Checked In

We’ve checked in and started the onslaught of fluids.  We spent the day with doctor’s meetings, consultations, blood tests, and walking.  LOTS of walking.  No surprises other than when (tomorrow morning) and how long (done on Saturday.)

Our morning started early at the blood and tissue center.  We walked into a crowd.  The place was PACKED.  But, hey, we got in and out right about on time.  I was surprised and pleased.  On then to the consult with the radiologist’s department to discuss exactly how they plan on abusing my sweetie’s body.  Then, back to Dr. Kurzrock who repeated her belief that we had chosen a good plan.  Finally, we had a visit with a lady who helped us “optimize” our drugs.  We checked into our room and settled down for the night.

Nothing says “Good Morning!” like a tube stuck up your yoo hoo.  And that’s how our day kicks off, bright and early.  After that, Maggie will head down to the radiology where they’ll slice a peaky-hole into her right groin area to expose the big vein.  Through a hole they’ll cut in the vein (yikes!  how do they keep all the blood from all leaking out??), they’ll stick a small tube slightly bigger than the diameter of a pencil lead.

They’ll slowly feed the tube up toward Maggie’s chest and into her liver.  The liver has two lobes named, oddly, the left and the right.  From a juncture in the veins just below the liver, they can chose which lobe will get the prize.  To decide, they’ll try to pick the one with that’s using the most blood.  The logic is that the hungry lobe is the one that has the most cancer.  To help decide, they’ll blow some liquid contrast into the juncture and watch, via the live X-Ray, which way the blood-powered contrast blows.

The lucky lobe will get the full brunt of the massive attack of 230 mgs of oxaliplatin over a two hour period.  (They’ll hit the same lobe again 21 days from now.)   Maggie will have to lie completely still from when they place the tube until six hours after the tube has been removed, definitely our biggest challenge tomorrow.

Once the tube has been removed Maggie will get nearly 50 more hours of infusions.  But the one with the kick is the oxaliplatin.  With a little luck we’ll see, or rather Maggie will _feel_ positive results within two weeks.  If the tumors are shrinking then the ever-present pain will be happily less present.  For more definitive evidence, Dr. Kurzrock thinks that the earliest we’ll be able to see the difference via CT scan is after the second treatment.

Another benefit of this particular infusion method is that we should have fewer side effects.  One not-so-exciting part is that about 10% of patients have sudden and serious abdomenal pains, an infusion reaction that will cause us to be ineligible to continue the treatment.  But she did say that it’s extremely rare for this type of infusion to cause liver failure.  Good to know.

Tomorrow will be lots of sitting around.  I’m certain things will go well. We are both excited to get started and anxious to see results.  We’ve already started planning our celebratory The Tumors Are Shrinking dinner.  I can’t wait to bite into that steak.

12 thoughts on “Checked In

  1. I’ll buy the steak, the wine, and all the “fixins.” This nasty stuff is going to work!

    Hang tough, Chris and Maggie!

    Sooooo much love and many, many, many prayers are focused on you both all day every day!

  2. What a blessing that you can be with Maggie any time, all the time!

    Thanks again for all the updates and info.

    I like my steak cooked medium, pleeze. ;o)

    Praying for you,
    Shawna

  3. All our thoughts are with you now (even though they should be in my class!)…but I do have priorities!! And you guys are my priorities no matter what. All our love. I’ll even bake a cake or pudding or whatever dessert you would like to go with that celebratory dinner. (Can we say Red Velvet?)

  4. As you’re lying perfectly still, the tumors are shrinking. Pete and I are sending lots of prayers and strength your way.

  5. Maggie:

    You have been brave for nearly two years of CANCER ADVENTURE!! I will pray for you, and Chris. Happy Thanksgiving!

    Love, Aunt Pat Valente

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