Moving forward

I am happy to report that I had a wonderful and eventful long weekend in Providence. I was able to spend quality time with my friends, get a pedicure, shop, watch football and thanks to some of my favorite restaurants- eat like a queen. It was nice to sleep in my apartment and maintain as much normalcy as possible for an entire 3 days. Not too shabby I must say! Now I am back in CT for another week. I will have chemo #2 at Yale New Haven tomorrow and my plan is to return to Providence FOR GOOD when I’m feeling better from this coming treatment. My goal date to head back will be January 29th. I cannot wait.

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Since I have written last a few things have changed. My hair is thinning tremendously. I was lucky that the hair held out long enough  for me to see my friends this weekend but it’s time to go. The amount of hair all over everything is unreal. I’m like a golden retriever. So as much as it pains me to shave it off this week, it is less obnoxious than having tumbleweeds fall on the ground every time I scratch my head. So to my hair- it’s not goodbye, just “see ya’ later”

The most important change is my oncology team. After tomorrow’s treatment I will officially be switching my care to Women and Infant’s Hospital in Providence. They are affiliated with Brown University (Apparently I only accept care from the Ivy leagues). I’ll certainly miss the kind souls at Yale New Haven like Sarah

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Although I very much like my team in New Haven, this place had a much different feel. When we met with my oncologist she was very warm and extremely knowledgeable. She explained to us that she will be modifying my chemo regime. At first it was a huge shock because we figured that she would just carry on with what we have been doing. Currently I receive two drugs (Taxol and Carboplatin) intravenously once every 21 days. What Dr. Robison would like to do is give me Taxol and Cisplatin (Carbo’s “sister drug”) intravenously and through an intraperitoneal port (IP). She has shared the clinical research with me and explained it in detail. Clinical trials show that survival rates are far greater using IP treatment. This will require me to have another small procedure on February 7th to insert the port underneath my rib cage. I’m not thrilled to be having yet another invasive procedure but if it’s necessary to keep me on this earth then so be it. Basically for the last 4 cycles of treatment in 21 day cycles I will have Taxol administered through an IV on day one, Cesplatin through the port in day two, and Taxol again on day 8 through the port. Using the port will send the chemo drugs directly into my abdomen. Send the poison where the cancer is- makes sense!

I liked that she brought a social worker, and the facilitator of the young survivors support group into our initial meeting. It really showed me that they care about you as a whole person. I was later able to tour the facility. I was happy to see that my doctor’s appointments, infusions, blood work, support groups, and integrative services would all be in the same small building (only a mile and a half from my apartment!). Despite being a medical center, it has a warm and “homey” feel to it. They made sure to let me know that they have services like one on-one-counseling, dietary consults, support groups, massage, acupuncture, gentle yoga etc. It shows that they understand the importance and value of integrative medicine in battling cancer. When you have cancer you need to kill the disease, nourish the body, and strengthen the soul.  I feel confident that this team is capable of helping me do all three.

So this adventure will soon have some twists as I readjust to my “normal” life in Providence. As always I will keep you posted. Thank you for continuing to read my “novels”.

With love and gratitude,

Jess
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