Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Mammosite treatments, updates and plans

The radiation treatments are going well, no side effects that I can tell, and I have just 3 left!  Tomorrow afternoon I have to take pain meds (read that as Vicodin!) because after the last treatment, they will drain and deflate the balloon and pull it out.  I find it amusing that a place that administers chemotherapy can't administer a little lidocaine to numb the area and instead is pushing the pain pills...LOL!  I guess I'll be loopy for the rest of the afternoon and evening.  I wish Vicodin put me to sleep - I could look forward to a good nap! 

Funny story:  so as a child of the 50's and 60's and the cold war, I remember bomb drills and tv documentaries about the aftermath of nuclear war.  You've probably seen them (if you're over 50)...after a nuclear attack, men in white protective suits come out with geiger counters to measure radiation levels to determine if it's safe for everyone else to come out of their shelters.   I remember clearly having bad dreams about all this as it was a really big deal, especially the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Well, that's a little like what's happening to me after each treatment.  Yesterday morning I told the Physicist that he was "the man of my dreams " because after every treatment, he's the first one in the room, dressed in a white lab coat, approaching me with a geiger counter (which looks no different than the ones from my childhood visions).  He declares me "OK" then everyone else comes in behind him.  It was a very funny conversation but even funnier when I went back in the afternoon and he came in without his lab coat and said, "see, no white coat!" 

Yesterday, while I was waiting for my afternoon treatment, I received a call from "scary" oncologist number one, and we actually had a very good conversation.  I told him that I was seeking a second opinion, we talked about my weak ER score, the possibility of still trying anti-hormone therapy, and discussed the possibility of a "gentle chemotherapy" approach.  He seems to have "gotten it" as far as chemo and diabetes is concerned, and said that he would not now recommend Taxol or Taxotere for me because of the neuropathy side effects.  That's a turnabout from our first meeting, so I feel like he listened to me.   He did think it was encouraging that my tumor was much smaller than he thought and that I was now a Stage 1 with clear nodes.  He made me promise to call him on Monday, after visiting the onco at KU Med (Friday appt) and sleeping on the recommendations.  Maybe he's not so scary, after all :)  And I will call him.

Allison and Oreo are back in New Hampshire after spending a month with us.  It is certainly quiet around here without the little devil dog running around trying to chew on anything within reach.    Next weekend (8/14) Paul, Christine and the three grandkids will be here for a week.   Now that will be fun!  We have all kinds of things in mind to do, so I am  hoping the weather cooperates.  As much as I love the summer heat, a bit of a break will make it easier to do fun outdoor things like go to the Butterfly exhibit at Powell Gardens or take the kids to CoolCrest for mini-golf.  But there's always the pool, so we'll all have fun regardless of the weather.

Rick and I have planned a 4-day getaway to Estes Park, CO.  This will either be a celebration of "I've finished all the treatment" or a pleasant interlude before beginning some sort of gentle chemo (I really think that's an oxymoron!).  We are spending the first two nights at the Ponderosa Inn (doesn't that bring back memories???)  and then we are going to Kokopelli's Inn which is a B&B.  We went to Estes Park three years ago and just loved it, so we decided to return.  It's about a 10 hour drive across the state of Kansas, which is "bigger than you think".   Hehehe, that is their state tourism slogan and yup, it seems like it will never end when you're driving west on I-70!

And one last thing, now that I've gone on forever... don't forget that Sunday, August 8th, is Kansas City's Race for the Cure.  I know some of you indicated you wanted to participate but for lots of reasons didn't register on the team.  If you are participating but didn't sign up through the team registry, please let me know so we can meet up and walk together.  Also, we are going to breakfast at Chaz's in the Rafael after the race (9:30 or so).  If you'd like to join us, tell me and I'll add you to our reservation.  If you haven't registered but still want to walk, it's not too late.  You can even register on Sunday morning at Union Station.  It's probably going to be warm and I am planning on walking the one mile event (or having Rick "Hall" me along if I get too tired).  I'll leave the 3-mile jaunt to those of you in better shape than me!

That's it, I think.  You're caught up on all the news, and I'll let you all know how everything goes on Wednesday afternoon.



  1. Thanks for all the info and updates.


  2. Thanks for the info Michelle. What I have found over the years with various docs is that once you demonstrate that you are an active participant and a thinking person, they often get on board and treat you with more respect. Keep up the good work.


  3. Again, you write the most interesting reports of all that has happened recently. Your experience with the "SCARY" doctor reminds me of mine with my heart doctor(except he is a total BABE to look at), but I was pretty upset with his not believing the research I had done online. He made a complete turnaround when he was sent the SAME information I sent him in an e-mail from Kaiser, that week. Since, he's been so much better. I think when they know you mean business and are on top of things, they take notice. Plus, you did SO MUCH RESEARCH, Michelle, and made a great decision about your diabetes and not taking that medicine that causes neuropathy. He probably was pretty impressed, and it's his way of letting you know that.


  4. Your story reminds me of when I did some work in the reactor building in an active nuclear power plant for repairs and earthquake upgrades while they were refueling. We had to check for radiation3 times on our way to lunch and 3 times on our way out at the end of the day. We also wore a dosimeter while in "hot" spots and one each time we entered through the security gates.

    Glad your doctors are coming around and hope they listen and work with you on your choices of treatment and treat you with respect.

    I think Kansas seem so big is that after you leave the NE part it is pretty flat the rest of the way. I have driven from Wichita to Ness City. Pretty long drive and thats just part way across the state.

    Stay Positive Polly