Ready or not, here I come! After years of “near normal” living, I can literally feel myself being sucked-back into a world of tests, specialists, inconvenience and waiting. Lots and lots of waiting.
Last time I updated you on my medical condition, we had learned my myeloma was active again. A PET scan located seven or eight “hot spots” in my hip, pelvis, ribs, sternum, cervical vertebra and skull. After a brief consult with a hematological radiation oncologist, Dr. Tomblyn, and a meeting with my myeloma specialist, Dr. Alsina, Pattie and I made the decision to proceed with radiation therapy on my hip, to be followed by a new, aggressive induction chemotherapy regimen, all culminating in a stem cell transplant sometime in June. Sounds simple enough, right?
If you haven’t been following along, here is a link back to my last medical update a week ago: Looks Like There Is A Stem Cell Transplant In My Future.
All of this took place at Moffitt Cancer Center, which is located on the University of South Florida campus just north of Tampa. But I live more than an hour a way. That’s a long drive for daily radiation treatments, twice a week Velcade IV’s and frequent blood draws.
So, my next stop was a visit to my local Florida Cancer Institiute office, located a short ten minutes from my home, between Spring Hill and Brooksville.
Nice, new place. Friendly staff. So far so good.
But it didn’t take long for me to be reminded how inconvenient and cumbersome this whole thing can be.
We had trouble getting medical records transfered. The radiation oncologist who will be overseeing my therapy, Dr. Sawsan Bishay, needed more diagnostics before we can begin.
So instead of starting my 12 radiation treatments this week–after a week of setting things up and waiting–I will be heading over to FCI tomorrow for a CT scan without contrast–and Thursday for more x-rays–all to help Dr. Bishay set-up my radiology prep.
Never mind the pain in my hip or my busy schedule… Welcome to my new medical reality!
Don’t get me wrong… I’m glad Dr. Bishay is being so thorough. All of this needs to be done. But the sober reality of this finally hit me over the weekend. Two appointments this week. Two weeks of daily radiation, followed by the Velcade IV’s. Three days of pre-transplant testing at Moffitt. Four to six weeks in Tampa for my SCT; then two, three or four months of post SCT recovery.
Its official: My cancer is back, and I have been sucked-back into the medical twilight zone!
Oh well… Ready or not, here I come!
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat