Friday, April 11, 2008

Notes from Today

I wrote this to my mother when I got home from the hospital today. She asked me to forward my notes to her. I am embarrassed by my phonetically-spelled medications. Remember: I am not a doctor.

Hi, Mom -

Here is a summary of the notes I took today.

Prognosis: Too early to say. Will have a better idea after the wave of chemo.

It is possible to have no jaundice and still have pancreatic, gall bladder or liver cancer.

It is possible to have an unknown primary site. This represents up to 10% of all cancers.

You will need to take Zometa for bone strengthening. Like Boniva, but much stronger.

Cancer was found in the lymph nodes and a cancer mass was found under the rib (explaining the discomfort you've been feeling there).

Check you blood sugar the next time you are feeling faint, sweaty, shaky or like you are going to pass out. (Please keep a snack in your pocketbook, Mom, in case you have low blood sugar).

You should stop taking Lipotor. This will reduce the amount of medication you are on and the doctor said that it is the one that you are receiving the least benefit from.

The doctor mentioned adenocarcinoma.

There are a broad spectrum of chemotherapies, but he would like to start you on (something I can't spell, but it will NOT cause you to lose your hair). I spelled it: "gysinimine splantim" in my notepad. Good thing I didn't go to medical school, huh? You will receive a scan after your first cycle to see how you do. If you respond well, you will continue onto another cycle. If not, you will be switched to Fulfox (again, my bad spelling). I wrote that one cycle is 4 weeks (1X a week, with a week off in the middle).

The doctor will supplement you with Amend, which will allow you to reduce the amount of Decatron you have to take. So, on days 1 and 2, you will take 4 mm of decatron, and on days 3 and 4, you will take 2 mm each day.

Dr. Enzinger will dictate a note to Dr. Matelski. He will get this by next Tuesday (4/15). This will contain all of his recommendations. And probably a better summary than mine. At least he'll spell the meds correctly!

I love you, Mom. You did great today!



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