Wednesday, October 22, 2008

1st trip to Rush

So my Mom and I went to Rush October 16th and 17th to meet Dr. Balabanov (MS doctor) and Dr. Shammo (Oncologist). The 16th was a very long day. Between the flight and sitting around at the hotel for a couple of hours waiting for my appointment- I was extremely stiff. I knew a criteria for this treatment was that I needed to still be able to walk, and that showing up in a wheelchair probably wouldn't go over to well. There was alot of hesitency on Dr. Balabanov's part on whether or not I was mobile enough for the procedure. As he explained, they can measure improvement alot better when the patient is ambulatory, and it also helps to fight infection etc. I assured him I still walk, with assistance, but I was just very stiff right now. He kept wanting me to tell him how far I could walk on a normal day- and I was getting annoyed that he was doubting me. So finally, after a few minutes of stretching, I mustered up the energy to walk down the hallway and prove myself to him. Thankfully he was satisfied and we continued on with the visit. I did the 25 ft timed walk and some cognitive testing, and I was on my way. My Mom and I went to the 11 diner and had dinner and a few drinks that night. It was just what I needed after that visit!

On the 17th I met with Dr. Shammo to discuss all the potential side effects/ risks of the treatment. It was nothing that I did not already know, but it certaintly becomes more real when your sitting face to face with the doctor, rather than reading it on some website.

Obviously I am going to lose my hair. That is not something I am looking forward to- I am sure I will have a mini melt down when the time comes- but it will grow back and i'll get a pretty wig in the meantime.

Sterility/ Early Menopause- I am blessed to have an amazing 6 year old son. Dr. Shammo was concerned that being only 23 I may want to speak with a feritility specialist about freezing my eggs before treatment. I declined with the mindset that when I get well enough to consider having more children, I will use that energy to be a better Mom to the son I already have.

Leukemia/ Heart damage- These are the ones that really get me. Chemo is essentially a poison to the body. The risks are only a small percentage- but a very real percentage. I've decided to try not to think about it- whatever happens, happens.

So now we wait. I am meeting with the surgeon, Dr. Wool, on November 11th. On the 12th I will be admitted and have surgery to place the central line. After that, I will begin treatment. Thanks to Amy in Dr. Shammo's office, my Mom has an apartment to call "home" 1 1/2 blocks away from the hospital during our 3 week stay in Chicago.

That's all for now... there's alot of planning and shopping to do to get ready for this "vacation!"

No comments:

Post a Comment