Friday, January 25, 2008

I Got a 100

Today's platelet count: 100! I am thrilled about this not only because it's such a nice big number, but also because up until today, my recovery was sluggish and definitely unsatisfying. This is my first big boost in numbers, as this is up from 86 platelets on Wednesday. I feel like I'm making real progress now.

With regard to the prednisone, today I stepped down from 40 mg/day to 30 mg/day. Having started at 120 mg/day, this sounds great. But, I think my previously posted photos from the rooster massacre paint a pretty ugly picture of what this drug can do to a body. Which brings me to my blood pressure. It has come back out of a dangerous range into a place that is still high but, well, not dangerously high. Getting off prednisone cannot come soon enough.

My Oncologist would like me to start chemo again on Monday. I am all for it. I have been off it far longer than on it since I switched regimens last fall. I need to get back to the program.

However, there is one complicating factor: the addition of a treating oncologist closer to home who will work with and at My Oncologist's direction. The quality-of-life benefits of this move are plenty, although I am terrified to be away from My Oncologist and his amazing nursing team. They are beyond compare and they are friends. The thought of seeing them every six weeks or whatever we decide makes me sad and nervous.

Further, the doctor I have chosen to work with seems extremely capable. Heaven knows I wouldn't have chosen him otherwise. He is smart, makes well thought out and rationale arguments for his opinions, and his own ideas on how I should proceed. See where this is going? He is not exactly on the same page as My Oncologist with regard to beginning treatment again. He is resolute in solving the platelet issue before restarting treatment. Of course, My Oncologist wants the platelet issue resolved as well. But, he also knows my full history and is not being cavalier about getting me back on chemo.

Ugh. I asked for another opinion, and I got one. I have now asked the person who has been directing my care -- quite amazingly -- for over six years to deal with another physician in order to provide this care. This is a complication of my own creation.

Both physicians said to me that they do this type of arrangement often, and that there are no egos involved. They are both committed to the best care of the patient. So, they will talk and hopefully come Monday the pages will be aligned. Then, I will begin making appointments for treatment at a new office, with a new doctor, and a new nursing team.

I'd say managing life with cancer is complicated. But I don't think "complicated" is a descriptor that even skims the surface of the reality.

No comments: