Sunday, April 29, 2012

15. Cancer Update

Not This Chemo
So this week was a week of doctor's appointments. I got a PET scan (not when they run your dog through a scanner and ask him what's wrong), a visit with my radiologist (not a DJ, someone who uses radiation) and my oncologist (I don't have a joke here). My oncologist, who is a funny and friendly guy, laid down the "master plan" he and the radiologist have come up with for treating the cancer.

It's a combination of radiation, chemo and surgery. It's gonna take a total of about nine months, at which point we hope to move me into the "cured, but keep an eye out for remission" stage for, uh, well, the rest of my life.

I've got "chemo training" on Monday, a meeting with my surgeon on Tuesday to make sure all the hospital stuff from a couple weeks is healing OK so we can go ahead with the treatment, then Free Comic Book Day and a wedding on the weekend while I have a brief respite from everything.

Then on the next Monday (probably) it's surgery to put in a port. Which is a thing they stick in your shoulder-ish area where they can hook up chemo drugs, inject stuff, etc. The radiation is going to be five times a week, probably in the afternoon, and the chemo is a "radio-enhancer" that gets into me by hooking up a pump to my port. I then wear the pump on a "fanny pack" (doctor's words, I'm looking for a name that's cooler, like "The Omega Pack") with a tube going up underneath my shirt to the port. It'll pump the chemo drug at regular dosages into me all week until Friday, when it's time to get it removed.

In other words, I get to be a cyborg for 4-6 weeks.

After that, it's rest and recovery for a few weeks, surgery to remove the (hopefully much smaller, maybe even if we're lucky gone entirely) tumor, and then twice-a-week preventative chemo to get any little bits of cancer that are sticking around. Or as I like to call it, evicting the dick-ish cancer cells that didn't get the message when we blasted the hell out of them with radiation and chemicals. Seriously, if your landlord started pouring chemical waste and irradiating your apartment, wouldn't you leave?

At any rate, cybernetics, weird chemicals, cancer, radiation... there's no way I'm getting out of this without some kind of super-powers.


Chris Schweizer said...

Jeez, Randy, I had no idea that you were ailed thus; thoughts and prayers are with you, buddy. Hope the treatments are as pleasant as possible.

EEK said...

Hey Randy, I just saw your post via facebook. My best wishes are with you. And personally, I'd want optic blasts. I've always, always, always wanted optic blasts and John Byrne cheekbones.