I met with the oncologist on Thursday and I had a few moments where I was trying to hold back the tears. I realized I had a lot of anxiety building up in me while I laid in that hospital worrying about what my treatment would be like. I hate the unknown- I could google anything I wanted, but I knew that there would be a plan specific to me. After many days of waiting, I finally know what to expect.
I didn't realize that chemotherapy could be administered in so many different ways. Of course the way I'll be receiving mine is not the one I would have picked out for me, but I'm fighting like a girl and I'll do what it takes to get this over with! On August 2nd I will go to IMC to have a port placed in my upper chest. The port will be installed beneath the skin and a catheter connects the port to a vein. Under the skin the port has a rubbery center where my treatments can be injected and blood can be drawn. They gave me numbing ointment to put on the port area so I don't need to feel the needle pricks. I realllllllllly hope I'm getting some serious drugs before this procedure. I think I'll feel a bit Star Trek like- I'll post pictures of it when it's healed.
If you are not interested in all the technical information for my treatments then skip a few paragraphs. I'd really hate to bore anyone, but I'd love to scare all of you into getting your colonoscopies :)
I'll be receiving a kick butt cocktail of chemo treatments called Folfox (poison). Folfox is made up of three different chemo drugs- 5-FU, Leucovorin and Oxaliplatin. I'll go to the oncologist to get hooked up and receive two hours of the Oxaliplatin and then I'll be sent home with a spiffy little fanny pack and remain hooked up to the rest of the Flofox 46 hours. I'll do this every two weeks for a total of 12 treatments. (I think that's all correct)
Side-effects that I MIGHT have:
•Heart attack in patients that have a history in heart problems. Hmmm, I wonder if my dad dying from congestive heart failure and multiple heart attacks places me in the "at risk" area. We'll just not think about that :)
•The Oxaliplatin can cause nerve damage. Things like picking up a cold glass or being in the cold can bother me. Looks like someone will have to hold my Sonic cup for me. After about 3 months of this drug I can start to lose the feeling in my toes and fingers. At this point they will stop that medication (poison) because apparently the feeling might not come back.
•The rest of the symptoms are: Nausea/vomiting, mouth sores, muscle cramps, loss of balance, difficulty picking up objects (shoot! can't clean up after myself), difficulty hearing (HUH?), cracked nails, loss of hair, appetite loss, etc.....
My surgeon and my oncologist both ensured me that I would not be losing my hair. Brandon is a bit disappointed- he was looking forward to being the bald twins.
A lot of people act differently to chemo, some get sick and some feel great. I have no idea what I'll experience, but I've been given a good list of things to watch for. The oncologists are not stingy with their drugs either, GOOD! Chemo patients are kind of the bomb and deserve every bit of help they can get. I'm wondering if I should move to San Diego for the next six months so I can get me some of those medical marijuana brownies ;)
Thursday was a lot to take in, but I was able to stop by Camera Shy and I couldn't believe it- my staff is amazing! They have really done such a great job. I don't know how many bosses could just up and leave for 4 weeks and have their entire staff come together and make it their own. I love them to pieces, they are like my best friends and it's hard being away from them. Love you girls!
Right now I'm working on absorption. I'm really trying to find a place for all of this in my head- sometimes I find myself getting upset and sad. I just keep telling myself that •THIS will not define me! •THIS will not be my life! •And THIS won't beat me!
PS- PLEASE share my blog with all of my friends, family and neighbors. I'd really like everyone to read what's happening from me. I'll keep everyone up to date on everything as I feel like sharing. My poor kids are having a really hard time escaping the question "how is your mom"? Mom is fine :) Please help me with the difficult challenge of keeping life "normal" for them. I know everyone means well, but I want them to be able to escape this as much as possible. Hugs and "how are you" are great. Thanks a million!