I was admitted to the hospital yesterday (a different hospital due to ongoing communication issues with my gyne-oncology team) to get a jump start on treatment.
Giving into my dad’s persistence, I had a consultation with a specialist in my disease (it’s rare, so such doctors are very few worldwide) in New York City last week. Because my disease is progressing so quickly again and because I got such good results from the palliative chemotherapy I did last spring and summer, she recommended that I go back on the same regimen, though at a lower dose, which will reduce side effects. She said to just go with it until there’s evidence (with more frequent scans or by my symptoms) that it’s not working anymore or until the side effects are intolerable. That sounded quite reasonable to me, so I decided to go ahead with it.
Then I had my failed consultation with my former team at home (they don’t take so kindly to second opinions) and miraculously (thanks again, Dad) managed to switch to another doctor at another hospital (who generously came in just to see me right before leaving for his vacation). Such feats are not easy in a publicly (under) funded health care system.
Then I had a second drain of 3.7 bloody liters, with my hemoglobin count already down to 68 after two transfusions the week before. However, tests since admission show my hemoglobin count had since dropped even further to 56 (normal range is 120-160) with a CT scan showing a new crop of tumours responsible for bleeding into my abdomen. So they topped me up with three transfusions overnight to a more manageably anemic 95 count.
But there is concern that the chemo will cause further hemorrhaging and lower my blood counts dangerously. So they will keep me in the hospital until next week to monitor all that. I can’t complain about being here, though! I’ve got a private room in a new pavilion with an unobstructed northern view of very cold Montreal, all the way to the Laurentian Mountains. It’s very peaceful and the care has been remarkably kind.
So thanks, Dad, for your obstinacy, your generosity, and your love in getting me here.
And once again, please donate blood.
And thank you to all caregivers who manage kindness and cheerfulness even when tired and overworked. It makes all the difference.