Friday, January 11, 2008

Cancer Update 2

From Sean's MySpace Page...

So here is 2. I got in to see my Oncologist today (cancer doc). His name is Dr. Chandramouly or something like that. Crazy name. He's an Indian guy. He's cool though and I think he'll be a good doctor for me throughout this whole chemo thing. He answered all our questions and he has a good bedside manner.

We had a look at my chest CT from yesterday. More bad news, it has spread into my lungs. There is a 2 centimeter mass in my right lung. That makes me officially stage 3. As the doctor said Stage 3b. I guess there is an a and a b, the b being more serious. He said also that there is a stage 4 though and I didn't know that. Stage 4 is when it has spread to organs other than the lungs and from the looks of the CTs the rest of my organs are clean.

We saw the physician's assistant first and he scared the hell out of me because he said that there is no way of knowing if its in my brain or not yet. He said it's a 50/50 chance. All I've gotten since this whole mess started is more bad news after more bad news so I was freaking out in my head. Every time someone with a medical license speaks to me it seems like my diagnosis gets worse. Anyways, Dr. Chandramouly finally came in and he cleared things up. It's not a 50/50 chance that it's in my head too. It's actually not likely at all. I don't show any symptoms of it and he said that he really doesn't expect to see anything when they run the MRI on my brain.

Then the Dr. pulled out a piece of paper and just started covering everything that is going to happen throughout the treatment. I guess there are 3 classifications: low risk, intermediate risk, and high risk. Taking everything into account mine is a stage 3b intermediate risk. I know I'm going to beat this but statistically it means that I have an over 80% chance (probably up into the 90% area) of getting rid of this thing right now from just the chemo. Then after that I have an 80% chance that it won't come back within 5 years. Then once 5 years is up I'm considered a normal cancer-free person.

Next, we went through how my chemo will go. There will be four different three week cycles. I start this Monday. Monday through Friday of the first week in each cycle I will have to come in every day to be administered 2 drugs (cisplatin and something that starts with an A. Cisplatin is basically just liquid platinum). This will take about 6 hours of me sitting there hooked up to an IV each time. Not too fun. Then after that week 1 I only have to come in once on week 2 and once on week 3. On each of those visits they'll give me another drug, bleomycin. Once that's all done, rinse and repeat 3 more times. If all goes as scheduled I'll be done around the beginning of April.

As far as side effects goes, there will be a few. I'll lose my hair obviously but maybe not my eyebrows like I thought (I think I'd look ridiculous without eyebrows). The doc said that I could get really nauseous and sick all the time but because of anti-nausea medicines they will give me he thinks that I might not. He encouraged me to keep a couple classes, work when I can, exercise, and try to do as much as I'm up to. He said the people that try to maintain their life as much as possible do better. He said the fatigue will have a cumulative effect and by the 3rd or 4th cycle I'll be pretty weak. My immune system will be weakened and my blood counts will be low. He doesn't give me very good chances for my fertility coming back. That is one of the most terrible aspects of this whole thing.

Tomorrow I'm having an outpatient procedure done that will put this access port thing in my chest. They'll put a cut in my upper chest on the left side and put a line in that will wrap around my collarbone and into a vein in my neck. then they'll patch me up and I'll have sort of an active IV access point. That will make it so that I don't have to be get jabbed in the arm 3 times a day and be constantly getting new things. They can draw blood, administer the drugs, feed me, and everything through the port. So that will be good.

Feel free to forward this to any relatives, people that know me, or non-myspacers. I don't have any e-mail addresses for anyone so Myspace and Facebook are the only places I really have to update people. That's really all I have. Once I start chemo and learn some more things I'll post another update. Really though, I'm putting all the info I have in these things so if you call and ask me, my family, or Karen we aren't going have anything else for you. Love and thanks,

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