Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Three week radiation is on!

I had my radiation oncology appt with Dr. Pierce today. At first it did not go well. Her nurse practionner was telling me how they rarely do the 3 week protocol and furthermore, they would like me to start a month after I finish chemo putting it into June when I am done with this ordeal. I was very upset. There seemed to be no end to this mess. Dr. Pierce seemed to know all the details about the Canadian study and the British equivalent-the STARS. She apparently is a personal friend of Dr. Whelan (the Canadian). She said the patients were quite a bit different from myself-for one, they were smaller. She went into an extremely technical explanation why that was important. ( I will look up later to see if Canadians on the whole are smaller than Americans-More Asians, less African-Americans?) Also they didn't go through chemo, estrogen positive, smaller tumors, on and on why I am not a good candidate and she would not recommend it. Having Adriamycin really messes things up even though it will be 11 weeks past my last dose. But questioning her further, she admitted that my long term survival would be the same. The main problem is that I would be more likely to have a poor cosmetic outcome but if I was willing to accept that possiblility, she would do it. Damn, there goes my 2nd career as a centerfold model if my shrunken Frankenbreast didn't put the kibosh on that already. We set up all the times: Simulation: March 24. First dose : April 1, Last dose April 27. Good. Now I don't need to look all over the country for a place that will accept me and then arrange for a place to stay. Most promising: stay with my brother Bruce in Princeton NJ near the Acela train station that would get me to mid-town Manhattan in less than a hour-lots of hospitals doing it there and then I could visit Shanna in Boston on the weekends.

The insurance situation contines to be an incredible mess though we finally got group numbers after being in the system for almost 3 weeks. This insurance requires referral forms for every little thing and also won't accept the speciality pharmacy that hand-delivers my Neulasta. Plus we have to pay 4 times as much for this sucky insurance than the good one(Our former employer gave us the deluxe insurance for a year-now we have to switch to the so-called retirement insurance-I guess I should stop whining as alot of people don't even get that). Health insurance is now our biggest expense and there are numerous deductables. I will be on the phone trying to straighten out numerous, tedious issues for a good part of this afternoon.

Somehow on this blog, all the blogs that I follow have been removed. I have no idea how that happened. I still have an on-going battle with Statcounter to block my cookie so it won't count my visits.

Although cold, it was pretty outside and I was able to get in a 40 minute walk as the bike path behind my house was half cleared. Had to go back and forth a few times but it felt good to keep moving. Will try to repeat today. I had gone out to lunch with my son Josh at our favorite sushi place. I really hope he gets to stay in MI. We had a very nice long talk.

Was very queasy this morning but it seems to be getting better as the day goes on. Hopefully my queasy days are nearly over.

1 comment:

Renee said...

What? The Canadian Study was on smaller women? O M G! Let me get that research back out and re-read all the words instead of skimming.

I am by no means a small woman. In fact, the young, 24-year-old-looking radiation therapipst actually used the word "pendulous" today when referring to my breast. lol How dare he!

I did just skim your blog (my bad), but I am hoping that you do meet the criteria of the 3-week protocol. I WILL have to get the research out again, but I recall my Rad Onc saying it depended on the size of the tumor and stage.

I am so impressed that you are remaining active and working out (jogging/walking). You go girl!



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