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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Coffee Klatch (read: Chemo Klatch) -- Part I

It was such a wonderfully fun morning..... and it took place in the chemo ward.....

The day started out normal enough. Moshe drove me to chemo, and my mom came too (in a seperate car), because I had a doctor's appointment scheduled at noon. Moshe's mom was planning to join us around eleven. Everyone wanted to be there when my oncologist discussed the CT.

Luckily, my oncologist was able to see us as soon as we got there. We quickly called my mother, who was still parking, to tell her to come right away. And we called Moshe's mom to tell her not to bother coming, since she would arrive long after the meeting (which we knew would be quick).

My oncologist showed us my current CT, side by side with my previous CT. He showed us a spot on my lung, which seems to have gotten a bit smaller. Then he showed us spots which had been on my liver and are no longer visible! It's the best we could have hoped for. Not only have the drugs stopped the cancer from spreading, they are shrinking the tumors!

What does that mean? It means we continue treatments. Thank God, we now know they are working!

My poor mom arrived at the doctors office just as we were leaving. Her face fell. (like a kid whose ice cream falls of the cone). She had wanted to see and hear it all. The oncologist was very kind and understanding, but he didn't have time to sit and explain everything again. He encouraged my mom to focus on the fact that the results are very good, then rushed off to his next patient.

Then I got "back to business". The nurses opened my port but couldn't draw blood for tests. (my blood likes to stay in my body). It was getting late and I wanted to finish in time to leave with my mom, to pick up my kids. So I agreed to let the doctor (who deals all day with needles and IVs for patients with no port) poke me with a needle and draw blood the "old fashioned" way. (Before I started treatments, I met another young woman with metastatic cancer who assured me that I would get used to being a pin cushion. I've been scared of needles all my life, and I did not believe her. But here I was, just like she said, agreeing to get stuck with a needle, so that I wouldn't get stuck in the oncology ward...)

Then I went down to the 2nd floor for my second full body x-ray, which I do every three months for the drug trial (that I joined for the bone medication). This time, the technician was a woman. She was much gentler (no painful poking and prodding this time), more friendly, and quicker. Moshe stayed 'till I finished, then left for work. My mom came back up to the chemo ward with me, to keep me company.

Then I had a treat. The blood test results weren't back yet, so I went to get.... a massage! I kid you not. There is a new "Merkaz L'Siyua Holisti" (Center for Holistic Assistance) sponsored by the Yuri Stern Foundation. A few times each week, professionals come to give massages to cancer patients. I received a 20 minute massage, from a sweet young woman, and I felt great.

Between the good news and the massage, I was in a really good mood.

But the day got even better!

I went to sit in the waiting area, in between the nurses station and the day room. In the waiting area are two small round tables, each surrounded by two pairs of chairs. I went to sit at one of the tables, next to a lady who seemed very friendly.

My mom comes over to join us and exclaims "you'll never believe this!"

(find out what happened tomorrow..... "same bat-time, same bat-channel"...)


Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,


Anonymous said...

SO HAPPY FOR YOU!! I used to be scared of needles too until I had to do bloodtests for this and for that. Tuvia's acupuncture... I still appreciate the gentle treatment but I don't mind the needles in my arm anymore.

Rahel Jaskow said...

Thank God! That is fantastic news. May it only keep on getting better and better!