Cancer Journal 3, 2019

This afternoon, my wife and I drove to the oncology clinic, where I was scheduled to have a blood draw. The moment I walked in, one of the staff members told me she had just spoken to a doctor’s office about day surgery to install a chemo port and that I should expect to hear shortly and that it should be scheduled tomorrow. Before I was called in for the blood draw, I got the call and arrange for the port installation. I am to be at the hospital at 8:30 and should be done just a few hours later. I will need a driver, I was told, because I’ll be anesthetized. After I got to the radiation facility just up the hall, I spoke to a tech to make sure there would be no “issues” with me getting radiation after my chemo port implant.

No…but. The but was that I might be in pain on the radiation table because I have to hold my hands over my head; it would be better if I were to get the radiation session done before the surgery. Thanks to a couple of techs who were willing to help me out, I’m going in for my radiation session at 7:15 a.m. and will be finished in time to have my port installed. And I should be home sometime by 2 or so, I was told (after the port installation, I’ll have to stay in “recovery” for a good while).

We had just invited friends over for dinner tomorrow evening, but because I had planned to cook and I suspect I may be either worn out or zonked, we’ve asked for their forgiveness and are trying to reschedule. And I told another friend, who was to come visit me tomorrow and bring me a gift, that I’ll have to delay that, as well.

I had hoped to leave the radiation session today with a firm calendar of times for future sessions. I didn’t. I got tomorrow’s and Monday’s. Their schedule is so frenetic that it may be late next week before I know anything firm for the future. In the interim, it’s going to be off the cuff.

While I was waiting for my treatment today, I chatted with the radiation oncologist who’s in charge of my treatment. He suggested that he’s virtually certain that radiation will eliminate what he said were probably “just microscopic bits of cancerous tissue that were on the wrong side of the surgeon’s (some kind of device that cuts and staples simultaneously).” That gave me a bit of a boost. But I’m still not looking forward to this battle with those microscopic bits.

Monday, I’ll see the oncologist and ask a series of questions.

I can see how the amount of time I’ll spend seeing doctors and technicians will be more than significant during the next few months. And I can tell it won’t be subject to smooth scheduling. I’ll just have to cope. And I hope family and friends will be patient, not just with me but with the demands I place on them and their time. The strain is already beginning. My wife has an event she wants very much to attend on Tuesday, but it may be conflict with my radiation session schedule (when I get it nailed). I told her I can drive myself. But because it’s the day after my first chemo treatment, she’s worried that I shouldn’t. I’ll have to gently insist that I will drive myself and that she should attend her event.  Little things. Little things.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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5 Responses to Cancer Journal 3, 2019

  1. Thanks, Linda. As I said via email, I may well take you up on it and I am truly grateful for your offer!

  2. As Bev says, “Go with the flow.” Yes!

  3. lindakblack says:

    John, I can drive you up there, if you’d like me to. Janine can go to her event and I’ll take you. I have nothing to do Tuesday.

  4. That’s my plan! 😉

  5. bev wigney says:

    Good to hear that things went relatively smoothly today. I think you’ll find that you’ll sort of settle into a groove with everything. Go with the flow. 🙂

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