It is more important to know where you are going, than how long it takes to get there.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Information Overload...

Have you even seen a cartoon where the characters input so much information into a machine that it begins to smoke and either fizzles out or explodes. Today I was that machine.

I met my new onocologist today. He wasn't exactly Mississippi Mud or Mocha Almond Fudge, but he was a premium brand of Vanilla Bean. Everyone loves a good vanilla, and it is an essential staple in our freezer.

The oncology center at Addison Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester, MA is absolutely beautiful! It is only one year old and cost $1.2 million, all private donations. It is named the "Gorton Center" - I think after the Gorton's Fisherman people. This makes me want to buy boxes of Gorton's fish sticks! All the walls are glass with beautiful etchings of long blades of grass or reeds that look like they are swaying in the wind. Some of the walls are clear glass and some are completely frosted for privacy. The chemotherapy treatment room is appears very tranquil as it overlooks the water. You can see all the way out to the Gloucester harbor entrance. Because it is on the fourth floor, it is rests among the tall trees on one side. The walls were a soothing beige with a slight tint of green - not sure if slight green is a great color when you are actually feeling green.

I must say that when I walked by the chemotherapy treatment area, my heart skipped a few beats - oh great, do I next need a cardiologist? Anyway, it all began to sink in a little deeper, and got a little scarier. When I get a nervous and scared I clam up tight - no steamer can get this baby open. Poor Chubba, I didn't want to talk about anything while we were waiting for Dr. Vanilla Bean in the conference room, I just wanted to stare out the window and climb into my shell.

Dr. Vanilla Bean reiterated what Dr. Ice Milk said about the cancer not spreading to the bloodstream, bones or organs. He also said that the results of the PET Scan showed that my cats are too fat - not really, well they are actually fat, but that's not what the scan showed - the scan indicated that the unknown on my second rib was nothing other than a prior injury - just what I thought - probably some gnarly ski accident 30 years ago - sounds good anyway.

However, the MRI showed 3 lesions somewhere around the golf ball cancer in the left breast. Guess what? Another biopsy! If these prove to be cancerous too, then the chances of a total mastectomy instead of a partial on the left side increases. (So if you have only one breast, does this mean your center of gravity has shifted? Will I be able to continue to make better right turns skiing than left, or will this off balance make them the same?) I have an appointment with surgeon Dr. No Nickname on Friday, and I'm hoping she can do the biopsy then - but only after my third ultrasound - at least my bladder won't be bursting and my teeth floating this time!

So here's the tentative schedule
March 7-11: Skiing with family in Vermont - not sure if insurance will cover this
March 12: Surgery - partial or full mastectomy not known yet.
2-4 weeks later: Chemotherapy for 5 months. One time every other week for 2 months, and then weekly for three months.
After Chemo: Radiation for 5-6 Weeks
After Radiation: A Hair-Raising Parrrrrrty!

Tomorrow is pre-op appointment at Beverly Hospital.

I'm getting ready to buckle up for Mr. Toad's Wild Ride!


  1. Oh, Keval, what a bummer - that's a long haul. I hope you manage to have a great time skiing and don't let this ruin your turns. Fortunately, we McNamaras have gorgeous skulls and rock the Sinead/gypsy queen look. And, as you demonstrate with every blog post, we are hilariously funny, even when facing malignant mammary golf balls. Damn cancer.

  2. Sounds like a long road of emotions. We are all here with you.. And I want an invite to the Parrrrrty!