Today is Wednesday and Wednesdays are chemo days. Chemo days suck. I wake up at quarter to 7, I sit in Philly traffic for what feels like forever. I get to the hospital, and here is the itinerary for a Wednesday.
1. Go to Radiation in basement. Get radiation.
2. Meet with radiation nurse, check weight, blood pressure. Go over symptoms etc.
3. Meet with Radiation doctor, (pelvic exam to check for radiation cystitus). Talk about effects of radiation. Talk about eagles.
4. Go to Admissions on far side of hospital (floor #1) to register as an inpatient for the day for chemo. Usually is time consuming and feels like a waste of time, but I really like visiting with the lady who registers me, so I don't mind it so much anymore.
5. Walk back to complete other side of hospital. Elevators to floor six. Sign in to Dr. D's office.
6. Meet with nurse, blood pressure, weight, temperature.
7. Go into examination room, go over symptoms, meds, etc. etc. etc.
8. Undress and wait for Dr. D. (Hello cow oven mitts)
9. Do pelvic, chat.
10. Wait to get paper work and prescriptions.
11. Take elevators to first floor and then walk back over to the side of the hospital where admissions is, the complete other side.
12. Take elevators to sixth floor.
13. GO in, get settled. Nurse does vitals. (Blood pressure, temp etc)
14. Starts IV.'
15. Draws blood to send for testing.
16. Starts running fluids while we wait for blood work results to flush out my kidneys, takes hour.
17. Blood work comes back normal, starts pre-treating for chemo. Anti nausea, steroids, anti anxiety. etc. etc.
18. Chemo takes about an hour and a half.
19. More fluids after chemo to flush out kidneys. Takes another hour.
20. Remove IV.
21. Take elevator to basement. Head to car.
22. Hour car ride home.
23. Come home. Sleep.
This is the bare bones of a chemo day. The chemo process is about 3-3.5 hours. We leave the house at around 7am and get home around 430 if we're lucky. Its long, its exhausting.
HOWEVER and I repeat in a BIG BOLD HOWEVER today was better than most chemo days. Why, because I got good news.
I've been miserable. I've been in a lot of pain. I am very drug sensitive and although I develop strong tolerances to some medications, others I simply do not tolerate very well. Cysplatin (my chemotherapy) and radiation, I have not tolerated well. Especially compared to other patients, I'm experiencing more severe side effects according to doc. I can honestly say, I'm not totally surprised. I do indeed have radiation cystitus. (The break down of my bladder, intestines and GI tract.) Its extremely painful. I can now admit, that I cry every day. Its embarrassing. I feel like a total chick. (But its allowed. I know).
So, today while catching up with Dr. D2, we went over the symptoms. He told us what we already know, that I've had EXTREMELY high dose radiation and that although it is early, I am sensitive and am not tolerating the chemo and radiation well. However, that could mean that it is working. Dr. D would have to be the one to confirm that. This was good news.
When I saw Dr. D, he did just that.
"The cancer is significantly smaller."Those words were gold to my ears. Now reader alert: about to get graphic.
The reason going pee hurts so bad, is because bloody fleshy chunks fly out of me, and it burns, badly. I didn't have a yeast infection, it was indeed radiation cystitus. But now we know. I thought this was disgusting, these pieces, but Dr. Dr explained.
"That is the cancer breaking down, leaving your body."So now I am hoping to see those disgusting pieces of hell more and more.
So here's a recap. Treatment is working. Treatment is painful. Treatment makes me sad and angry some days. Treatment hurts. BUT and I repeat BUT TREATMENT IS WORKING!
So this is the news I've been waiting for. When I'm a mess, and I'm cranky or upset or hurting, I just have to remind myself, this is not for nothing. You're going to be ok. You now don't have to 'just' believe that, because now you 'KNOW' you have evidence to back it up. Courtney Alisha, You're fighting, and just like you predicted, You're going to F^@%!#& Win!