This morning I got a call to schedule my radiation oncology appointment for next week. Then at noon I got a call to schedule my chemotherapy oncology appointment for today at 2:40! What?
My chemo doctor was very nice. He asked me questions about my health history, explained my pathology report in detail, and told me he's not concerned about the small amount of cancer found in the second lymph node. He was very positive about the surgery results, and the type of cancer I have that should respond well to the treatment plan he proposed. He talked to me about the results of clinical trials and gave me a chart with bars and numbers on it and since it's statistics (ie. math) I didn't really understand it but I understood the point and I trust that he's doing the right thing for me.
It's all good news. Kaiser is awesome because all of your info is in "the system", and all the doctors have access to it and add to it. Since my post-op appointment yesterday, my surgeon had already requested all my tests, and my chemo doc authorized lab work and the outpatient surgery to insert the tunneled central catheter into my chest. I thought that I would first have my three scans, then meet with the chemo and radiation oncologists, then my surgeon in a month, and then wait a few more weeks until fully healed from last week's surgery and probably wouldn't start chemo for 4-8 weeks from now. And then I thought I'd have chemo for a year, which would mean I wouldn't have hair until 2016.
I start chemo on September 25. In two weeks. Really.
Apparently my surgeon did a very good job and I am healing quickly. Guess it also helps that I'm relatively healthy and youngish. The next two weeks are going to be a blur with all my procedures and appointments (seven so far), including a class on what to expect with chemo. I will receive chemo treatments once a week rather than every two or three weeks. The Oncologist said studies have shown there's a slight advantage to doing this, so that's what we're doing. If all goes well, I'll finish chemo by the end of February 2014, and will have a short and sassy hairstyle by summer time! This was such great news! After chemo I'll have the radiation, and then hormone therapy (oral meds) for five to ten years. That doesn't sound too bad, right?
I asked his opinion about starting a new job right now and his advice was "don't". Besides all the time I'd need off for appointments and treatments, he didn't like that my job could include lots of driving. And since new jobs are always stressful, he said, "Tell them your doctor advised against it". I may not even have to tell them (haven't heard from them since I got the offer), but I feel relieved because I honestly didn't know what to do and I was supposed to start this Monday.
So everything is working itself out. Quickly!
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28