I am not sure who comes up with the medical terminology, but I am positive the terms and names are designed to obfuscate matters. Oncologist is one such word. Went in to see ours today. This is the quarterback of the chemo treatment. Dr. David Hedley (I have to stop giggling) is amazing if his profile on the web is to be believed.

We arrive on time and are eventually ushered in. His assistant, Chahnaz, is Iranian, and we strike up a conversation. She is charming. Talk about instant simpatico.  Dr. Hedley comes in. He appears to be excited to see us. Says he has been looking forward to this. We have a complicated case. He sprawls himself in the room, totally at home and makes me feel very comfortable as a result. Nothing business like or officious here.

He talks at great length about what is coming and the complications that we might run into. He is full of information. Listens attentively when we ask questions or make comments. Makes a big point about wellness. This is not just a medical procedure, but one in which the body and spirit participate. It is vital that I be well throughout the procedure. They have all sorts of support personnel to assist with the process. He appears to have surrounded himself with caring people.

He leaves after he is sure that we have achieved some sort of comfort level. Chahnaz comes in and is full of optimism and support. She will put us in touch with all the right people. No worries. She asks about what sort of medication I am taking for the pain I am in. We are taking Extra Strength Tylenol. It is all she can do not to laugh. Gets us a prescription for Percocet. I must be the only person inthe world who has no idea what this is.

We finally go home where I take one percocet. Magic. No pain, in fact no feelings whatsoever. Who needs an operation. I feel better already.

This was a trying day. One in which you have to face the reality of the situation. The cancer is quite advanced and we have to move fast. Once the primary source is removed, I have to regain my strength to get ready for the next phase. A date of October 1 is set for starting the chemo. This is a tentative date but gives us an idea of how serious this all is. Dr. Hedley describes and gives us notes on the three chemo drugs I am to take. A portacath is to be inserted in my chest. This will be used to apply the chemo drugs. Sounds quite civilised. You should up on day one and the chemo bag is connected to the portacath. You go home. None of this business of staying in the hospital all day. You go back a couple of days later to have the bag removed and the portacath flushed to prevent infections. This process is repeated every couple of weeks through Christmas.  Sounds like a dream come true.

The true impact of the situation is slow to sink in. We avoid it as much as possible. We really have no idea what to expect coming from a household that has never been sick. What is a hospital stay like? What happens once you go home? What the ramifications/repercussions of chemo? We are given asll sorts of literature to read. I am in no mood to read anything right now. Having a very hard time concentrating on anything.

We are very tired by the time we go home. Quiet. Not sure what to think or how to process all this information.

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