We met with the oncologist, David Ryan, on the 15th. All I can say is, I much prefer the company of gastroenterologist -- they are a downright jolly crowd by comparison. But that is a post for another day.
So here is the scoop -- there were cancer cells in my lymph nodes. Not good. I had a baseline CT scan done yesterday. I am having a porta-cath placed under my right collar bone on Wednesday. And I will be starting chemo on Friday, October 3rd. It will be a combo of Oxaliplatin and Gemcitabine. According to Dr. Ryan, the side-effects should be mild-to-moderate. This isn't the hair-falling-out, vomiting everywhere kind of treatment, but I still am facing extreme fatigue for the first few days (we are planning on me getting chemo on Fridays so I have the weekends to recover) and flu-like symptoms (chills, aches), as well as numbness and tingling in my hands and feet and it could possibly put me into menopause. Permanently.
I'll be receiving chemo at MGH every other week for six months. And I'll be having CT scans every two months to make sure it is working (i.e. the cancer isn't popping up somewhere else in my body).
All this news was... deflating. I wasn't prepared for such a long treatment. And the fact is, six months is the optimistic outlook. Add to it the complete alien nature of what is about to happen to me, and getting through the next few weeks, until the first chemo treatment is behind me, is daunting. I feel like I'm in a foreign land, don't speak the language and am blindfolded to boot.