghost. It is amazing how quickly children can learn to identify their names as well as those of their friends.
I start to pack up my knitting bag late, it is quarter to eight, and I need to be at the Fain building in fifteen minutes. Fortunately it only takes us two minutes to get there.
In no time, I am registered and Faye is there calling me to come back to start my treatment. I am in the Mega suite today, which is where I received my first treatment. This treatment area is on the right side of the building. Even though I get a pod with at window, it is south facing, so it doesn't get too bright. The pods are a little larger on this side of the building though, and fit Steven, Kaileigh and I comfortably.
I get my blood drawn, and then head out to get my temperature and blood pressure taken and weigh in. I am only four pounds less than I weighed back in May, before all this started. Yay! I think this is the perfect weight to be at, but people still want me to gain more.
We are all shown to an examination room, where I will see the doctor and find out the results of my CT scan. Dr. Safran opens the door hesitantly, and peeks in. He says he is looking for my chart and will be right back. He closes the door, and then opens it again. "I have good news though," he says "I just need to get your chart." He returns a few minutes later, chart in hand, smiling.
The CT scam looks very good. The spots that were in my lung, the ones he told me not to worry about, have disappeared. The growth in my colon has shrunken down so small, it will be easy to remove. He needs to go over my liver scans and count the spots, which I only know number more than ten. They have shrunken down and are very small. I need to schedule an appointment with the liver surgeon, Dr. Charpentier, to come up with a plan on how we will treat the liver.
The colon tumor will definitely need to be removed. I think this is the first time I have heard him call it that. The removal of the tumor and reattachment of my colon should be no problem.
Depending on the number of spots on my liver, there are three possible options:
1 Remove the section of liver with spots, the other lobe will grow larger over time.
2 Burn away the spots with heat.
3 Continue chemo for a full year with no liver surgery.
Dr. Safran is very happy with my response to the treatment I have received. It still seems like I will have to have at least two surgeries
He asks me if I have any questions. I ask him to clarify some things for me about my possible options, and then ask what the possibility of recurrence is. He hesitates before he answers me, and says it is very high. I wish I hadn't asked.
I go back to my pod and wait for my blood work results. It is taking a long time again, so I know without being told that my white blood cell count is down again. It does turn out to be low, but they can still treat me. I will need to come back on Tuesday to get another pegfilgrastim injection.
I realize I have left my backpack at home, along with lunch for Steven and Kaileigh. While Kaileigh goes home to get it, Steve and I talk about what Dr. Safran has told us. I am pleased with the first part, but wished I hadn't asked the recurrence question. I am feeling very sad about this news. I am not excited about the chemo for another year option. I thought my timeline would be like this: do the twelve chemo treatments, beat the cancer, get operated on and put my colon back together and be done with this by the end of the year. Things are not sounding this way today.
For the first time since I have been having chemo, a friend stops by to visit me during my treatment. This is perfect timing. It is Alex, who is on his way to work, but took a detour to stop by. It is fun to have someone unexpectedly come by and say hello. It is a nice cheering distraction after the news of the day.
There is a new helper for the lunch lady today. It is a young female resident, who has silvery blue hair. She is very pleasant, but seems a little unsure about what she should do. She comes by early and offers us snacks or beverages. We talk about her hair, because it is so stunning, and she tells me she just did it last night. I also find out she has a year left to go on her residency, and she is helping out with snacks and lunch to get to know the patients. What a great idea.
I have an egg salad sandwich, while Steve and Kaileigh have the saag panneer left over from last night. I am a little jealous, the panneer smells really good. After I finish my lunch, there is still a little left over, so I have that for dessert.
It is one thirty when I am all done and free to go, smack dab in the middle of nap time. We decide to head to Seekonk to pick up my framed picture of the foxes. I love the way it has come out, it looks great.
When we get home, I settle in playing with the little ones. They tell me about their morning, we have some snack and go outside. One of the mothers who stops by to pick up her child, tells me of a friend who has the same type of cancer I do. She keeps outliving the prognosis she is given, and goes on to the next new development and experimental drug. This news makes me feel better.
Cynthia has brought by a new lasagne recipe she has been working on for us to try for dinner. It is full of vegetables and feta cheese. My whole family loves it, and decides that what she has made is wonderful the way it is, and we all agree, she shouldn't change a thing.
My brother in law, Brian, has given Steven and I tickets to see Cinderella at the Providence Performing Arts Center this evening. I feel like I will be too tired to make it through the show. Instead, Alex and Filipa go. Filipa was excited about going, and Alex a little ambivalent. In the end, they both really enjoyed the show.