Monday, January 17, 2011

A PICC Will Do The Trick

I apologize for not updating this earlier, my how I lose track of time and what day of the week it is anymore lol. Last Thursday, 01/13/2011, we met with Dr. Brouns at NWCS for our final consult before treatment begins and remarkably all looks good. Last week they did an ECHO on my heart (ultrasound) and a PFT (lug tests) and those came back completely normal. Which is shocking because three weeks ago I could barely breath, my resting pulse was 120bpm, and my blood pressure was like 170/90. Now I am not having any trouble breathing, my pulse is down to 85bpm, and blood pressure has dropped to 140/70 - still high but much better than it was (normally my heart beat and blood pressure are completely normal). So thank you for all your thoughts and prayers - obviously they are working.

The only bad news he gave us is that the tumor is bigger than we thought. The first CAT Scan done on Christmas day showed that the tumor was about the size of a softball but the results from the PET Scan show that it is ginormous - it goes from my breast bone clear back to my spine and has spread to a lymphnode in my neck on the right side of my throat and another lymphode on the left side of my chest. Think about how big and thick I am and not put that into contrast - yikes! The doctor is still confident that the chemo and combined radition will rid me of the tumor. I have 3 months (down from 4) of chemo where I will go in once-twice a week followed by a month of radiation - not sure if that will be weekly or multiple times a week. I will let you know as I learn more. And for all you cancer savvy people the chemo treatment they are giving me is a regime called Stanford V - whatever that is.

Today, Monday 01/17/2011, I had my PICC Line put in. For those of you not familiar with a PICC Line, it is a cathedore inserted in my left bicep in a vein which has a 60cm long IV that stretches to my chest. The reason for this is for the chemo. Rather than them sticking my veins each week with poison they and I opted for a PICC line which they can just hook up to each time to draw blood and push in the chemo - it has a small port which always sticks out of my arm but is taped down to eliminate as much restriction as possible. Every time I hear the word surgery, operation, or needle, being the guy that I am I get anxious and worrysome. Last night we were talking about it and Kendall says, 'Daddy, let me tell you something. You will be scared and you will cry but it will not hurt, I promise. You will be okay daddy, ok daddy." She made my night and she was pretty much right. I was scared, I did not cry though, and it did not hurt, and I am okay lol. The nurse putting the PICC in was Stephanie from SW WA Med Ctr and she was great. There was no pain, even when they gave me the numbing medicine and put the 4" long needle in my vein. It is a little irritating now though, itches and pulls every now and then. I have pictures below.
I was supposed to start chemo today at 1:00pm (each session should be 3-4 hours) but NWCS called me this past Friday and notified me my drugs were not in it. They will be calling me anytime to let me know when I begin - we are hoping tomorrow Tuesday 01/18/2011.

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