Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Week 12

So this is week 12 of my clinical trial participation, meaning week one began Aug 11, 2014, when I received my first Pacman treatment. A clinical trial is regulated and has a particular schedule, in my case it includes prescribed treatment times, plus bloodwork and imaging tests at certain points.  

On Monday I had my third CT scan, at Sunnybrook, after giving 23 vials of blood(!) measuring everything from liver function, white blood cell count, thyroid function (which is still fine despite the upcoming surgery - my thyroid doesn't seem stressed at all!?), hemoglobin, pregnancy (HAHA) and whatever other stuff they check for.  Some of these samples will make their final home in the research database place in Chicago.  I get to sit with the lab technicians extra long with my apple juice on those days as it is a lot of blood to lose.  I have learned to have a good breakfast on those days, and to drink at least 1.5 litres of water on the way to the hospital - which I have plenty of time to do when I leave Meaford at 5am.

This trip went pretty smoothly, and the day ended with some good laughs. My buddy from Gravenhurst met me in Barrie at 6:15am, and we weaved our way through an alternate route as the 400-401E was closed due to a truck fire, and made it in time for bloodwork at 8:45 (yes, she's a rock star driver!).  Then off to CT to drink the toxic glow-worm water stuff for an hour and a half, then sit in my lovely gown for an hour waiting for the delayed scan. Somehow we managed to giggle our way through it and time passed pretty quickly.  Amazing how much chatting and catching up two friends can do without their children there to sweetly (constantly) interrupt. No offense kiddos!

After lunch in the yummy caf in the Odette Cancer Centre, we headed upstairs to wait for 3pm appt with my medical oncologist.  She was quite delayed so we amused ourselves people-watching. I am amazed at how many people - patients in addition to staff - that I am recognizing on trips to the hospital, it is a small world, really. I guess we are repeat offenders all on our own coincidental schedules!

Oncologist meeting went well, even though she was almost two hours behind she still gave me time for my exam and questions, not rushed or frazzled, just as caring as always.  We went through my routine exam, lymph nodes poked and personal questions answered.  Nice little bonus she already had part of my CT scan results from that day! 

I am happy to report that my liver is still okay.  We have been watching a couple of "small uncharacterized lesions" on my liver, and YAY I get a three-month pass - so far so good on that organ at least!  Next CT scan is in January, so no further news is good news.  

Still no thyroid surgery date, but I will post as soon as I get it.  I really expect to hear this week but hey! The suspense is thrilling. 

Outta there around 5pm and we barreled up the 400 straight to downtown Barrie to scope out a burger joint we found online that serves crazy burgers such as the "Sk8tr Boi" which has a beautiful delicious GOB of peanut butter on it, in addition to cheese and bacon. Yah baby - I HIGHLY recommend it. Have a new fave burger topping (hey gotta enjoy my liver health while I have it!!?) :-) 

Crystal and I parted ways at the Timmies where my car had sat for the day, and I got home shortly after 9pm, exhausted but happy.  Thanks Crys, for being part of my posse.  xoxo

Another small update - yesterday I finally went for my first massage therapy treatment for the lymphedema in my leg. Went well and was very informative, will update more on that later after I see the specialist for my leg.

OK... halfway through week 12, deal with the post-CT tummy trouble and general fatigue/exhaustion... plus carve pumpkins and proceed with Halloween and we'll be at "Lucky" 13!  ;-) 

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