Thursday, February 11, 2010

No, I won't be going nuclear

Meaning - I won't need radiation.  I figured it wasn't going to be necessary for me, but my plastic surgeon, having seen what can go wrong with breast reconstruction and radiation, wanted me to have a consult.

So, I did.

I showed up for my 10:00 a.m. appointment at 9:50, paperwork completely filled out and even a typed list of medications handy.  Getting up to be somewhere  in the morning is extremely difficult these days but they couldn't accommodate an afternoon appointment.  I was impressed with the friendliness of the staff, and they even had coffee, tea and cookies available.  I sipped some coffee while I waited in the empty room.  I did get a chance to see Burt when he came in to drop something off - Jeannette was in the car.  Cancer World is very small.

But, when 10:45 rolled around, my coffee was drained, I'd updated my facebook status more than anybody should  and I realized that my next appointment at 12:15 was going to become a problem, I admit I almost went nuclear - without the assistance of their machinery.    I went up and asked if my appointment time was really at 10:00 or if I'd made a mistake, because I'd been sitting there and nobody else was in the waiting room.  The extremely nice woman said, "Oh, technically your appointment is 10:30, we want people to show up."

That put me in a bad mood.  I'm an adult.  If you tell me 10:00, I'll be there at 10:00..  I don't need to be told 10:00 when you mean 10:30.  Not especially when I'm on chemo, anemic, exhausted, and could have used the extra sleep.  Anyway, I said that I had another appointment and I would wait until 11:00.  They said I could reschedule and I said no, I wouldn't be rescheduling.  If they can't see me now I'd go elsewhere.

They got me in, and being the only patient there, that wasn't too difficult.

The doctor, despite the glitch with the time, was one of the nicest doctors I've encountered yet.  I told him that I didn't think I needed radiation, which he agreed with. (I always like doctors who agree with my medical expertise.)   He did an exam anyway, told me because I'd had Lobular Carcinoma in Situ in my amputated breast that I had a 50% chance of having it hidden in my remaining breast without having shown up on MRI and to watch it for a growing  cancer.. I plan to do that but in all reality, it'll probably end up slipping my ADD mind as time goes by.

Wouldn't it suck if I had to do this all over again in ten years though?

He also strongly suggested I get a bone density test for osteoporosis because of my small frame and brand new menopausal status. 

Another test, oh joy.  The old lady test, to boot.  Cancer made me old.

But, the important thing was I get to skip having radiation, which is fabulous.  On to reconstruction!

Once chemo is over, that is.

I made my other appointment and got a call from the radiation office.  They had forgotten to give me my insurance card back.  Sigh.  So, I  flew back and stopped off to pick it up first before chemo.  She apologized, which was nice at least.

My whites, once again, were very low and my doctor, once again, wasn't there.  The nurses decided that since they'd given me chemo when it was low before,  they would do the same this time too.  Nurses have a lot of autonomy in that place.  But, they couldn't authorize me to take Leukine again, so odds are very good that when I go in next week, I will not get chemo.  Which will push my end date back a week and into early April - my birthday.

Just what I wanted.

Worse, my reds are now quite low at 9.8.  If they get down to 9.0, I will need to have a blood transfusion.  Being super anemic  does explain why I've been breathless and tired.  I've been given the name of a liquid iron supplement to try to find - one that is apparently easy on damaged chemo guts which iron typically isn't - this is to build my red cells up to try to prevent the transfusion. But, according to the package directions, it takes 2 to 3 weeks to see improvement and 6 months to get the full effect.

The name of the supplement is Floradix.  Along with iron, it has: aqueous extracts from carrot, nettle worth, spinach, quitnch roots, angelica roots, fennel, ocean kelp, african mallow blossom and orange peel.

I think I'd rather just eat steak.


  1. That's great news about no radiation! Just means your cancer journey is over sooner. I absolutely loath waiting for appointments. Don't they know what it takes for us to get up and get to these appointments every day??
    Hope this new med works for your reds.
    As always, take care of yourself.


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