Back again. Today was the first day of chemotherapy. Actually, it was only 2 weeks ago that the diagnosis of metastatic colon cancer was made, so I think things have been moving along pretty well. Up until now, we've been setting up for today--kind of like a chef getting all of the ingredients ready before cooking. (I like to cook and put all my stuff in "ramekins"--little dishes--before anything goes on the stove)
We went to a class about nutrition today. Boy have I been way off! Not really, but did you know you're only supposed to eat 5 1/2 ounces of meat or meat substitutes per day? And of that only 3 ounces is supposed to be red meat. So much for a 16 ounce ribeye! For those of us that don't have cancer yet (thankfully that's most of us), it wouldn't hurt to look closely at our diets. Apparently what we eat or don't eat can contribute to cancer risk. Other factors count too, obviously, but why take chances? The newest food pyramid wants us to eat 2 cups of fruit per day and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables per day. I wondered if a slice of blueberry pie for breakfast (one of my favorites) would count--but apparently not.
I've mentioned it before, but this place is so fantastic when it comes to patient education. They have several libraries for patient education, and pamphlets galore. There are classes on nutrition and chemotherapy that we've gone to. The handouts they give you are numerous and very informative. They also make sure you understand everything that's going on and make sure you have phone numbers to call if there are any questions or problems. I'm finding out what it's like to be "on the other side". I just hope I can copy this in my own practice so I can make my patients as well informed as you become here.
I've also mentioned before how caring people are. The nurses have been fantastic. They spend lots of time with you and make sure that you are very comfortable. Volunteers came around every 30 minutes or so today to ask if we wanted anything to eat or drink, a blanket or pillow or whatever. Wow. I am so impressed with this institution, that I'd love to bring Anne back here for all of her treatment, but unfortunately, that would be logistically impossible. She will need chemo every 2 weeks for about 12 sessions (I think). I'm hoping to get the protocol that they have been using to give to Dr. Balcueva when we come home. He was the one who recommended we come here and I really appreciate that.
Tomorrow we don't have much going on. Anne has a pump that is delivering a dose of chemo that takes 46 hours to give, so that won't come out until Wednesday. We meet tomorrow with the gastroenterologist again. Other than that, I'll be doing lots of reading and checking emails.
It was my sister Anna's birthday today. I won't mention her age for fear of reprisal, but today also marked for her 2 years free of breast cancer. She went through a heck of a lot with tremendous courage and has done well, thank God.
Thanks again for your prayers--incredibly, more people have been contacting us daily. God is so awesome!!!