Sending out a quick update. I had my first appointment with my Oncologist here in Dublin on October 18th ("Professor M"). He’s on the exact same page as “Dr. V” (Oncologist at MD Anderson) as far as the chemotherapy treatment and awaiting the genetic testing results to make a final “call” on the Option A vs B that I mentioned in the last update.
I received my genetic testing results on October 19th and the results are all negative. "The following genes were evaluated for sequence changes and exonic deletions/duplications: APC, ATM, BAP1, BRCA1, BRCA2, CDKN2A (p14ARF), CDKN2A (p16INK4a), EPCAM*, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PALB2, PMS2, STK11, TP53 ; Results are negative.” So, I am assuming I’ll get the go ahead for Option A next week (week of October 22nd).
Professor M also believes (along with Dr. V.) that I’m a good candidate for the more aggressive (Option A) and wants to have my “port” installed next week. So I learned a bit more about the port. It sits right underneath the skin on my chest and connects to a vein in my neck. It allows for the individual drug infusions (chemotherapy) to not require getting a peripheral cannula (IV) every two weeks. One of the drugs requires a pump administration that occurs over 48 hours, so it would also not be feasible to depend on a IV for that either.
So after the port installation next week, I’ll most likely start my chemotherapy treatments the following week (Halloween day actually, Wednesday the 31st … how spooky). So my every other Wednesday mornings will be spent at St. Vincent’s Private hospital while getting infused. Professor M assured me that I’d be able to tote my laptop in and work away while that is occurring. After that infusion, they’ll start me on the pump and I’ll be free to go, carrying a medicine “bag” with me for the next 48 hours.
The side effects of the treatment are numerous, however the biggies are: diarrhea, nausea, fatigue, neuropathy and burns caused by things that are cold to the touch (yay, this one sounds fab).
Professor M and Dr. V. have both stressed the need for exercise and fitness related activities to continue during the treatment and that they are large contributors to helping combat fatigue as well as keeping the body healthy. So my plan is to recruit the entire family to help push me out the door every morning!
Thank you all for your continued notes of encouragement, we love you all!
Peace & Love,Jay, Denise, Connor & Riley