Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Successful Day at the Hospital

This is an update on yesterday's two appointments at the hospital - one for chemo, and one to have the port inserted. The amazingly good first news is that my blood work was good. The numbers were slightly reduced, which is expected for someone on chemo, but were "excellent" in the eyes of the chemo nurse, especially given how I've been feeling. Dr. J, the oncologist, said it must just be the chemo itself leaving me so wiped out.

With good bloodwork, we proceeded with the infusion of Gemzar, the only drug for them to administer mid-cycle. I'm hoping with just the one that I will not be as wiped out over the next two weeks, when I go back for the whopping dose of the two. (And even then, Dr. J said he would reduce the dosage by 15-20% to help alleviate the side effects.) I was grateful for the saline and sugar infusions I got with the Gemzar, since the surgical procedure scheduled for the afternoon meant I had had nothing to eat or drink since midnight. And I was thirsty!

After the chemo, we went down a few floors in the building to day surgery and I was prepped for the insertion of the port (Port-a-Cath). We got to see Dr. M, my favorite surgeon, and to update him on my state. We are all now most worried about my liver, and the bile flowing from it. Dr. M created a bypass in May which has worked fine, but the tumor in my abdomen is pushing against it, and may be restricting the flow of bile. Everyone thinks I'm a little jaundiced, and my bilirubin reading was up two weeks ago. We didn't get the results from yesterday's bloodwork on the bilirubin, but if the bypass gets blocked, I am looking at a stent to keep it flowing.

The insertion of the port went really smoothly; I was in and out in no time, and without any soreness until a little later in the afternoon. Dr. M said he was able to insert a "small" one, so once it's healed, it probably won't even show in my ball gown! (Very funny since I can't even remember when I would last have worn something of that description!) But, lovely that he was thinking about me and how it would look. I do wear bathing suits! With a 12:30 appointment for pre-op, we were on the road by 4:30, and that included time to wait for a chest x-ray following the procedure to make sure everything looked good.

So, next chemo day, my port will be used to draw blood, and to infuse the drugs, which apparently makes it all go much more easily. Today, I feel good (yes, it could be partly the steroids to fight the nausea), and I'm enjoying our seasonably warm weather and bright sunshine.


Anonymous said...

Hi Lynne,
I'm delighted to read the good report. I think you need to run right out an buy a "ball gown" and have Patty take you dancing! Dr. M's comment reminded me that if you decide to wear your dress at a New Orleans prom, be careful. There has been quite an uproar here about girls who weren't allowed to go to prom because their dresses were too revealing. The many pictures in the paper looked fine to me and I think the teacher was out of line, but I guess we both remember some strange rules at West High, lo those many years ago.
Enjoy your beautiful day,

Anonymous said...

Lynne -
What a hoot! I'd LOVE to see you in a ball gown. And hallelujah for the good report.
Grace and Peace -


Anonymous said...

Hi Lynne,

I agree with Bev. Get a ball gown and go to "prom" during Womens' Week this year! That would be a hoot!

I am so glad to hear that you blood counts were good so that you could proceed with the Gemzar. I hope this round goes easier for you than the last. You know the routine, though, just listen to your body. If you feel tired or shaky, rest. If you don't feel like sitting up, lie down. Pamper yourself and let others do things for you. Sondra

Anonymous said...

It all sounds just wonderful...good news all around! A little concerned with the jaundiced thing...but..hey...maybe it was just your coppertone tan they are seeing and not a problem with that nasty ol' bile afterall. I will keep positive thoughts going your way.
As for the ball gown....go for something glamorous and don't forget the tiara!
These past couple of days life on the farm has been great. The weather has been warm and sunny and ...just to prove that spring is really here...our goat Belle gave birth !! We have a new kid on the block! His name is Taco...( yes..sigh...I'm afraid we let Aram name him...and Taco it is...Belle's Taco..) ( sounds a bit dyslexic)
He is prancing and jumping and driving his mother insane. Which is only right as she is the only goat that loves to butt me. ( talk about biting the hand that feeds ya!)
Cute as a button.
Bring the kids (two-legged ones) down to see little Taco on one of these bright, warm spring days!!
I agree with Sondra....pamper yourself!!
...and don't forget the tiara!!

Anonymous said...

hey, lynne- you sure make port surgery look like a piece of cake !!! and chemo in the same day !!! wow !!!
lexie groaned when she heard that it was all scheduled for the same day !!!!!!
i hope your port is as much help to you as lexie's has been- a dab of emla on it with a bit of cling wrap about an hour before accessing makes it a totally pain- free experience !!!!
take care and we'll maybe catch up some time soon!!!!
love, alice

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy to hear about your successful day at the hospital! Yes, I will pile on concerning the ball gown AND the tiara - spare no expense!!
Blessings and Love,
Mary M

Anonymous said...

A ball gown, tiara, and high-heeled crocs! What a fashion statement! The only thing funnier would be the thought of Patty in a ball gown. Instead of a 50's dance, maybe NCC should do a prom. It could be great fun and think of the great photos.

Enjoy the beautiful day.


Carl said...

Bravo to you, for coming through the port surgery with flying colors! The implanted port is really a great invention - it will make administration of your chemo treatments so much easier. Getting it implanted is the worst part.

I've still got mine in, nearly a year after (successfully) concluding my chemo. I still have to go in for what I call my monthly "oil change" - the brief port flush procedure, which is no big deal.

May your chemo do all it's supposed to do for you, hastening your recovery!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I hope you will excuse my very bad english. I found your blog accidentally. I was searching informations about my own cancer, kidney cancer. Even if I don't know you, I want to say to you : hold on... We figt every day against cancer but one day we'll win. Sure. Friendly, from south of France, Sylvie.