Monday, February 12, 2007

Monday, February 12, 2007 - Radiation

Dear Journal,

Ok, my head is officially spinning. I could give The Exorcist a run for his money!!

I had an appointment with Dr. Brown (surgeon) today for him to look at the part of the incision that is not healing. He said that it was not that bad and that it was actually better than he was expecting. But, he said to speed things along, he will have the nurse pack it, then bandage it. Now I have to go every other morning to a walk-in clinic in the neighbourhood to have the dressing/packing changed.

After the visit with Dr. Brown, I headed off to the Cancer Clinic and actually got there 20 minutes early. Jo met me there. We met with Dr. Chung (female radiation person) who explained to us what they came up with as a suggestion for my case. First she wanted to know what I understood of my case, and had me tell her my understanding of how the surgery went. She said that I was well-informed and correct. She then explained that because the abscess (which had cancer cells) was stuck to the abdominal wall and had to be peeled off. They normally would cut a wide area around the cancerous tumour/abcess but in this case, they couldn't cut into the abdominal wall. They are pretty sure they got the whole abscess intact, but one can never guarantee that some of the cancer cells from the abscess didn't escape out to the abdominal wall when they had peeled it off. Hence, that is the reason for radiation. They would zap this area on the abdominal wall, where the abscess was. Dr. Brown was very clever and when he got the abscess off the wall, he put in clips so that SHOULD I need radiation, the cat scan will show the Radiation Oncologist exactly where on the abdominal wall the abscess was.

I could have said I don't want the radiation, but the risk of not having it is that IF there are cancer cells on this area, then they will develop into cancer on the abdominal wall. By radiating the spot, it reduces the risk of cancer being there.

So, this now means that I will be getting radiation for 5 days/week for 5 weeks. While I'm getting the radiation, they won't be giving me the 2 kinds of chemo in the port because that would be too strong and I'd get very sick. Instead, while I'm getting the radiation, I'll be getting some chemo in pill form (not the same strength as when done via the port, but the pill form works well with the radiation). Once the radiation is finished, I go back to chemo through the port. So the treatment has just been extended another 5 weeks.

I'm not exactly sure yet what day I will be starting the chemo. I am waiting for them to call me with the first date. Once we start, I will probably only do 2-4 treatments of chemo through the port before we start the 5 weeks of radiation.

Gang... it is going to be a LONG road ahead. There is no way anyone can say how the chemo and radiation will affect me. Dr. Chung gave me all the possible side affects, but she, obviously, could not tell me which ones I may get.

It's a lot to absorb... now I will check around to see if anyone I know has had radiation for 5 weeks and if so, how did they fare. It's all new territory to me... as is the chemo.

Time for me to crawl into bed and get a good night's sleep :)



Bonnie said...

Awww Cheryl - don't think of the length of the journey ... just take it one day at a time. Keep on visualzing those cancer cells being zapped by the rads and chemo. One friend that was very successful with his treatment for lymphoma (sp) told me that he didn't make the big "C" the center of his life. He tried to treat it like a trip to the dentist, something he had to deal with for an hour or so each day, and then he made sure to try and live his life as 'normally' as possible. Of course, somedays were bad, but more were good ... and I think the same will be true for you. Keep the faith!!!

Chet said...

You know you will come through this with flying colors, you always do. Besides you have hundreds of us pulling and praying for you. Big Big HUGS! and a scritch for the other diva.

Diane said...

Hey, you have your diva self, the diva dog, the diva bird, AND the diva palm tree to deal with... WE all have the diva white light to send at you. You're going to do JUST fine. It's a given! ::nodding firmly::