Thank you all so much for your kind words and encouragement after last Thursday’s awful appointment. Your prayers were heard, and I had an awesome experience today at Community Hospital Anderson.
Even the atmosphere was different as I walked into the gorgeous, brand new building. I was greeted immediately by a friendly face, and I was taken back to an exam room right away. I’m just bummed I didn’t have time to sit down and work on the jigsaw puzzle that was out in the waiting room.
The nurses were so friendly, and then I met my oncologist, Dr. Reddy. He was great! He didn’t jump right into treatment options. Instead, he took some time to get to know me and my parents. We also got to learn a little about him. Then, he outlined my options, and several times he pointed out that the most important opinion was my own, not his. While I don’t feel qualified at all to make a medical decision, it was great to have a doctor that cared about what I thought. He was also very positive and upbeat. I didn’t realize how negative and hopeless the other doctor sounded until I was able to compare him to Dr. Reddy.
We decided on a treatment plan. Despite the passionate debate on each side out there in the medical world, I feel 100% confident in choosing interferon. It is the best choice for me at this time in my life, and now that the decision is made, I feel so much peace about it.
After Dr. Reddy left to start making arrangements for me, the nurse stayed behind to talk with us some more. She is a “Navigator,” which is the term used for oncology nurses at Community. She has had special training in working specifically with cancer patients. She was so great! She gave me lots of contact information and said, “Now, don’t you dare sit there and stew about your questions or worries. Call me!”
Next, another nurse came in to draw some blood for some necessary tests. She was HILARIOUS. “Well, this is my first day, so I’ll try to keep my eyes open when I stick you.” It was definitely not her first day, but it made me laugh and distracted me from what was going on. And I learned that she attends the same church as me, which was very cool. I’m hopeful I see a lot of her in the coming weeks.
The nurse is working to verify my insurance coverage (this should be no problem at all, but I’m very glad they double check just in case). After we get the go ahead from insurance, the ball will really get rolling, and it will be rolling fast!
I have a consultation scheduled with a surgeon for this Thursday (3 days from now!). I will have to have a port put in place before I start treatment, and we will talk this over on Thursday. The port will be placed in the upper left area of my chest, and it will make my daily infusions easier.
I can start treatment the day after the port is in place, so a lot depends on when I am able to have this surgery. I will have 20 total infusions. Usually it is daily, Monday-Friday. However, there will be at least 2 extra days off for both Christmas and New Year’s, so sometimes I will have a 4 or 5 day break between treatments. Because of these holidays and breaks, it will probably take me 5 or 6 weeks to complete the infusions, rather than the standard 4.
I am so incredibly grateful for this timing, as it means that a majority of my treatment will take place over Anderson University’s Christmas Break, minimizing how much work I will miss. I feel like God has been so precise in all of the timing of this whole ordeal… He is so incredibly good to me and makes himself known in so many details that have worked out perfectly. It’s like constant reminders that he is walking beside me every step of the way.
Many more updates to come!