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Friday, December 11, 2009

It's not as bad as it could be...

...but not as good, either.

Basically, for as pleased as I've been with the tests I've had done at Wood County Hospital, I'm not so pleased now. On the other hand, UTMC's communication also leaves a lot to be desired.

Apparently, WCH never sent the report from my MRI to ANY of the five doctors listed on the order, even after the surgeon's office called and requested it. However, the surgeon's office went ahead and scheduled my surgery, without consulting with the surgeon, who is out of town taking her Board Re-certification exams, which is what prompted the surgery center to call me and set up my Pre-Op appointment today.

I, of course, didn't find this all out until I was at the plastic surgeon's office, expecting to plan my surgery. Instead, I heard "this may not happen...let me make some phone calls...."

To WCH's benefit, when a fire was lit under them, within 15 minutes the report was in the hands of everyone who needed it. And I knew it wasn't good when the plastic surgeon came in and said, "I have Dr. Mo on the phone and she wants to talk to you..." If all was good, she would have no need to talk to me. I felt just like I did when one of my parents would say, "We need to talk..." That was never a good sign. I was right this time, too.

Basically, the MRI shows more tumor than can be felt or showed up on the last mammogram. It has shrunken appreciably, but is still there.

The onco suggested delaying surgery and doing two more rounds of chemo, which is when I lost it. I'm so over chemo. I'm so tired of my legs and hips hurting like I have rheumatoid arthritis. I'm so tired of popping vicodin like Dr. House.

She asked me to come in and talk to her on Monday: "Just stop in the office any time" (which explains why when one goes to see her, there's always a ridiculous wait. As we talked (or as she talked and I sobbed), she offered a second option: surgery now and 4 rounds of a different cocktail afterward.

At that point, I felt like the whole world was upside down and I was totally unable to make a decision. That's when Dr. Mo and Dr. Welch started talking Dr. Mumbo-jumbo. After that, Dr. Mo said that she'd changed her mind and her preference was not to go ahead with surgery and to switch up my cocktail afterward. Neither option increases or decreases survival rates, so maybe taking a small break from chemo (6 weeks) and then starting with a different cocktail will "shock" it, as Dr. Mo put it. Then radiation for 5.5-6.5 weeks.

I guess this is what I get for saying I didn't know how people do two sessions of chemo. Will I have any brain cells when I'm finished?

Guess I shave my head again this weekend.

On the bright side, I do get the surgery I want, with tissue expanders on both sides, which as Dr. Welch put it "burns no bridges." If the one on the side to be radiated survives radiation, all is well. If not, we have other options to consider at that time.

At least for now, there is a plan and a more firm timeline, and I'll still have all summer to recuperate from this hellish experience.

So, that's where things stand now.

Oh, and I need to find a couple of diaper pins. Walmart in Toledo carries cloth diapers, but not pins. What's up with that?


Anonymous said...

Geeeeeeeeezzzzzzzz. I am so disappointed about yet more delays, changes of plans, disruption in your life. Please email me if there is anything you think I might be able to assist you with.

Julie said...

I have diaper pins.