Monday, April 28, 2008

On Cancer: First Visit To A Medical Oncologist

Today was Emma's first visit to the oncologist to discuss and schedule a plan for her chemotherapy. We were both very impressed with him. He took a great deal of time to explain why they were doing chemo, what type of chemo she would be receiving, what to expect during chemo, and problems during chemo that she should be on the alert for.

Her first treatment will begin on May 14 as they normally wait a month after surgery to begin. She will be receiving two types of chemo. The first will be for about an hour every two weeks with a total of four treatments. The second will be for about four hours every two weeks with a total of four treatments. Her chemo should be done sometime in September.

The doctor said that she will lose her hair with this type of treatment, but that it grows back pretty quickly after chemo is finished. Also, as far as nausea, the medication they give you during treatment, as well as the medicines they give you while you are home, do a pretty good job of preventing it.

His major warning to us was that if she ever develops a fever during the time she is doing chemo, she is to contact him immediately as her immune system will be frail, and the chemo will practically wipe out her white blood cell count. He told us that patients that have ignored this in the past have sometimes died.

On another note, there will be eleven of us participating in the Las Vegas Susan G. Komen race for the cure this Saturday in the downtown area. Last year there were more than 20,000 participants. Seventy-five percent of the money raised on this day stays in Vegas while the rest helps fund cancer research. We're trying to come up with a fun name for our team. If you have any suggestions, please email or post a comment before Wednesday night. Try using Emma's name in the team title. I'll try to get lots of video and film on race day for everyone to see what a remarkable event this is.

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