Starting the road to recovery and I've quickly realized that it's all about logistics! Here are the set of things I'll do this week:
- Monday morning, bone marrow harvesting. Numb the area, sedate the patient (that's me) and then take a power auger to my hip and take a sample of bone marrow. This will establish a baseline on my bone marrow (which is part of your immune system) which will be useful to determining how the chemo affects my body
- Tuesday morning. Meet with the surgeon to prep for getting my port implanted. I'm a bit worried that they won't let me mountain bike with the port in so this will definitely be one of the things will talk about.
- Tuesday afternoon. Meet with the nursing team to learn how to Have Fun With Cancer. In other words, how to deal with the chemo, how to keep my port clean, effects of radiation, etc. Review of the emotional support systems the cancer center offers, common issues families go through while supporting a cancer patient.
- Wed. morning. Echo cardiogram and pulmonary function test. The chemo can be hard on both lungs and heart so this is exploratory stuff to make sure there are no surprises in my cardiac or pulmonary system that would cause issues with my body working through the chemo.
- Thursday morning, PET scan. Inject a radioactive sugar dye into my body. The sugar binds to cells that are growing quickly (aka cancer cells). Then get imaged and look for hot spots beyond my neck and upper chest. After the chemo, the goal is the PET scan shows me to be completely clean of fast growing cells.
So next week is a big week of diagnostics. The week following we'll sit down and agree on a final treatment plan and soon after that start the chemo cycles.