January 4, 2020

June 2019 Surgeons, Ports, MRI, Body Scans and Oncology

6/4/19 - Appt with Primary Care and Surgeon

8:30 a.m. with primary care I hadn't seen in a while.  Basic Physical and prescription refill for blood pressure medicine which at this point seems like a minor issue. She tells me the Oncologist will be my doctor through the cancer treatment and I should come back and see her in a year.  Easy. Done. 

1:30 p.m. with Surgeon who will cut the cancer out. Waiting for about 30 minutes before I saw him.  The "Cancer Navigator" was there.  She was helpful and comforting but always has this worried look on her face which sometimes cancelled out the "you're going to be okay".

The doctor comes in and asks me a few questions then examines me.

He says the tumor is large and today it would not be a lumpectomy so we need to shrink it down. Okay.  He asks me do I have questions...and yes I had many.  I pulled out the "Cancer Binder" the "Cancer Navigator" had given me before I knew for sure I had cancer.  I'd read it and highlighted it.  We went over the type of cancer, how large the tumor is now and what grade of Cancer I had. He told me 2B mostly because of the size and no positive lymph nodes involved, so it hasn't spread.

He told me I might want to consider having a "port" put in for Chemo.  My eyes rolled back in my head and I just felt sick.  Geese can we go back.  What is going on....this is crazy. He cuts that conversation short and said I don't have to decide yet...all the while he knows this will happen. Anyways he was a kind man and I'm glad he's my surgeon. 

6/6/19 - MRI

The surgeon ordered a breast MRI he wanted before and after MRI's so I guess he can see what he's working with when surgery comes.  The MRI was about an hour being completely still.  I was grateful I knew how to meditate and keep still.  It was peaceful.  No pulling or prodding just noises and movement.  The ladies were nice, and it was a good experience. 

6/10/19 - Oncologist

I instantly liked the Oncologist.  She was straight foreword as well.  She read all of the reports and said it was curative.  Told me that I would need to get the port placed and the reason was it would make chemo easier to administer. She also said she needed more tests - Echo cardiogram to make sure my heart was good, CT scan to see if there were any other things going on and Bone Scan to see if there was cancer in my bones.  I can remember worrying about the bone scan because my knees, elbow and top of my eyebrow had been hurting for some time and my dog ESCO had died of bone cancer. She told me about chemo and chemo training. She told me Chemo would kill the cancer cells and stop them from growing and hopefully shrink the tumor.  She was very nice and I was happy to end up under her care.  

6/17/9 - Chemo Training

This is where you go in and find out about the Chemo drugs they will be pumping into you for four months.  It's an overwhelming amount of information.  I just got to the point of knowing I'd have to read about it when I started Chemo.  It's information without context....makes little sense.  Then the Chemo trainer starts talking about the port that I would get.  My eyes roll back in my head and I know I get this "shut up please" look on my face.  The Chemo trainer who is nurse stops cold and tells me of her experience having the very same breast cancer that I have "triple negative breast cancer" not ONCE but TWICE.  She told me about her port, how she couldn't hear a word her mother said because she hadn't had the experience but found a mentor in a church lady who had gone through it.  She assured me I would make it through this and it was really going to depend on my mind and thoughts. Just stay positive.  MAN what a difference that made.  I was sitting there thinking she had no idea what I was feeling and going through but she had already experienced it TWICE. 

Then she showed me around the Chemo treatment area. It had three sections of lounging chairs, a seat for guests. It was just a big open room, no privacy, just open.  There was a nurses station up front and she told me I would be in the middle section because that's where my doctor's patients sat. 

She gave me some little pads I would need to use when I put some cream on my port so that it would get numb before the Chemo needle would be inserted and then ....we were done. 

6/24/19 - Port Placement

Went to the Williamsburg Hospital for this and it was done by the surgeon.  The prep nurse kept calling me "girl".  I've never liked being called this from people I've just met.  After about the third time of her calling me "girl" I told her that my name is "Maria" and to please call me that.  I then told her that when I hear someone call me that I think of Antebellum South or Slavery.  She immediately said "oh okay, not a problem Maria I understand".  After that no issues.  

My son comes back to the room with me while I am getting ready to be taken out.  

The anesthesiologist explains how I would be put under in a controlled manner. 

I'm wheeled back and they ask me to move to the surgery table, they put on an oxygen mask and then I'm out.  I start coming back to consciousness when I'm wheeled back in the recovery room.  David walks in, then the surgeon, then another nurse not the one who called me "girl".  The nurse helps me get dressed and then has to wheel me out on a wheel chair.  I resisted that!  Horrible! Just thinking...what an overkill. 

I get home and have these two scars and a port inside of me.  Changes, changes, changes.  

6/25/19 - Echo cardiogram, CT Scan, Bone Scan

This was not in Williamsburg but Hampton.  It was not the same feeling.  It was not as professional from check-in through out but they tried.  Had the Echo first because of a mix-up with the CT scan and me being allergic to contract dye back in the 90's. With the Echo I got to see how my heart was working. CT Scan was quick and the Bone Scan machine messed up half way so it took longer than it should have. Just a long day of tests that the Oncologist ordered. 

Cure Cancer - Why?

All I kept thinking is WHY would they try  to find a cure for cancer.  Seems to me there is ALOT of money being made off of folks getting cancer treatment.  Waiting for the medical bills.