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The Halfway Mark

April 20, 2010

Wow. Quick chemo today. We were in by 9 and out by 1!

The new office is wonderful. The waiting room is broken up into little sitting areas so we’re not sitting on top of each other, staring at each other. Those funny old people continue to be entertaining, though. Even if you can’t see them.

“Sally” called out the lab tech.

“Me?” said an old man sitting in a chair.

“Are you Sally?” she asked.

“No. I couldn’t hear what you said,” he replied.

So of course, anytime anybody came out and called out a name, he assumed it was him. I was called in before he got called in so I don’t know how many times he asked  “Me?”

I saw the nurse practitioner today instead of the oncologist. Which might be the reason why I got in and out of the place so fast. I have no issues so wish I could keep on seeing the nurse practitioner. But the oncologist has rules, and I’ll see her the 4th round and the 6th round (the last round!)

After visiting with her and getting my lab work done (they accidentally did it backwards today) then getting my line put into my port (which, people, is absolutely nothing to fuss over – compared to the poor woman sitting next to me in the infusion room, who doesn’t have a port and they have had a heck of a time getting a line in the last two times I saw her.)

The new infusion room is broken up into 6 areas (What? 6 areas? Good god – chemo brain. They have 4 areas, not 6.). 6 chemo chairs per area. I forgot to mention that while in the waiting room, the party patient who loves to bring an entourage, sat on one side of us (with her husband) and her mother sat on the other side of us. Party Patient talked to her mother, over us, as though we were either invisible or she was sure we’d be so very interested in what she had to say (she was looking for pencil eraser toppers for her kids and that conversation could have gone on very long had her mother – thank god for small favors – whispered to her “let’s talk about this later.”)

So, when we went into the infusion room, I chose the area that had only 1 seat available, knowing that Party Patient would be in soon and could have the next area, that had 4 seats available for her chemo party. Thankfully, the break of of the room makes it so that we don’t have to listen to everything they’re talking about. When I passed them, enroute to the bathroom, she had 5 visitors – 2 were sitting in chemo chairs. What a pain in the prima donna ass.

My nurse asked me if I’d experienced any neuropathy – from the taxotere. Which I said I didn’t. But then later on asked her if the pain I’d felt in my fingernails for about 5 days was neuropathy. It is. I’m glad I asked. They want to make note of it on my chart and if I it doesn’t go away, they’ve got something to help.

Here I am, a woman who didn’t take one pill before all of this. Maybe an Advil on occasion. But no multi-vitamins (thank god, because now “they” think that may cause breast cancer). Nothing. And now I’ve got a bedside table loaded with anit-nausea pills, steroids, stool softeners, laxatives, and sleeping pills. To be added to with my hormone pill once I’m done with the chemo.

The nurse practitioner talked about my “after-care”. The oncologist wants to see me once every 3 months for the first year, twice a year – the second year and then less after that. I’ll be getting chest x-rays annually and blood tests to look for things I refuse to participate in, ever again. I refuse to say it. I’m not getting this crap, ever again. You hear me?

I do like that she was talking about after-care. It’s getting closer!

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. April 20, 2010 2:19 pm

    Half-way mark!!! How fucking good does That sound???? Better than ‘fucking cancer’, but not quite as good as “Cancer FREE” will sound. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  2. April 20, 2010 2:38 pm

    Well, now I have Bon Jovi in my head: Wh-oa! Halfway There! Wh-OA! Sorry.

    I can’t wait until you’re all the way there and done with this stupid cancer.

    P.S. I told my husband your “B for baseball” hat story and now whenever we see the Red Sox on TV, he says, “B for baseball!” 🙂

  3. April 20, 2010 5:29 pm

    Halfway there, Kathy! I was sending good thoughts your way all day, and will continue to do so this week and next!

  4. April 20, 2010 7:39 pm

    Aftercare talk is a great thing!!! Another chemo treatment bites the dust. Congrats!

  5. April 20, 2010 8:06 pm

    Aftercare! Now that’s a lovely word. YAY for being halfway there!

    I can’t stand people in waiting rooms who spread out and then talk over you. It’s like they think they’re the center of the universe, that everyone wants to know about their bidness. Sheesh.

  6. April 20, 2010 8:27 pm

    YAY! Halfway! Deeeeee-lighted for you, sweetie! ~LA

  7. April 21, 2010 1:50 am

    Halfway sounds so much better! 🙂

  8. April 21, 2010 7:21 am

    Yay for halfway! Your cup is now offficially half full!
    I have to confess, I would have been VERY tempted (and probably would have) to take the area with the 4 chairs and leave Party Patient with the area with one chair. See? Even with the dreaded cancer…you’re nicer than I am. {{HUGS}}

    • April 21, 2010 10:03 am

      Definitely the wrong thing to do because Party Patient wants as much space as she can get so they can fill all the chemo chairs up with friends. Making the nursing staff have to shuffle them around, ask them to move and wash the chairs down again and again and again. She needs her own pod. On another floor. In another oncology office.

  9. April 21, 2010 10:09 am

    YAY! Half way! So glad for you!

  10. Leslie permalink
    April 21, 2010 10:13 am

    Happy that your halfway-to-the-end day was quick! Hoping the rest of it goes the same way … thinking of you.

  11. April 21, 2010 5:43 pm

    I had a Party Princess also when I had chemo. I am so glad you don’t have to have radiation. That makes chemo seem to easy, but I didn’t have the bad side effects from the chemo either – with the exception of hair and one toe nail loss. The worse part of chemo was my port was deep for some reason. There were only two nurses I trusted. The others “dug” for it.

    I said the exact same thing about never doing it again – but it was radiation.

    It sounds like you are doing very well! It will be over soon. Keep your humor.

  12. April 21, 2010 8:11 pm

    Congrats!! on the Half-way that is a great milestone!!

    I have recently read up a lot about research from Dr. Ruddy. She is a breast cancer surgeon who is researching about a virus that causes 40% of breast cancer in mice. It is thought that this could hold true in humans as well but needs more research to be for certain about it. The national cancer institute just got on board with helping publicize about the breast cancer virus. I recently just read about it on Twitter and through a group on facebook. This would be incredible if that could be proven if a virus does cause breast cancer. Then a vaccine could be made to prevent it!!!

    Have you ever heard about that?
    I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

    Rachel

    • April 22, 2010 8:07 am

      Rachel – I haven’t heard about this but I’ll have to look into it. Wouldn’t it be awesome if 40% of our breast cancers could be immunized against! Thanks for the information and good hope!

  13. April 22, 2010 9:57 am

    I found the information on breasthealthandhealing.org

    Check it out and spread the word, I think this organization Breast Health and Healing is on to something very big! The founder, Dr. Ruddy met with National Cancer Institute in Washington last week and they are on board with her research as well.

    They are doing outstanding research. Just read that a protein complex found in human breast milk, called HAMLET, has been shown to kill at least 40 different kinds of cancers in laboratory studies. This is very exciting and promising work!

    • April 22, 2010 10:01 am

      Very exciting Rachel! And so far, no guilt for those of us with breast cancer. Unless it means I should have breastfed my children, which I didn’t, thereby giving myself some sort of backwards immunization. To match my backwards thinking. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

  14. April 22, 2010 10:12 am

    Fingers crossed, spread the word about this incredible organization dedicated to finding the PURE CAUSE of breast cancer.

    The Breast Health and Healing Organization.

    They are definitely on to something…I was amazed when I first came across it and now am dedicated to spreading the word about it.

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