After meeting oncologists at two other hospitals and not being completely impressed by their knowledge of my cancer and plan for treatment, we decided to go to Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Newnan, GA for a third opinion.
From the time we got there, the vibe of the whole place and the staff were just amazing. The building looks like a Disney resort hotel and didn’t have the usual creepy hospital feel and smell. The staff were all smiles and just so so sweet to us. Although I wasn’t thrilled about another meeting with doctors all day long, plus having a horrible headache from my lumbar puncture, I was definitely feeling a little more positive once I got there and started meeting everyone.
We met with the oncologist and omg. He was amazing. He sat and talked with us for over 2 hours and his nurse was the sweetest woman too. He just had so much knowledge about what he wanted to do and had all the research to back it up and was so kind and patient. Even though he has several other patients, be made us feel like I was the only one and had even said that they had all been talking about me for days before I even arrived. His treatment plan is 6 rounds of dose adjusted R-EPOCH and probably no radiation. He firmly believes that this is the absolute best option for me and will give me the best chances of beating it for good. Dr. P is by far my favorite doctor I’ve ever met. He makes me feel safe and supported and that’s so important to me when going through all of this.
After meeting the oncologist there was also a pastor who came and talked to me and they have regular services there at the center and the paster prays over the whole team of doctors and nurses at every meeting. Amazing.
I also met with a nutritionist and a naturopath doctor. They offer so much support to help with the side effects of chemo and try and keep your body healthy. They try and make your time going through chemo as easy as possible with everything they have the ability to provide for you.
There were lots of other little meetings and stuff and every single person I met was just super sweet and caring and personal. They treated me like I was their most important patient and made me feel so comfortable there.
After meeting with all the doctors they wanted me to get a couple more tests and also wanted to put my port in so I could go ahead and start chemo Monday. After crying for like 5 hours and being absolutely terrified of it, I did survive getting my port put in. The nurses and the anesthesiologist were the best and so sweet and comforting to me. They promised to take great care of me and they definitely did. They gave me an IV and I was out. Woke up and it was done! I got pain pill for once the numbing stuff wore off and it definitely has been sore today.
If you don’t know, a port is a little plastic/rubber insert that is surgically put in your chest and connected to an artery so you don’t have to get poked every time you do chemo or have blood drawn. It’s right under your skin so they just poke a little needle right into the rubber part and it pumps the medicine throughout your body. Here is what is looks like:
And here is what mine looks like in my chest..it’s just about a one inch incision and then my skin is raised about a one cm bump from where the body of the port is. It looks weird but it’s not so bad. Especially since it’s completely covered by my shirt normally. It’s sore right now but everyone says I will be so thankful for it since I won’t have to get any more IV’s and they can even draw blood from it.
After the port was in and I did my recovery time, we got back home at like 9pm. Longest day of my life but I think it was worth it!
- So the plan is: start my first round of chemo this Monday, May 30. Happy Memorial Day to me 🙄 I will do 6 rounds of R-EPOCH chemo. Each round is 4-5 days admitted in the hospital and then I will go home for 2 weeks. On those 2 weeks I will have labs done twice a week to make sure my blood counts don’t get too low and I don’t get sick. Then I will go back to the hospital for the next round!
Also, apparently I get a pretty sweet, new, big room 😊 I’ll post pictures when I get there! Ready to start this so I can finish it! Wish me luck!💗👍🏼