The team meeting finally took place today and the doctors discussed what the best course of treatment would be for myself and many others battling head and neck cancer. I was told the meeting would be done around 2:00 and it was quite evident they were right on schedule as we started to receive a flood of phone calls beginning around 2:30. First, a nurse called to schedule the procedure to insert an IV port that will be used for chemotherapy. This will take place on Monday morning. If all goes well, I will be able to go home. Second, another nurse called and said that the doctors agreed that a couple of rounds of chemotherapy to shrink the tumor would be done first. This would then be followed up with surgery and then a combination of chemotherapy and radiation. Third, another nurse called to schedule the chemotherapy. I will be checking in Tuesday morning for a 5 day stay in the hospital for an intense chemotherapy treatment. The remaining phone calls were the hospital to begin pre-admission procedures for Monday's procedure and the hospital stay. And I can't forget our phone calls to the insurance company to let them know that I will be admitted into the hospital.
Wow, I was eager to get the ball rolling, but I didn't realize it would happen this fast. Reality is now setting in and I am scared for what my body is about to endure. I have been walking around the last couple of days with the mindset that this is similar to cold...it will be treated and then be gone after awhile. However, after speaking with the Oncologist's nurse, I had a wake up call. This is not a cold, this is CANCER. This is a life threatening illness.
The chemotherapy I will be receiving is among the most aggressive treatment out there. It will be intense. The one advantage I have is that I am young and healthy so I should tolerate it well. I often say to Jason, I feel like I am in a dream and cannot wake up. It is so hard to realize this is happening to me. Life will not be the same for the next few months nor will it every be again.
I will be doing a lot of shopping this weekend. I refuse to wear a wig once my hair falls out so I will be stocking up on the cutest hats I can find. I will also be shopping for some jammies to wear in the hospital as I refuse to wear the open back gowns they have ample supply of in the hospital. I will also be downloading a lot of movies, TV shows and music for entertainment while receiving Chemotherapy in the hospital. So much to do in such little time. I feel like I am "nesting" as many mothers to be do before having the baby. In my case, I am just trying to get organized so that things don't fall apart while I am out of commission. My list of "to dos" is growing and growing. I am sure I will not get to all of them. This is when I have to realize I just have to let go and let God. Which is one of the reasons I know I am going through this. I am the biggest control freak and going through this experience has made me realize I am SO not in control.
Many of you have asked how you can help. It is so hard to know what we are going to need help with. This will be a learning experience for us all and we will know more once we are in the trenches of it all. I know for sure meals will be a tremendous help to my family. If you are interested in helping with meals...a website has been set up to coordinate meals while I am going through Chemotherapy. The website is called foodtidings.com. To sign up click on the link included on this blog. This website is awesome and will coordinate everything. I have also typed a list of those of you that have offered to take the girls for a playdate and this list will be given to our parents. As far as visitors at the hospital...I am not sure what the protocol will be or whether or not I will be up for having visitors. But we will definitely let you know.
As far as prayer requests...my biggest fear right now is the side effects from the Chemo. Please pray that it will not be as harsh as I am anticipating it to be. And most importantly, pray the chemo will have a great impact on the tumor and that it will shrink to a reasonable size for surgery. I am so afraid to go through chemo and then get the news that it is not working. I am trying not to think about that, but it is hard not go there sometimes. If you could keep Jason, Mackenzie and Kendall in your prayers as well that would be great. This is going to be so hard on them and they are going to need all the support they can get.
Thank you all for everything. We are completely overwhelmed by the love and support we have received from family and friends! My hope is continue updating all of you while in the hospital.