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

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

CA Here I Come...

Today I received a large white styrofoam box via UPS. It is about 12 inches high, 12 inches wide, and 18 inches long, with very thick walls. Inside it held two tiny preloaded syringes, a small bit of bubble wrap, and an ice pack. The syringes are preloaded with medicine that I am to inject the day after chemotherapy. Each one of these syringes is worth $1000, but fortunately my insurance pays for $970, and I pay $30 for each shot. I am always amazed at the cost of medication. What in the world would makes each of these shots worth $1000? The medication is supposed to increase my white blood cell count after each chemotherapy treatment. I suppose that increasing your white blood cell count after it has been wiped out is worth $1000.

I learned that I have been assigned the CA drug instead of Toxel for chemotherapy by the people controlling the study. This is the type of chemo prescribed for me before I agreed to be randomized in a study. It is a 2-hour drip, with the complete laundry list of side effects. (Is it ironic that the girl from California, living in New England gets assigned CA?)

I hesitantly admit that I am getting a bit wigged out over the chemotherapy - no pun intended. I am much more stressed than I was before the surgery (and kind of scared too.) The risks and side effects for the surgery took up only two lines on the consent form. I also felt that I knew what to expect going into the surgery, even though the recovery was much longer than I had hoped. But with chemotherapy, no one knows exactly how I will respond to the medication. The side effects are known, but are not clear as to whether or not I will experience some, all or none of them. I think it is safe to say that I will experience some of them, especially the nausea.

It is only 6 days until my first chemotherapy treatment. I think about it all day and night. I can't sleep, I'm nauseous, and today Molly told me that I am looking "glum." She was right on target with that comment.

Cancer really sucks.


  1. Chemo is certainly a longer journey than surgery...guess there seems to be a clear mission, operation, excision, and voila...You have a right to feel glum every now and are blessed with a excellent sense of humor and the ironic...I'm amazed at your reflectiveness, openness, and ability to put it all out there. Praying for you and yours!

  2. Isn't it awful lying in bed at night, thinking you're going to be poisoned soon? Your post brought it all back. It's okay to feel sorry for yourself because it does suck and you don't deserve this and it was dumped in your lap and it's summer and you've got a great family you'd rather be beach-ing with and... well, it just plain blows.

    But if your progress so far is any indication, you are going to do GREAT. Next summer you will have wildly curly soft glossy hair and people will stop you on the street and tell you they're jealous, and you can say, "It was the most expensive haircut I ever got."

    Speaking of which - Herceptin was eleven thousand dollars A TREATMENT (!!!) - I had 18 of them.