I posted an introduction to my Mom’s new journey on Wednesday. We nailed down a treatment plan this week, so I thought I’d give everyone an update.
We met with the oncologists who will be overseeing Mom’s chemo/radiation this week. We were very happy to find out that while she will have to do the chemo through the entire 6 weeks of radiation, she will get to take the pill form rather than IV. I can’t even explain how happy she was about this discovery. Life is all about the small victories, right? The oncologist (Dr. Weinberger) said that we may have to do some intravenous chemo after the surgery but that will depend entirely upon what the pathology report says after surgery. Fingers crossed that we won’t need any additional chemo!
In addition to our small win with the chemo pills, the radiation oncologist (Dr. Zollinger) said she shouldn’t have very many nasty side affects from the radiation. He thinks that a sore, blistered bottom will be the most difficult side effect she’ll face. This won’t be fun (imagine a bad sunburn on your bum), but it could certainly be worse. If anyone has any tips for managing this, we’re all ears. Both Dr. Weinberger and Dr. Zollinger say they don’t expect either forms of treatment to make her nauseous or fatigued, and she won’t lose her hair. Let’s count that as another win!
The appointment with Dr. Zollinger went relatively well. The doctor and nurses were amazing at explaining things, asking questions, and filling us in on all of the details. We weren’t expecting to, but we ended up doing the prep work for radiation while we were there, so we are ready to go as soon as our chemo pills are delivered. (Update: The chemo pills arrived today, so we will be ready to start treatments next week!)
The prep process was a bit tough on mom. As you can see in that last picture, the patient was not very excited about having to have another physical. After determining that she was healthy enough for the treatments, they took her back to set up the radiation process. She had to lay on a weird table with her stomach in a hole (to shield her other organs), and they marked where the radiation will be done. She was rather drained after the process, but she’s happy to be one step closer.
All in all, the past few days have been productive, informative, and primarily positive. We are happy for our small “wins” and a plan. Right now the patient is traipsing around Monroe somewhere. I’ve instructed her to be home before midnight, but she doesn’t always follow the rules.
If you’d like to keep up with the journey, you can follow along with the #JoycesJourney hashtag on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter…as well as checking back here regularly. She loved the comments on the last post, so keep them coming!
(This post was written on Thursday evening after the radiation oncologist appointment. See the first update here.)