Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A dialogue with my oncologist

Last week my oncologist said, that I should take the rest of the week off, and we would talk about what to do next on Tuesday, Feb 1st. I translated this after knowing him a while to, "Let me think about what the heck just happened, come up with your options, and I will give you your marching orders on Feb. 1st." With this translation in my head, I made sure that he knew that we needed more low level pill form chemo.....that my body was tired and since we were just waiting to get to surgery could we do a maintenance chemo rather then a double barrel shotgun chemo? So, I arrived yesterday and I had no orders for blood work. I went back to check with his office and the nurse said, "Nope, it is just a dialogue appointment." Wha?????? I have never had a dialogue about chemo. I was even convinced that he didn't know that the "di" part of that word meant "more than one person". So, I wait for my appointment, and yes, I took an anti anxiety pill 45 mins prior to my appointment. They called me back and then it, apparently, I shook the entire office last week. "How are you?" "You sure got our attention last week." "You scared me - don't do that again!" O-K-A-Y. I will work on that. My oncologist comes in and sits down. I say, "Okay, what is the plan Stan." His name is Hank, but like messing with him. He said, "I don't know, we are going to talk about it." Apparently, he does know what the "di" part of that word is. CRAP - I should have prepared for this and I blurt out - Zelota (pill form chemo)! He said, "We can do that, but I think that is too toxic for your system and we don't need to do something that strong." Wow - okay, what are we doing know? Going from double barrel shot gun to water pistol? He continues, "The way I see it is that we have three options and you can choose one.....1. It appears that you had an allergic reaction to one of the premeds. It is not one that I usually see an allergic reaction too, and your body naturally has the same thing as the drug, so you probably are allergic to something that they do to it in preparing it. So, option one is that we can totally rework your premeds and continue on your normal chemo. Pan across the room and that is when the tears start rolling down my face. No sobbing, no hard breathing, just multiple tears. I close my eyes and lean back. He continues, "And based on that response, I think we should go to option two." "Just give me a minute." I reply. He waits, gives me a hug, and asked when I am ready. "Okay, ready." "Number two is to do your idea, but I think that is too much for you right now." I am thinking, really, but you didn't think option 1 was too much?!?!??! BTW - love/hate relationships with oncologist are normal. "And then option 3, where you come in once a week. I see you then you go up and I only give you Folfox and Lukivorin (sp) (two of my three chemos). No 5FU (which is the pump I have on for two days). It would be about 20 minutes of chemo once a week (rather than 5 hours), and no pump for two days. You will probably not get sick, you can drive yourself, three weeks on, one week off. No premeds." "You want option 3 at this point and I agree. I can probably do it, but not without anti anxiety meds." I say. "That is fine." he replies. "Okay." defeated, but knowing that in the scheme of things I have nothing to feel bad about. I need a drink - I mean like a real drink at 11:30 in the morning. After a lot of hugs and supportive talk, I get myself together and ask when we start. I offer Thursday or Friday, but he says no, let's do Tuesdays. I am like, "I am trying to save them from me and give them a break", but he likes Tuesday for multiple reasons. He doesn't outline it, but I kinda think it was something like, I would have the same team that "saved" me last week, they know the drill, and if I do that again, I have all week to recover until the weekend. Tuesday it is. I get all rescheduled and I leave. I call Grant and tell him that I am going to the bar. Now that he has an office downtown and only one partner and one part time employee, he says, "I will go with you." So, I eat lunch and have a Manhattan. Grant has a beer and listens to all of it and says, "Ang, in the scheme of things...." "I know, I KNOW, but I want to feel sorry for myself for 24 hours. I love you." "I love you too." My 24 hours is up right now......... Loves, Ang


Anonymous said...


Sugar, I would have had two, if I were you! You truly are grace under fire. Love you!


auntie jane said...

Honey, "I been doin" (with heavy accent) the sorry for myself thing, with NO excuse, for could have gone for 48 hours at least, the second drink and not have scratched the suface. Love, Jane

Libby said...

I wish they could just go ahead with the surgery already! Take care of yourself. I hope this "chemo light" is much easier on you that what you've been doing.