On Wednesday I started my second round of Chemo! It has been much less eventful than the first time around, and I haven't even been all that sick... yet :) After the first round I didn't have any of the potential side effects common with my particular drugs, the most frequently reported of which has to do with intense sensations of pain with cold on the hands and in the throat. It was described to me like a feeling of a 'peel' in your throat when you swallow something cold. This round I've experienced a little of that, but it hasn't been too bad. This is one of the side effects that often times gets so bad that it prevents people from continuing chemo treatments all together.
We met with Dr. Bachrach at Desert Oncology Associates on Tuesday. He was recommended to us by several Doctors, and the appointment went really well, he was very thorough and optimistic...this 'professional optimism' as I like to call it is very important to me. I really don't have a desire to be treated by a Doctor who doesn't believe that I have the chance to beat this, regardless of what the statistics may point to. I may have already mentioned this in a previous post, but we stopped looking at statistics. I had always liked 'statistics' and what information they can offer or infer....until this all happened. I'm an individual, my situation is unique and I'm not planning to be someone's 'statistic'.
So after feeling good about the meeting with Dr. Bachrach we were able to schedule my next Chemo appointment for the following day, Wednesday. The clinic is literally 3 minutes from our house in the Medical Plaza by the hospital...how could it be any more convienient!? This time I didn't have a private room with a bed like at Mayo, the treatment room is just lined with recliners and 'trees' (IV poles and pumps), not really even any room to have someone sit there with you. Most people sit in there for a couple hours and read, sleep, watch movies etc. while they are getting pumped full of drugs. My neighbors were Patricia, a woman in her 60's with Lung Cancer and an older gentleman who I never got the chance to talk to, he was a little hard of hearing and pretty focused on his crossword puzzle. Patricia and I had a nice chat, and I was inspired by her optimism. She told me she was jealous that I still had my hair...I was the only person in the room who did. I'm not really sure why my drugs don't cause it to fall out for the majority of people, and I had mixed feelings about this. Don't you think it could be kind of fun to have an excuse to be a woman and shave your head? :) I think I'd even stick some little bows on with honey like you do for bald newborn girls...
After I was done at the Clinic I headed home where a home health company delivered a 'ball-o-chemo' that serves the same purpose as the pump I had at Mayo, with the added bonus of no pumping noise ever 5 minutes. Later a nurse came and hooked it up to my port-a-cath and its slowly been shrinking over the last 48 hours. I'm pretty facinated with this little thing and how it works. The nurse will come back this evening to un-hook me and I'll be tube free for another two weeks!
One thing that has been surprising to me is how much I've learned in this past month. I've been told by other cancer patients that I will be amazed at the life lessons I will learn through the experience, lessons many of them say they would go through the whole trial again to learn. I think my next few posts I'll try and share some of these 'lessons' that I'm talking about. I only hope that I can put them in to words!
Hope you all have a great weekend!