Eileen and I went to the cancer center today (July 6th) and had a class about what to expect with the chemotherapy. While we were there having class, two things brought about a change of plans in my chemotherapy schedule.
One is that (based on the bruising on my arms from needles over the past 10 days) my veins are not an easy target, and sometimes they gush like a garden hose but then quickly lose pressure, forcing the nurse to pierce again in another spot. (This has always happened to me over the years and is not a reflection on the skills of the nurse.) The nurses and I decided that having the first series of chemo directly into a vein, and not into a port, would not be pleasant. (I had already been scheduled to have the port put in on Wednesday.)
Second, I had not had a MUGA test. A MUGA test is the process of taking some blood out of my arm, mixing it with radioactive “stuff” and then injecting it back into my arm. Four 6-minute videos are taken to track the radioactivity through my heart. A MUGA test is mandatory before starting chemo to have a benchmark of heart performance.
All leading to today’s change in plans. Instead of starting the chemo, Eileen and I left the cancer center and went to the hospital where I had my MUGA. Now my first chemo session will be Wednesday, July 15th. This will give my port a week to heal before it is used. Also, rather than take the 4 chemo drugs (MVAC) over two days, we decided to do them all in one day. This does not impact the side effects (like make them worse) – it is strictly a more convenient method. It only means a longer day. So on the 15th I will have many, many hours to blog and tell you all about what I’m feeling (Eileen will be with me to edit).
The book illustrating this post is A Change In Plans by Paul Cook. I recently received a note from his widow Susan Knutsen-Cook reminding me that without Paul here, it’s a sure thing that I’m missing out on all kinds of bladder cancer jokes. It’s true – and there’s no doubt they’d be funny. He always made me laugh. I and everyone in the St. Charles Writers Group truly miss him. (Click on the book cover to learn more about Paul.)