12 Feb 2011

I saw Dr. Sonfield Thursday afternoon. The PET scan results were very good, no signs of any spread anywhere.

He then described and discussed the portacath, showed me a photograph and explained where it will be (near the right shoulder) and how it is inserted. I will be in an “almost asleep” state when it’s done.

Chemo is supposed to begin on Wednesday 2/16 so I needed to get this done right away. After checking his calendar he scheduled me for next Tuesday at 8 AM, his first case of the day. I need to be there by 6:30, OP at the Pavilion and plan to be there until the middle of the afternoon. Someone will have to be with me the whole time. Shelby said she would, but she sure needs to be over this cold/flu by then…

Afterwards he gave me the hospital orders for the procedure and for pre-admission testing (PAT) at McLeod, and to save me another trip downtown the scheduler arranged for me to go on over there now. She said it would take a couple of hours.

I called Shelby to say I might not drop by her office since it would be late in the day when I got finished. I found out she was sick with a cold-flu bug and a lot of other people were too, her employees and some relatives. The scheduler at Dr. Sonfield’s had the flu last week when Shelby was with me, so she may have gotten it from her.

At 3:00 I went over to Outpatient, signed all the same papers I’ve signed over and over the past couple of weeks, then was sent to the Anesthesia clerk – her office is in the same big room. She explained that their billing would be separate from everyone else’s and made me sign another form about their fees. Then she directed me down the hall to the PAT registration desk, where I signed in, got weighed (185.3) and measured (5’3-1/2″), and told to have a seat in the waiting room.

And waiting is what I did for the next hour and a half, watching Headline News on TV – all about the situation in Egypt – and reading my book. Finally a clerk came and got me, and I answered multiple questions about my past medical history and family medical history. She was very nice. I asked if she was a Christian and she said yes; from her general demeanor I had thought she probably was.

After that, back to the waiting room I went, but only for about 5 minutes this time. A young woman (LPN) escorted me to a little room where I had an EKG, then to a lab where she checked my BP (140/80), and drew even more blood, which I wasn’t expecting since I’d just had multiple tubes drawn at Dr. Baja’s office. She said they couldn’t use those results, had to have new ones.

I’m posting photos of my arm and the various bruises below, so you can see why I’m not fond of getting stuck.

Here’s where the CT tech blew the vein in my hand when attempting to start the IV for contrast. She then went and got a different woman to try it, who successfully used a spot higher up on my arm.
Here’s the large bruise on my inner elbow where the bonescan tech blew another vein, although I had warned him about my small veins. He apologized profusely, then found another spot on the back of my arm with no trouble.
The various bruises caused by all the blood drawing and contrast dye IV’s.

I showed her my bruised-up arm. I now have eight bruises from the elbow to my fingers, two of them really large where the veins blew. I explained that my veins are small and fragile, and she promised to be as careful as possible. I asked if she could use a pediatric needle, because that’s what Carl at PET had used. She said she didn’t have one but would use the smallest she did have.

After looking over my arm and hand, she found a spot on the back of my hand below the first finger knuckle to stick. I must say, she was good at it. I finally left McLeod at 5:45 or so and went home.

Monday afternoon I go back to Dr. Bajaj’s office at 4:30, I suppose for chemo teaching and orders for that. That office is not as quiet and efficient-seeming as Dr. Sonfield’s, but everyone seems nice. I hope I don’t have to be there for three hours! Dr. Bajaj had told me that because of Medicare requirements I will have to get the chemotherapy at McLeod, not there in his office.

I have read a lots more stuff online, about the portacath and how it works and about the specific medications to be used in my chemotherapy.  Not to mention wigs – I found one site I really like with gray wigs styled fairly close to the way I wear my hair. I ordered hair swatch samples (they are free) which will take about 10 days to come, then will probably order something from them.

Yesterday I went over to Hamrick’s and got another pair of size 14 Lee jeans and some pajama bottoms, then to Goodwill where I exchanged the jeans and jean jacket I’d gotten there a couple of days ago (too small) for a red, black and blue windbreaker and a teal-colored “big” shirt – I tried them on and they fit.

I ate a cheeseburger and fries at the Huddle House across from the main post office, and while there Shelby called me. She was on her way home already, feeling really bad. She’d come to work to do a few things nobody else could do, but planned to go home and back to bed. She had been flu-tested and it’s not the real flu, but she feels feverish, achy, congested, etc. and had gotten some medicine to take.

I also went to Pee Dee Federal Credit Union and closed my account – $55. They had closed down the little branch office near the condo, and since I had such a small amount in it it wasn’t worth keeping the account open.

Last night I ordered a “Meat Lovers” pizza and had that for supper, breakfast today, and soon for lunch.

Today I called Cablevision to downgrade my account, and learned to my dismay that my monthly charges had just gone way up because my year’s worth of “special promotion prices” had expired in January. I didn’t know I was on any kind of special promotion. I told the man to cut everything back to basic cable, no movies, etc., but he explained that my bill would still be over $100 a month because of the above… unless I wanted another year’s worth of a different promotion for about $87 a month. I said okay, I’ll take that. We’ll see what that gets me. This whole thing is ridiculous but I hate to cut it out altogether.


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Bette’s Journal

Bette Cox 2010

Christ is the "Big C" in my life!

That was told to me by a good friend recently, and it's so very true.

Jesus says in John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

I believe Jesus. I hope you do too.

I have one request of other believers reading this journal:

Agree with me that the invader will shrink, shrivel, die and disappear from my body, whatever method the Lord uses to accomplish that.

Thanks in advance.


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