Friday, December 12, 2008

Chemo Next Week!

I never thought I'd be happy about it but yes, chemo is starting again next week - on Wednesday. I got the ok from the gastro doctor who says my colitis is 50% improved since I was in the hospital. She wants me back on the antibiotics but has cleared me to do chemo next week. She believes that most of my digestive problems are from the chemo, not the colitis.

So here we go again but under better care this time and wiser for the experience. A new chemo regimen, a new anti-nausea medication, a new start.

Tests Were Easy

I won't know the results of the CT scan until after 3:30pm today.

But the test-taking was really easy yesterday and of course my room number was a 9, (no surprise there) so this is part of what I need to complete before I see my success.

There was no ulcer in my stomach - just gas - so I'm now taking Prilosec again which really helped when I took it this morning.

I'm just waiting to hear whether I'm back on antibiotics or just the Prilosec for awhile. And of course, whether chemo or surgery is my next step. If it's chemo, I now have a gastro gal watching over me! I feel very safe with that and look forward to that challenge again, if it's in my cards - in other words, if it's HaShem's plan for me!

I'll let you know as soon as I know, but if it's after 4:30pm, then you'll have to wait for Shabbos to end since I do turn off my computer for that 25 hours. I still answer the phone though and I'm getting really sick of watching TV, so if anyone wants to visit me, anytime, please just come over! Or call first.

It's Geoff's birthday today, so we're looking forward to some good news. But at this point, I'm learning that any news is good news if I just have my view expanded a bit.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Higher Purpose

After some anger and crying last night, today has shifted my perspective a bit on this whole seeming set-back.

It's actually a good thing that I'm getting these tests. I was soooo frightened about going back to chemo. Maybe that's why I can't digest anything! Anyway, getting the tests definitively answers both myself and my oncologist about the most important question in my life right now: whether going forward with chemo is safe or not.

I will have that answer by Friday.

And best of all, not being able to go forward with the chemo has made me actually look forward to the time when I will be able to.

So how's that for a higher purpose to all this?

Tests and More Tests

I really haven't been able to eat right since the chemo a month ago. I thought that was just normal for someone going thru chemo. Then I ended up in the hospital with something seriously wrong. Then I got out with antibiotics that everyone was telling me was causing my problems eating. Then I finally got off the antibiotics and nothing changed - except for being a bit less nauseous. That's when I got the new oncologist who was able to really hear what I was saying.

Yesterday the gastroenterologist told me that she thinks my colitis was caused by having nutrapenia (depressed immune system) and then eating something that had bacteria in it. She's had several patients in the hospital over the past month with the same type of colitis that I had in my CT scans. They didn't have chemo - they were immuno-suppressed from asthma medication or other things.

She convinced me to go through an endoscopy where they take a camera and go down my throat into my stomach to rule out any ulcers. If there's an ulcer and that's the only problem, then it's easy to solve. She wanted to do a colonoscopy to take a biopsy (which would let her know exactly what blew out my system) but I'm not healthy enough for that so she convinced me to get yet another CT scan. She needs to see if my colon has gotten better since I was in the hospital. If it hasn't, I need to get back on those horrible antibiotics (which I was on for 2 weeks but she normally recommends someone like me to be on them for 4 - 6 weeks). If my colon is better but just not completely healed, then I may not have to go back on the antibiotics. Then she'll just treat my symptoms until I completely heal.

In any case, I can't move forward with my treatment to eradicate these bad cells if I've still got colitis going on. I can't have chemo and I can't do surgery. So that really scares me. Whatever progress I've made in that area may be lost. Still, I just want to feel better and be able to eat normally again with no pain, so whatever she tells me to do, I'll do. Tomorrow. Thursday I'm going back to Dominican for more tests.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Chemo Postponed

First I have to let you know what I wore to see my clients yesterday! Aimee wouldn't let me out of the house without the wig. So I wore the wig with a hat over it. I thought it would be less shocking to my clients anyway.

So I am so happy to have this new oncologist. He has been incredibly responsive, warm and caring. Once he realized I haven't been able to eat for a month since I started chemo, he told me that I can't do chemo yet. I am now taking diflucan for thrush which showed up on my tongue but sometimes can take over the entire system. If I don't feel better by next week for chemo, we may have to go to surgery first.

The plan is to see a gastroenterologist tomorrow at 3pm. I haven't had a gastro doctor see me yet! None even when I was in the hospital. So we're hoping that doctor will shed more light on the CT scans that were done in the hospital that diagnosed the colitis. If that's not enough for the doctor to help me, then I may have to have a scope done to see what's going on with my stomach and why I can't eat.

So pray that the diflucan is all I need to start eating again!