The drains did not come out Tuesday — still too much fluid — rescheduled for this afternoon, with strict orders to lounge around, no using my arm, no walking the dog.
The drains did not come out today. Dr. Z canceled my appointment — she went home sick midday.
Attempt #6: next Tuesday.
I spent this morning being tested and scanned - urine, blood, heart (MUGA scan), chest (x-ray) and discussing another clinical trial I am considering with the research nurse in charge.
Yesterday I met with yet another doctor to discuss radiation therapy - and yes, it is recommended that I have radiation after chemo, five weeks of it, five days a week.
I'm also supposed to see a cardiologist to discuss the dangers of chemotherapy to my heart and a drug that might help protect me. I've got a list of ten or so drugs now which may come into play to protect me from various side effects of chemo. Of course there are side effects to the side effect medications. It's mind boggling.
The plan for chemo is as follows:
One dose every two weeks for eight weeks.
One dose every week for twelve weeks.
Five weeks of radiation.
Five years of hormone therapy, which means a daily pill that turns off estrogen.
And maybe then another drug after that, to stop estrogen production entirely.
It sounds straightforward, but it's not. "Things change all the time," says the nurse who oversees the clinical trial I'm considering. Chemo gets delayed because of illness, low blood counts, veins too scarred over for intravenous access so that it becomes necessary to implant a port, even bad weather and holidays.
And if I do the clinical trial, there will be another drug added to the picture, a drug that I might be expected to stay on for a full year.
Today both J~ and I had meltdowns. Short ones, but still, meltdowns just the same.