My Oncology Appointment Results
My appointment went well on Wednesday. Traffic was very light and we made the trip in record time. We decided to have lunch after my appointment instead of before it. Maybe that’s why the traffic was light.
I had my blood drawn through my port. I was thrilled to know that the next step was not a six hour infusion. We walked back to the exam room where I had my vitals taken. The sweet nurse informed us that she printed out my questions for the doctor to refer to during my visit. She is a wonderful caring nurse who works for a wonderful caring doctor. I am grateful for being under their care.
Not all of my questions made it to the patient portal. There was a limited amount of space. I hoped to remember the missing questions. I did not. I was on information overload. We spoke for about n hour.
My follow-up care plan will begin in a couple of weeks. I will be taking a parp inhibitor for at least two years. My spouse asked her to spell it so we could look it up later. The med will be sent to my house as it is a very specific medication not located in standard pharmacies. “In cancer treatment, blocking PARP may help keep cancer cells from repairing their damaged DNA, causing them to die. PARP inhibitors are a type of targeted therapy.”
I will need monthly blood draws to see how the medication is working in my body. I will report back with any symptoms from the new med. My port will be flushed before each draw. For now, there is no reason to remove the port. It serves a good purpose. Next month, I will have a scan to see the difference between before and after chemotherapy. Phase two of my recovery has it’s own special requirements.
We discussed the side effects I am still experiencing from my chemo. The worst is the neuropathy. Sadly, it is getting worse and not better. More than half of each foot is numb. Occasionally, I feel pins and needles also. My fingertips are also numb. I need to use cups with a handle so I don’t accidentally drop more cups. The neuropathy will take a long time to recover from, IF, I do recover. Her recommendations were to get acupuncture, move my toes repeatedly, and keep my feet covered. She approved of my continuing my water therapy. I went this morning, and it felt great.
I told her about my visit to the pain management doctor. He recommended a medication that I remembered I had had a bad reaction to when first diagnosed with fibromyalgia. She suggested I not take it. The pain management doctor also told me about a neuropathy treatment that has worked for diabetes patients. Evidently, it has also worked for chemo patients. But so far, is not considered protocol for use with cancer patients. We shall see if that will be a part of my treatment.
I am also extremely tired much of the time. My doctor’s explanation was very clear, and also a little disheartening. My body had no time to recover from my cancer surgery before I started chemotherapy. I was in a constant state of fatigue. As she explained, I should expect a month of recovery for each month of chemotherapy. That means at least five months for that part. The side effect of the new medication is, you guessed it, fatigue. It looks like I will be having at least a year of being tired. Knowing that, makes me able to give myself grace when I am tired.
She said I am not immunocompromised from my chemo any longer. I am because of my asthma and COPD though. I told her I have no problem continuing to wear a mask in public for as long as needed. She said I should avoid crowds, especially indoors. She also told me that if I contract Covid, I should call her office ASAP. She will prescribe the Covid medication right away. I asked if I should get the new Covid booster shot. She did recommend that I do so.
To be as healthy as possible my doctor recommended I follow a Mediterranean diet. Foods are beginning to taste more normal now. For awhile, sweets were the only thing that tasted right. I had to limit my intake, because it upset my stomach so much. My goal is to increase my fruit intake. I will do my best to keep moving as she directed. I have a habit of overdoing things when I feel OK. I am trying to move every day, but limit my activity and then rest when I need to. The OTC supplements I take did not make it to the list. I will ask about them on the patient portal before starting them again.
I did not ask about when my hair will be growing back. I have a feeling that like most of my questions, it all depends on my body. I looked on line and each post had a different answer. So whenever it happens, it happens.
My new driver’s license has me with no hair. I am embracing my chemo bald head.
SoCS May 6
Check out Linda’s post to learn all about Stream of Consciousness Saturday.
Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “a song from your childhood.” Think of a song from your childhood and just write. Have fun!
I liked to sing as a child. I was as off key as anyone could be. It didn’t matter to me then. We had music days at school and I remember singing very loud. I was totally unaware of my inability to carry a tune.
The first song that came to mind was “My Grandfather’s Clock.” I loved that song. My grandfather did not have a grandfather clock. But the idea that someone would dedicate a song to a grandpa and a clock enthralled me. The version below is similar to the one I remember from my childhood.
I like the Johnny Cash version even better.
The Truth About Cinco De Mayo
From my friend’s Facebook.
It’s your annual rant… I mean lesson on Cinco de Mayo from your friendly Spanish teacher.
1. Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day. That’s September 16th. Which means you will have another excuse to drink Margaritas and eat Nachos in a few months. ¡Viva México!
2. Cinco de Mayo is actually celebrated more in the USA than in Mexico. American University Students from Mexican descent needed a holiday to share. (Mexico’s Independence Day was to close to the beginning of school.)
3. Nachos, hard shelled tacos, Chimichangas, Fajitas, 7 Layer Dip and Burritos were all invented in the USA! And Margaritas!
4. Cinco de Mayo is the Battle of Puebla. This little town in Mexico scared the French Army into retreating and they won the Battle on May 5th.
4. But…..on MAY 6TH- The French came back and finished the job. Mexico WON THE BATTLE, BUT LOST THE WAR!!!!. Yup Mexico became part of France. French Emperor and French Flags everywhere. It’s okay…. drink some Tequila.
6. “Remember Cinco de Mayo,” was a saying of HOPE. If they defeated the French once, they could do it again. Deciding to stand your ground and fight against immense odds Coming out victorious and inspiring hope to the oppressed. That is this holiday. (If you have read this far… you may have another shot of Tequila. Tequila is Mexican.
7. There’s lots of French culture in Mexico… like Pan Dulce!
8. If you know a Mexican with the Last name Betancourt or Perdomo, chances are a French soldier fell in love with a Mexican girl. (Also French Basque names like Navarette and Jauregui.)
Have fun. Be safe.
Thank you to my dear friend for the constant reminders enlightening the masses. Until you came into my life a few decades ago, I too was unaware of the truth.
Love you JC. I am grateful you are in my life.
Thank you to my dear friend for trying to enlighten the masses. Until you came into mcades ago, I too, had no clue.
Share Your World
SYW is graciously hosted by Di every Monday.
1. Do you have a favorite movie? I do not have a favorite movie. I have seen some movies multiple times, but I can’t say that I have an all time favorite.
2. Who is you favorite actor and actress? Again, I can’t say that I have a favorite. There are many that I like following. I will say that I try my best to find anything Robin Williams was in..
3. Do you attend or have you ever attended a live theater production? I have attended numerous live theater plays. I used to enjoy them very much. I started going to plays when I was a teenager. The last play I went to was in was 2015. I was so happy that they had balcony seats that were mandated fragrance free areas. With my scent allergies, I could not attend any closed in performances.
Now, I would not attend any such gathering. I don’t like being in crowds. I don’t feel safe around anyone because of Covid. Having chemotherapy means I need to isolate anyway.
4. Have you ever wanted to be an actor/actress? Heck NO!!