Living with advanced cancer is a full time job.
These days I am thankful for my project management training, and for my general ability to multitask, because this job is the most demanding I have ever had. I do not know how people without all of the benefits that I have are able to do this - the running/driving, the reading and detective work, the juggling appointments, the parenting/family/house stuff, trying to remain sane (at least outwardly), the costs associated with the whole thing, oh right and supposed to be resting and sleeping well in between?! wowee I am grateful to be an employed Canadian with a decent head on my shoulders and an amazing support system of family and friends.
Claire and Cass and I ripped down to Toronto yesterday, to finally meet the Endocrinologist. What an exhausting day - worth it, but exhausting. We just hhhaaad to stop at the Works burger restaurant in Barrie on the way home to try out those bacon and peanut butter burgers Crystal and I discovered in the fall. :-) It was a hit, the girls loved it and we all came home stuffed. We had earned the celebratory feast, lots of power-walking around Sunnybrook yesterday, and good news to boot.
I was able to ascertain that there are no (known) contraindications with the Ipilimumab treatment for Melanoma and the radioactive iodine therapy I will receive for Thyroid Cancer. Which means.... I am going back to Sunnybrook on Monday Jan. 26 for my regularly scheduled Pacman treatment (YAY!), and I will be given my iodine radiation in March (I will post a separate blog about that therapy as it is a lot to absorb).
(Funny how I just said "YAY" to receiving a dose of a crazy drug in addition to another crazy chemical treatment and all the crazy invasive procedures on my body... everything is relative I guess, but if a year ago you had told me that I would one day be happy to receive stuff like that? I would have called you crazy. Maybe I'm losing it after all!?!?!)
The Endocrinologists (we met two of them, interesting dudes to say the least) answered the majority of my questions, and though I did not get quite all of the details I was hoping for (Mom did tell me to park my chair in front of the door so they couldn't leave until I was happy), I do now have the basics covered and a raft of new paperwork and appointments in my cancer portfolio.
Most time-consuming part of the Endocrinology visit was finding the Dr.'s office. LOL That was my first time in the H wing of Sunnybrook, holy crap that place is huge. I've been to M, A, B, D, T, and now H, though T wing (Odette Cancer Centre) still feels the most comfortable. The girls sure got to see the whole thing, as we came in through the Main entrance and traveled the tunnels as well as the glass elevators.
After Endocrinology we went to meet with my medical oncologist regarding the clinical trial dilemma and schedule. She reviewed everything I got from the Endo dude and was happy that he had approved my continued participation in the trial for my saving-hope Pacmen.
The girls were happy to meet my oncologist and couldn't help but compliment her on her fancy boots - from a fashion perspective alone the meeting was deemed a success by my biggest fans. I had my bloodwork and physical exam for the week 24 portion of my trial duties, and then we planned for the coming months. On Monday I will have my treatment, and then Tuesday I will have my routine CT scan.
Luckily the CT scan is a shade more than six weeks prior to the radioactive iodine treatment or else that would have changed the schedule yet again. Phew are you confused yet? I am glad I am documenting all of this so that if I forget anything I can turn my chemo brain to my blog and remind myself! I have updated the "Upcoming Appts." thingy to the right side of the screen too, you can see the majority of my plans through until the end of April. Sorry Bill, I won't be back to work any time soon. :-(
So that is my briefing on yesterday's events, I am resting for the majority of today, feel very tired, the red nap-time sign is on the door. Nerves are a bit high here at home in anxiety for tomorrow as well: Claire and Cass have their moles removed at Ambulatory Care in Collingwood Hospital. Hopefully the pathology from their mole excisions will give us helpful information as to their genetic disposition for Melanoma.
I will keep you posted... in the meantime please send good vibes to the girls around 10-11 tomorrow a.m. I'll let you know if they end up going to school afterwards to show off their stitches? Either way I imagine the whole thing will cost me an ice cream lunch or something equally soothing to the shattered nerves.
I couldn't have gotten through yesterday without my daughters being with me, they are so very much my inspiration, my life raft, my teddy bear, my kick in the ass, my comic relief; the three of us just hold on tight and keep going forward. It's all we can do. I will refer to yesterday as "Take your kids to work day" LOL as it definitely was that! They were fully immersed in the experience, and we all sweated it out and got the job done.