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Kattbird
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 243
   Posted 8/17/2005 3:22 PM (GMT -7)   
I had a consultation today with another Onc about chemo etc... I go every 3 weeks for a total of 6 treatments. Consisting of (most of you are probably familiar with these)
Cytoxan
Adriamyun
Taxotera Zoledex shot and of course Tamoxifen
 
I am really not a happy camper right now.I am very depressed about this whole thing. They told me my veins may hold up to 2 treatments and I could possibly have to have the Portacath anyway. I don't like the idea of having to lose 2 hours of work to go have this done, to come back the next day and get a shot, then about 10 days after treatment getting bloodwork done! I have to pay $25 each time for those 3 visits, not to mention whatever meds they call in for side effects. And again with losing the hair!!!!!! I don't want to do any of this. I could just do hormonal therapy which I think is just oral and take my chances. Then there's a chance I may not feel well and have to call in sick and I don't have sick time until January, it will be over with by then. I scheduled my 1st treatment for 9/15. None of this is sitting very well with me right now. sad I know you all don't know me well, or really know me at all because I'm still all new to this. I do not do well under pressure, especially when it comes to money. I'm one of those that live from paycheck to paycheck. I need work done to my truck right now that I keep putting off. My mom said she would help me in any way she could, but I know she struggles herself living alone and it should be me that gives her money and I can't afford to. God forbid anything should happen to her and I would need to take care of her. I feel so awful.

JUJU8872
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 349
   Posted 8/17/2005 3:37 PM (GMT -7)   

Katt, calm down. You can get through this. I had my blood work done the day I did the chemo. Of course, I had 4 A/C and then Taxol alone. Ladies who had this treatment, is there any reason she can not do drug test the same day? Katt, I do not know about the shots. I did not have them. My RBC was always high enough and my WBC got low only once and I missed a treatment between the A/C and the Taxol. Also, call you insurance company. I know it is an HMO and I have a PPO, surely these are Dr visit co-pays, not lab and injection co-pays as well.

Also, depending on how large your company is, perhaps you can check into "borrowing" sick time -- may be you won't be sick at all, but miss only the time for the chemos. Surely you can do without two hours every two weeks.

Most of all, everything is going to work out. For me, I started getting some hair back while still going through treatment -- not much. Exactly five weeks after my last chemo treatment, I started getting my "five o'clock shadow on my head". Again, you are tough and you will get through.

We're here for you and have been through this. It is going to be better tomorrow. Get some sleep tonight so you will feel better.

JUJU

skeeter1
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 8/17/2005 6:43 PM (GMT -7)   

Gosh I know how hard this can be on a person and then to be concerned about money only seems to make it worse.

Just a thought, see if you can get your chemo on fridays and if you don't work weekends you will have sat and sun to recoop. I had to take shots for my WBC and they did them at the end of each one of my treatments so I never had to come in for a shot I got it before I left that day maybe you can do the same thing. Oh and see if you can come in after work to get your lab done, no need to lose work hours if you don't need to, hopefully where you get your chemo and lab done at is in the same town as you!!

I know you don't like to be off to get the portacath but sure would hate for you to have problems with your veins to deal with also. I had a portacath. Just a thought,.
I lost my hair after my second treatment it was hard to see it go I will admit but I had DS shave my head. The first week it seemed strange, but I got use to it and actually enjoyed not having to fix my hair before I went to work each day.
 
JuJu is right ....I think things are just hard for you right now and sure your mind is whirling, get a good nights sleep surely by morning this all will look alittle better to you. It is hard to deal with all of this at once and to figure out how things are going to work out for you, but they will!!! I had a hard time with all of this at first too...
so like JuJu said get some sleep, try not to think about it for tonight and tomorrow will be better, everyone is here for you so just drop us a line when ever things are getting tough and always remember things will work out ....skeeter1

Tavish
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2272
   Posted 8/17/2005 7:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Katt, hang in there! This stinks, no 2 ways about it. Go ahead and be mad, sad, scared, depressed.....and then go into fighter mode! You CAN do this! Take one step at a time...

My experience was to see the onc on Tuesday, preceeded by a blood draw to clear me for chemo. Then Chemo was a couple of hours, I went home to chill out. I had an hour drive, so there was no point going to work then too. I tookWed off but worked some from home, and on Thursday& Friday, I slept late then went to work for a half day. If I had to, I could have gone in earlier. I had to do weekly blood draws on Tuesday, went at lunch to my PCP's office (closer to work) and did not miss any time. I worked normal weeks for the 2 other weeks in between. I did not need a port, but only had 4 chemo's. With a port, they can administer chemo faster.

Usually the office co-pay applies when there is a doctor to see, and not the other visits. For sure, call your insurance and ask for a supervisor if you need to. Write down the name of who you spoke to, you never know when you need it again. You may also ask the cancer center if there is any kind of assistance that the cancer center can offer to ease finances, even if it is a payment plan to ease the burden.

hang in there, and tackle one step at a time....
L&H,
Lori


Brnadebt
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 688
   Posted 8/19/2005 8:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Katt

I just had to chime in and tell you about the port a cath, it was the best and easiest thing in the world I had such a small amount of pain that it was like I had nothing done. You will be able to go to work the next day see if they can schedule it on your day off. You didn't mention if you are single or married Im sure there is some financial help out there for you. Contact your local American Cancer Society to see if they could help or give you a list of someone who could.

You will be doing the very same chemo as Im on and I had my first round yesterday with very little nausia did not throw up at all! Hopefully you will breeze through it too. I hate to say this but attitude has alot to do with this, somehow you need to keep positive and believe that it wont be that bad and remeber that it is all temporary. But when you need to vent we are always here for you and will help in anyway we can. We care!

Bernadette tongue

Post Edited (Brnadebt) : 8/19/2005 9:37:11 AM (GMT-6)


Kattbird
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 243
   Posted 8/20/2005 5:57 AM (GMT -7)   

The Onc told me about the portacath because I asked. I just hate the thought of going to the hospital again and getting cut. I for got to aask though if they use anesthesia or just a sedative like. My last surgery, the anesthesia really did me in for a couple of days. They said if my veins can' take it I may have to get one anyway. I went yesterday and got this Zoladex shot that stops you from ovulating. I'm going to the beach from the 1st to the 11th and expecting my period right in the middle of vac. She said if nothing else it will lessen my bleeding if not make it go away. I will have to take these shots during my chemo anyway. I'm a very heavy bleeder. I guess that's the only thing I have to look forward to about chemo is that my period will go away. :-)

Bernadette, are you able to take normal showers with the portacath? I guess there's a little piece that sticks out somewhere? My attitude is really sucking with this whole thing. Not that I had a good one before any of this happened. sad   The Onc office did say that they wouldn't charge me the copay for extra visits, bloodwork and the shot the next day. Only if I ended up seeing the doc. So this helps. It's just when I think I may be getting my bills down some, something else comes up to put me even further behind like this. So far I haven't had to pay anything except copayments with my insurance. I am very thankful for that. My company is small. They did advance me 3 vac days for when I had my surgery in July. I get vac as of 9/1. I only get 3 weeks but I have to make it last until September of next year.

Anyway, thank you for your encouraging words. I'm sure most of you felt similar to how I'm feeling now. I'm not trying to sound like "poor pitiful me" even though it may seem to come across that way. I'm just having a very hard time dealing with this as I'm sure most of you have, and I just needed to express myself or vent or to just talk in general.

Thanks and hugs to everyone here.

I'm going back to the wig shop today, they ordered a catalog that has 2 wigs in it I saw on line and in the color I like. The catalog will let me better see the actual color. It was hard to tell online what burgundy looked like. Sorry, I am just determined to wear a wig.


Brnadebt
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 688
   Posted 8/21/2005 8:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Katt

With the port a cath it is inserted under your skin it is about the size of a quarter. You will have 2 little insisions one for the port and one for the iv line. Do a google on port a cath and it will show you. I had my first chemo and it did not hurt at all. Pleas consider it, that way you can save your veins. And yes I could take normal showers because they sealed it with a type of super glue. I just kept my back to the shower most of the time.

I know how you feel about dealing with this, I was having to pay $20 each time I went in too but they also said they would only collect on Dr visits from now on. I have been up and down about this the last 2 days have been very hard. It sounds like we will be taking the same chemo, its not that bad just tiring and a little nausea. How old are you? Any kids? Keep me posted

Bernadette

Kattbird
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 243
   Posted 8/22/2005 3:16 PM (GMT -7)   
They showed me what the thing looked like when I was there last week. But the thought of going to the hospital again just turned me off. But after reading the posts, I decided I want to do it, BUT, I don't really have the time since I am going on vacation on the 1st. They need to have blood work done a few days before the procedure. I won't be back until the 11th and my 1st treatment is supposed to be on the 15th. So I will be doing the vein in the hand. mad   I was reading the book they gave me about chemo amd I had to put it down because it wa making me sick just reading and thinking about it and I haven't picked it up since (that was Saturday).
I'm 47, no kids, live with my boyfriend.
 

Brnadebt
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 688
   Posted 8/27/2005 11:37 AM (GMT -7)   
Katt

I just found this post again and realized I had not written back to you. I guess the reason that you are waiting to start is the vacation. Im glad you decided to do the port I love mine it will save alot of pain and I will have my veins when all of this is done. I have heard that having it through your regular veins kills them and we are too young not to have our veins. It wont hurt your vein for just the one time so dont worry about it K.
Not that it is my business but is your boyfriend giving you good support? sometimes lack of support or knowledge can cause distress too. It looks like you have been doing more studying on all of this I think that helps too. As soon as I found out I got on the net and looked up everything so that I would be prepared.
Dont be afraid of getting the port it has been the easiest thing I have had done so far. I came home after having it done cleened up my house some and then went to dinner with my hubby, I did wake up in the am with a small amount of pain but took one pill and that was it for the entire thing. Mine is completly healed and the scar is almost invisible so dont worry about that either. Do you live in a large area where you have good Drs and hospitals? Im lucky to live in the Seattle area because we have some of the best right here.
Sorry for rambling but i finally feel good enough to do this so I have lots to say.
Hugs:)
Bernadette
Hugs:)
Bernadette


Kattbird
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 243
   Posted 8/27/2005 12:11 PM (GMT -7)   

I can't get the port a cath right now. There's not enough time to do bloodwork etc since I am going on vac. I am not giving up my vacation. I live right outside Washington DC, so it's a BIG area. I don't know about good docs and stuff, who has time to check all this stuff when everything seems to have to move so fast. Things have been good so far with all the docs. All the poeple at the radiation office were very nice.  My boyfriend is not much help. I feel like I am going thru this alone. He said he thought I didn't want to really talk about it. I may have said that sometime back. But the fact of the matter is, when I TRY to tell him something about anything in general not even about cancer, he doesn't listen, he starts playing with the dog or some crap. One day I will be in there dead and he won't know it for hours. He doesn't know how to act to crap like this anyway. I guess he didn't get much affection growing up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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