I had a consult with Dr Gehr at Dartmouth Hitchcock and he laid out the treatment plan with about five weeks of chemo using an oral medication called Xeloda and daily radiation treatment.
Thanks for the info Mike, my appointment went about the same way & it was nice to know what I might expect! He did blood work after we spoke just to update the numbers & see where they were. I had them done on the 5th so I wasn't sure if he'd do them again. He described the treatment plan as the regular protocol of Xeloda with daily radiation for 5-6 weeks.
Did you take Xeloda 7 days a week? I read your story when I first came to the site but I'll have to go read that stage again. He said most people do fine with it but if it gets hard, you can do 5 days & take the weekend off because it's most important to take it as you're doing radiation. I hope I don't have to stop any. I hope I can get through it all & take the maximum dosage of everything.
He made me an appointment with the radio oncologist but the first appointment they have is next week. Hurry up & wait! He said they would do a trial run to see figure out the exact place to radiate & that it would be about 3 weeks before treatment actually starts.
They sent my Xeloda prescription in but it said it would come through the mail like I believe yours did. Right now they are trying to go through the approval process with the insurance & see where we stand but the doctor said they usually have it on hand at the pharmacy downstairs so maybe I can pick it up after the first one, I'm not sure.
My oncologist stated I could continue my multi-vitamin, but took antioxidant supplements off my allowed list.
Thank you, Annie, for the MRI & the vitamin info. Mine said the same thing, take your multi-vitamin but don't take antioxidants. I asked about D's too but he said for now, just do the multi.
The MRI walk-through you told me really helped calm my nerves a lot. It was a little different in that I didn't get any breaks in between. I have a shoulder issue & boy was it hard to lay there for so long like that. She did many different "snapshots". She would say "this one will be about 4 minutes" & go for it. I counted seconds in my head to try to pass the time. It was a 4 min., a 4 min., another 4 min., then a 5 min. After the 5 minute one, she wasn't there anymore. I said "Did you leave?" but she wasn't in the room so I was laying there about 5 minutes more waiting on the radiologist to tell her the view he wanted on the next scans. She came back in when she knew what he wanted & then did 5 more min. and 5 more again then one more I think. After that, she put the contrast in & said those would go quicker so it was about 3 more of 2 minutes each. I liked counting those the best.
Oh & I didn't get the micro enema. They filled my rectum with a dye instead. She said it was a blue gel & just kept putting syringe after syringe in & asking me if I felt full. I didn't really feel it other than it was cold. Then she said it would leak out but it never did. She gave me something to wear home so it wouldn't stain anything but so far, I see nothing. That worries me a bit, like where did it go? She said the dye would fill the rectum so they could see the layers better.
Regarding the drug, the first time (years ago) I got a prescription from my doctor in advance.
Boxhill, I went to the oncologist before the MRI so he prescribed just what you mentioned, Ativan to take half an hour before my appointment. I really didn't tell much difference in having it or not but my daughter said I just thought there was no difference because it calmed me & I was fine. I imagine without it I would have been less serene!
I tried to focus on diet and exercise during the waiting periods. I just wanted to feel like I was doing something positive.
CF, that's a great goal & one I'm going to work toward. I've been going to so many appointments but they are slowing down for the rest of the week & I can do more. And you were right, they did blow cool air on my face during the MRI which was nice!
The electromagnets used in MRI machines vibrate slightly during the procedure, which is what makes the noise. However, it's no louder than sitting in the cabin of an aircraft - around 90dB.
Thank you Julie, that description helped a lot & they did give me ear plugs. It wasn't bad at all, thinking of it the way you described!
From my understanding, the CT is a great tool for finding cancer in the liver/lungs (which yours didn’t—yay!)
Punky, that makes a lot of sense. I'm learning more about what these tests do every day. And thank you for always cheering me on!
Maybe find something nice you (and the family?) like doing and try to immerse yourself in that for a few days!
I'm going to take that advice, Rock & try to forget about tests & doctors for a few days & try to enjoy each other!
Thank you for the link Jacques! I'll send it to my kids to read up on also.
Also, one huge help is that I started a binder right away. I printed out a calendar and began writing all appts along with phone numbers and contact info.
Silver, that is an excellent idea & helps me to keep it all in once place. The kids like things digital so they put everything where they can get to it & I keep the binder with pages I can write in, along with business cards & a printout of the digital calendar.
This really is an awesome place to come to if you are in the CRC club.
Soccermom, I appreciate you all so much. It's so nice to have a heads up when you're going into something new. I always have lots of questions & am very thankful for the answers. I'm thankful I found you all.