Thursday, March 24, 2011

What's the Plan, Man?

On Tuesday, I met with my oncologist. He is not so chatty and it frustrates me at times. I am in no way commenting on his skill and/or intellect – I feel like my course of treatment has been very appropriate. I just wish he would lay out “the plan” more. The good news is, he did schedule the post-chemo PET scan and it’s on Monday! He will be on vacation, but I should be able to call around the middle of next week to find out the results. But I won’t have a follow-up appointment with him until April 11th.

I literally had to ask, “If the scan results are good/bad what happens next?!” He said that if it is clear, we celebrate and we start a maintenance plan of biological therapy. That would include infusions of Rituxan at regular intervals and bloodwork/PET scans over the course of the next year. Rituxan is NOT chemotherapy so even though I would occasionally go in for an infusion, I would not have the chemo side effects. The only goal of this therapy would be to prevent recurrence during the first year when it is most likely to happen.

He would not share with me the plan if the scan is not clear. He said he would need to see the scan and plan a course based on the results. I wanted more definitive answers, but I am learning that cancer is a lot of “wait and see”. Cancer has become a life lesson in patience.

Today was my last scheduled chemotherapy infusion. This morning before heading to the oncology center, we went to Panera and picked up bagels and cream cheese for the oncology center nursing staff. They have provided wonderful care, and I wanted to do something to show my appreciation. I had also picked up a card and wrote a personal note to April to thank her for making me comfortable, for answering my endless questions, and for making a difference.

It was an uneventful day – which I take less for granted after I had an unexpected reaction during Cycle Five that caused redness and welts near the IV site. I spoke to April, my nurse, about my conversation with the doctor and his unwillingness to discuss treatment options yet should my PET scan still show traces. She said that sometimes they just extend the chemotherapy to eight cycles. That brought me down a little – I REALLY don’t want to go through chemo anymore. I’ve kept my chin up, but I am really over it. But hopefully this line of discussion will be irrelevant because the scan is going to be clear.

Robbie won two of three during our scrabble tournament. I love that he doesn't let me win just because I have (had) cancer. And bizarrely, I won the game we played after I got the “good drugs” that make me sleepy and happy. Today went quickly and we were done in about five hours. I came home and had a nice long nap. We are currently relaxing and catching up on Tivo. I feel fine. Not “not-on-chemo” fine (I’m not sure what that feels like anymore – but I picture a lot of dancing around because you have the energy to do so!), but as fine as I’ve felt during all this whole thing. They give you good drugs on chemo day so this is generally one of the better days.

The prednisone gives me no energy boost anymore – just agitation. It’s only kicked in a little – I won’t be full-on evil until Saturday or Sunday. But I’m ready. We’re stocked with Captain Crunch and Grey’s Anatomy. But where did all sharp objects in the house go? That’s strange…

1 comment:

  1. you're amazing! Love reading your blog...hang in there :)