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Karen's High Dose Chemo Diary

Preparations begin again

To: wellness < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Subject: Preparations begin again
From: Karen Patterson < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Date: Sat, 30 Jan 1999 17:38:24 -0500


Hello, my friends.

It has been another interesting week with the usual ups and downs. Today was a great day. Harry and I went out looking for a new car since my lease is up in two months. We were worried that things may not be great enough for me to do it when I get home and we had some extra time and strength. We leased another Camry with a sunroof and CD player for not one penny down and they gave US a check to pay our taxes. Cool! Our payments remain exactly the same so it worked out well. I will return to Beaufort in a new "carriage". We also went to Circuit City and bought a small TV for me to take to the clinic. Since they said my eyes and attention may be affected for a few months I thought listening was the only alternative left. We have stocked up on audio books and now with this TV I should be all set.

I am feeling much stronger and more positive now that the blood clot issue seems to be taken care of. I couldn't believe it when the Director of the Bone Marrow Clinic, Dr. Chao, came out to the car to see me because I was too sick to walk too far. He truly is a wonderful, caring doctor who I feel very confident to be in the care of. He listened and thought, listened and thought, and did what he felt was best for me physically and emotionally regardless of our "schedule". I can not stress enough the great feeling I get from the Duke staff so far. I'm sure this feeling will only continue to strengthen as each new person I meet is just as wonderful as the last.

On Monday I will have a sonogram to check on the blood clot and its location if it's still there, have another catheter put in, and be admitted for the chemo. I am ready for the journey to begin although I have enjoyed some special time with Harry during our postponement. I feel strong and ready to get home to my boy, who I talk to or "chat on line" with everyday. I know that I will not be posting for at least a week since everything entering my room must be approved by the nurses on 9200. Harry's going to try hard to get his laptop approved since I don't think he's ever gone 12 hours without being on some computer. We are negotiating my visualization of the lakeside cottage since I said absolutely NO computers and he wants at least one. Oh well, I'm the only one who will know what the visualization is.

I am worried about my friend. My friend who's daughter had encephalitis and son drown just finished her four A/C chemo treatments and was visiting her surgeon. She was not sure what would be recommended for surgery. Her lumps, both very large, had disappeared since her first treatment. She wasn't sure if she had to still have a mastectomy. We both were also concerned that sentinel node biopsies were not offered in our area. After my experience, I wanted her to try hard to have the less invasive procedure. She was determined to check Duke and MUSC to find a place nearby that performed that procedure. Does anyone know if lymphnodes are automatically taken as part of the mastectomy or can sentinel node still be done? If you are listening Val, please let me know how you are doing. You are in my thoughts always.

To our friend Susan Baron who is being asked to make the difficult decision of HDC you are also in my thoughts. It is by no means an easy decision at any time but there comes a point where as Beverly says the decision makes itself. Please keep in mind and in your questions to your doctor that resistance to chemo is the ultimate decision maker. Are you really at the point that the "Big Bang" as I call it, is your only option left? I had a recurrence and another round of chemo before I made this decision. The amount of time before the reoccurrence was the decision maker, not the size of my tumor. My tumor was large (4.5), and my cancer did recur, but what are your odds? Good luck.

Thanks again to all of you. I hold you dear and appreciate your kindnesses.

Till next week,
Karen

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