Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chemo Fiasco

Went for chemo today and ended up leaving without it.

More of my videos here.
Back story: Because of some troublesome side effects, my chemo dosage has been reevaluated each week. My nurse has me call her to communicate my symptoms on Sunday night, which she relays to the doctor Monday morning. I arrive at 1pm and never know what I’m going to get until I get there.

This Monday took that last sentence to a new level.

I made a video explaining all that happened, not this one, the Chemo Fiasco video isn't ready yet, but stay tuned, I'll get it up soon.

In the meantime, the Cliff Notes, minus all the emotional drama you'll see in the video: My regular nurse was absent (out sick) and her replacement gave us three different answers when I asked about the dosage, first leading us to believe it had been lowered, then that it was exactly the same as last time, then finally (and accurately) that it was raised. I didn't know what information (or misinformation) my doctor had, and the doctor didn't have time to talk to me directly, suggesting instead that I leave and come back another day when my regular nurse was in.

The nurse was impatient and confused. It became obvious that she was unable to provide the info I needed. I had to choose between going ahead with a raised dose of chemo without understanding the doctor’s rationale or feeling certain that the doctor even knew what I was currently experiencing – or else coming back the next day.

It takes a lot to gear up for chemo day. Emotionally, it’s harder and harder each week even though the chemo experience itself gets easier. Jim had taken the day off to support me this time. This has not been our usual routine, but because I was struggling on my own, we decided to sacrifice a vacation day so he could stay with me this time. On top of that, my car is in the shop, not to mention the fact that the hospital is an hour from home and I had plans on Tuesday. "Come back tomorrow” was not as simple as it sounds and by far not my first choice. But ultimately, it seemed the only viable option.

And it worked out just fine. I got to talk to the doctor directly on Tuesday morning, my good friend N~ drove me to the cancer center at noon and J~ met us there. Chemo went fine, just one needle stick, same dose as last week (I'm still at 80% of the standard dose).

Another day on Planet Cancer, and by far not the worst...

1 comment:

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