On Thursday, February 17th the doctor showed me a bunch of cool looking scans of my body. The body looks dark black and my organs show up in shades of gray and red I believe. Any areas with cancer showed up in bright, bright yellow. The left side of my neck radiated yellow and the right side was smaller, but was yellow as well. The cancer has spread to my chest area and there were three bright dots in the upper cavity. This puts me a Stage IIA- Stage 2, A for asymptomatic meaning I have no symptoms.
Treatment will require chemotherapy and radiation. I will need at least four cycles (a cycle is two appointments…every other week so each cycle is a month.) I’ve been told for some people the hardest day is the 3rd or 4th day after chemo, so I’m not thrilled about possibly feeling crappy all weekend after a Thursday treatment but hopefully that will keep our week running fairly smoothly.
Chemo will come first and then of course I’ll be scanned, poked and prodded again to see if it’s done it’s job. Radiation will start after that so at least I’m not doing both at the same time. I’m not sure that’s legal.
The good news is that horrendous bone marrow extraction paid off. There is no cancer in my bones. For some reason I am producing red blood cells at triple the normal rate and this has my doctor very concerned. He told me I may have a separate BLOOD DISEASE. I thought- What the H????? It’s something he will keep a close eye on but it shouldn’t effect my treatment.
Before I left the office today four more appointments had to be scheduled. Yep, that’s right- four more. I need to meet with a nurse to discuss what I’ll call Chemo 101. Then I meet with someone else on a different day to discuss Radiation 101. I need a MUGA scan to test the strength of my heart before starting chemo, and I have surgery next week to place the port under my skin. Every one of these appointments (and aaaallll the appointments from the last three weeks) incur the ‘specialist’ copay of $50 each so we dropped $200 just this week in visits. This is getting old.
I’m told by some of my new “Hodge” friends that the first few weeks of this diagnosis are the hardest. I thought they were just trying to console me and help me keep a positive outlook. Now I actually believe them. I’m not thrilled about starting chemotherapy but at least I’ll be on a regular schedule and know what’s coming next and when it’s coming. This ‘one appointment turns into four more appointments…oh and by the way you need to schedule those four appointments within the next two days’ is a load of crap.