Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Our first cancer road-trip!

We spent today at the NorthEast Regional Cancer Centre in Sudbury. What an amazing place! Everyone is so friendly and it is a beautiful facility. We were shepherded through the confusing building, reception, and registration by yellow-coated volunteers to our first appointment with the chemotherapy oncologist. Dr. Herst is quietly competent while our Primary Nurse, Donna, is a blast! She is warm and funny and took lots of time make be sure we understood everything. Drs Herst and Donna explained to us two treatment options, the first being 3 courses of chemo (1 day every 3 weeks) followed by a month of radiation (15 minutes per day, five days a week). The second option is 6-8 courses of chemo and no radiation, taking a total of 4-6 months.

They booked a bone marrow sampling for Hallowe'en, and another CT Scan and a gallium scan sometime soon. These tests will allow them to stage the cancer and choose the appropriate chemo drugs. It looks like either way chemo will begin sometime mid- to late-November, depending on the test appointment dates.

We need to choose either North Bay or New Liskeard as our primary chemo site, and will have to go to Sudbury for certain appointments. Donna says we'll be going up and down the highway like a yo-yo. We have until after the second round of chemo to decide which treatment option we want to pursue.

After lunch we met the radiation oncologist. Dr. Bowen explained to us some of the pros and cons and side effects of radiation and answered a few questions that remained from the morning. Dr. Bowen is outgoing and her nurse is quiet--the opposite of quiet Dr. Herst and crazy Donna. Finally, it was blood tests and then a social visit to Estelle, the lovely receptionist who got us in so quickly! She was very pleased to have us come say hi!

Our brains are fried with all the information and choices and reading. We also haven't been getting quite as much sleep as we need. We went to Chapters with plans to pick out a bunch of books but couldn't see straight, so had tea instead. We are now on our way home, typing this update in the car. Hooray for laptops!

We know we are doing well because we were still able to make jokes and laugh through the day. (Bob looks in those funny gowns.) We are looking forward to a good sleep and massages tomorrow morning from Aline the therapeutic healer from Haileybury. We'll be posting updates etc to the blog at

Thanks for keeping us in your thoughts today, Love Anna & Bob

1 comment:

Bob said...

Test comment for Anna