Wednesday, August 30, 2006

One down, two to go

I had my first radiation treatment on Monday. Other than being an incredibly long day (we left the house at 4:30 AM and returned at 4:30 PM) it wasn't horrible. Drugs are my friends right now. The placement of the imlants was done under general anesthesia so I have no memory of that. They gave me lots of good medication to keep me comfortable after that. The biggest problem was that the post-anesthesia care unit didn't get me to radiation oncology until 30 minutes past the time they promised I'd be there so I missed my original slot. Then one of the implants moved (I coughed) and they had to re-do the entire set of maybe 15 x-rays. It took them a while to do the calculations of my dose but the treatment itself took 9.5 minutes. I have to go back next Wednesday.

I was really sore yesterday, probably from lying flat on my back on a board from 8 AM until 3 PM and today my bladder is quite irritated. Other than that I feel ok. Still sort of tired in a "a nap would be nice right about now" sort of way. It is also time for my next dose of Advil.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

A long night with a small dog

Last night The Wife and I attended the Steelers vs. Eagles game at Lincoln Financial Field. The Wife got the tickets as an anniversary gift for me (our 10th anniversary is September 2) and also got us a room at the Loew's Philadelphia. I am a Steelers fan and The Wife is an Eagles fan so this game seemed like a perfect idea. However, Eagles fans are less than gracious to fans of the visiting team. I was greeted with a chorus of "asshole" more than once for wearing a Steelers T-shirt (as it was 90+ and very humid I brought, but did not wear, my Steeles jersey).

The adventure began when I zoomed out of work at 2:15 and headed home to pick up The Wife and The Poochie. We headed into the city and got stuck in the usual traffic on the Sure-kill Express Parking Lot. We just missed The Steelers at Loew's. That would have been cool. We learned our lesson the last time so as soon as we arrived I took The Poochie for a walk but she would not pee. We hung out in the room and fed The Poochie and went for another walk - still no pee but was accosted by homeless man who was either asking me to call an ambulance or NOT call one if he fell over.) Finally, it was time for us to leave so in her crate she went. We walked to the subway and discovered that the token machine dispenses the maximum number of tokens for the money you put in (ie, put in a $20 get 15 tokens). The change machine was broken and the attendant couldn't break a $20 which was all we had. While we stood there and tried to figure out where to go to break a $20 a very nice guy gave us 2 tokens. Thank you awesome guy from Phila!

Uneventful trip to the stadium, lovely chorus of "asshole" while walking through the parking lot, into the stadium, up to our level, get expensive food and bad beer (something was wrong with the tap), and proceed UP to our seats. We were sitting amongst a group of serious Iggles fans and then discovered we were in the wrong section. It was a welcome move to the right seats. We lasted until the end of the 3rd quarter and headed back to the hotel.

First order of business was to take The Poochie for a walk and get something to drink. Poochie finally peed but still no poop. The Wife and I decided to order late night room service and watch Leno and then it started to pour. Before we went to bed we had a major debate about if the dog needed to go out again but she won't go in the rain so that seemed fairly futile. This decision condemned us to a rather fragmented night of sleep. First the dog was barking at the people going into the next room, then she didn't know where she wanted to sleep, then The Wife and I were having temperature issues. Finally sleep. Then around 4:45 The Wife announces "The dog is peeing." I get up, discover the dog has not peed but the hotel slid our bill under the door. I decide to take the dog out. DOUBLE SUCCESS. Finally fall back asleep only to have the maid wake us up knocking on the door (good guard dog) around 8.

After showers and breakfast we went to my office where we spent 2.5 hours filing/organizing and finally home where the dog pretty much passed out for the rest of the afternoon. Now we're watching baseball (Phils vs Mets) and I am just waiting for bedtime.

Finally, a plan...sort of

I heard from the anesthesiologist on Monday afternoon and he announced "I hear you are having a procedure next Monday" and I told him that was news to me. Then on Tuesday, the office manager from my Gyn/Onc's office called to tell me that I needed to have blood work done before my procedure the following Monday and "Don't forget to sign the consent form." I told her all of this was news to me and could my doctor please call me. Apparently Rad/Onc had told Gyn/Onc I was in the loop but Rad/Onc told me everything was in Gyn/Onc's lap. Great communicator, Rad/Onc. I still don't know when my 2nd and 3rd treatments will be but I have an idea (probably Sept 6 and 13). Friday was my last day at work and today The Wife and I cleaned up my office as I'll be out for 3 weeks (and hopefully not more).

The weather here has turned suddenly cold (68 degrees, it was 90+ yesterday at this time) and rainy. We need the rain as we've had something like 0.06" this month until yesterday when we had 2". I think the weather (and my evening/night last night - for another post) is contributing to my general unsettledness (if that's even a word.)

I think I'll feel better after I get through the first treatment on Monday because I'll know what to expect and I'll know how I'll feel afterwards and whether or not I'll be spending a lot of time on the couch in the next 3 weeks.

On a pleasant note, it will be a good night for the hot tub provided that it doesn't rain.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Hiding from the World

Mentally I have been hiding from the world since last Wednesday when I had my MRI (still no results and Dr who ordered it is on vacation. Thanks, Dude, appreciate that) and met with the Radiation Oncologist (aka RAD/ONC). It was just one of those completely stupid days. I took the day off work but still ended up working for 3 hours in the morning before we drove into Phila. MRI people were running about an hour behind and then the tech "blew out" (her choice of words, not mine) a blood vessel in my arm. We got to the RAD/ONC's office just before my appointment which turned out to have been scheduled for 45 minutes later. They just told me to come early to fill out the paperwork - so we rushed and stressed for nothing. Then the doctor was running about 45 minutes behind. His nurse was a complete FREAK who asked if she could give me a hug. I wanted to say "Fuck no, get away from me" but I just said "No." Then she gave me this lecture about all the people behind me reaching out their hands to me that ended by telling me "It's not about me." Excuse me, I'm here because I have cancer you fuckwit. Yes, it is all about me today. Then I had to throw a complete hissy fit to keep the resident from doing a GYN exam. I believe I said "I do not want her to TOUCH me." Then the doctor provided virtually no information, even to my very specific questions. Mostly he said "We don't do this very often, we don't have a plan." It did not inspire confidence.

He did call the next day to tell me they had formulated a plan and it would involve 3 treatments and general anesthesia each time. He said we would start Aug 21 and they would do the treatment once a week for 3 weeks. Then he called back on Friday to say that my Gyn/Onc needed to talk to anesthesia first (see previous post on that fun experience).

Now I am in a holding pattern because my Gyn/Onc is on vacation. I can't make arrangements for anyone to take me to treatment because we don't know when it will be, I can't make arrangements for my medical leave from work, I can't pass off projects yet, etc. Mostly I hide in my office all day and try to get as much done as I can. If I didn't have to leave the house right now I wouldn't but I have to go to work and we had baseball tickets last weekend and on Tuesday night, we are going to a dinner tonight, and the Grange Fair tomorrow and we have a family thing this weekend. Mostly I just want to find a comfortable cave somewhere (with electricity, indoor plumbing, cable, and wi-fi) and hide.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Car Stripping

Last night The Wife and I went out for dinner at Cheeburger, Cheeburger. Given that they had no AC and that the power went out briefly while we were there, it wasn't a bad first impression. I wouldn't get the onion rings the next time, just the fries. I also think their "Classic" burger at 5.5 oz is plenty and I'm glad I didn't order the next size up. The Wife ate her burger (but only a little of the bun), some fries, and an Oreo-Cookie shake. (I'm sure those of you who know her and her eating habits are astounded. :-)) On the way home, she was lamenting that the pants she was wearing were not "Cheeburger, Cheeburger" pants and she was feeling particularly uncomfortable. I said "Why don't you just take them off?" So she did, along with her polo shirt (she was wearing a cami underneath). It was an amusing ride home.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Well this just blows

Another TMPI post...someday I'll have something more interesting to write about than my va-jay-jay.

When I spoke to my surgeon a week ago and got the news that the cancer was back, he said that they were going to talk to my insurance company and get a progesterone-only IUD approved because he thought that local hormone therapy was the way to go this time. I had a post-surgical follow up with him on Thursday and he said that I had been quite the topic of discussion amongst the staff. They had come up with a new treatment plan - high-dose internal radiation therapy. I will spare you the nasty details as I'm sure you can come up with them on your own but suffice it to say that it's going to be unpleasant. I've been doing a lot of internet searching and now that I know more of the details all I can say is I've had quite enough of strangers contemplating my crotch and we haven't even started. The radiation therapy will also entail another trip to the operating room and general anesthesia to "install" a sleeve for the radioactive rods to be placed in during the treatment. I'm a lesbian. I don't want to contemplate "radioactive rods."