You learn something new every day. For example, today I learned that a hot flash in the shower is a good thing, but a hot flash while I'm bundled up in my winter gear is not such a good thing.
And let the record show that I would NOT have been in need of the winter gear in the first place today if I didn't have an appointment with my oncologist. It was a lab draw, wait a thousand hours in the waiting room, see the doctor for a very short time, and get my port flushed out kind of morning.
So. The chemo doc asked the usual nosy questions about my bowels, my overall health, and my ass. My white count is a little low, but still in a normal range. We chatted more indepth about the chemo regimen I'll be on (Eric would have appreciated the doc's little talk about drug studies). There are basically two types of chemo given for my type of cancer, folfox and folfuri (I hope I spelled them right!). Each have side effects, most noteably the folfox tends to cause nerve damage/cold sensitivity and folfuri tends to cause diarrhea. Some doctors will have patients do as much folfox as they can handle, then switch to folfuri. My doctor says it makes more sense to have a regimen that a patient can be successful completing than to start with one and then switch later. He's hopeful that the nerve issues will be less or won't start as soon by alternating, and that the diarrhea won't get as bad. After our little talk, I got my port flushed and was on my way.
A couple weeks after surgery, I'll see the chemo doc for an assessment to decide when we can start chemo.
Another little gem I learned today...during surgery, instead of digging around in my arms for veins, they can use my port! I happen to think that rocks.
Then I picked up the kids, came home, and made a big pan of refried beans (from scratch, oh so good). Nom nom nom.
Other than all that excitement today, there's not a whole lot going on. My ass is healed, and aside from some occasional itching, it's like I was never radiated. I did start my yoga DVD again. I can pretty much eat whatever I want without huge bathroom issues.
Some of the time I think I'm feeling okay about the surgery, but when someone asks me about it, sometimes I get emotional. Please don't feel like you can't ask me about it if you know me in real life because I think the more I talk about it, the more my brain "gets" it. And I really don't mind talking about cancer or surgery or my eventual colostomy bag or chemo or any of it. People get so weird talking about their butts. I get it, I think I used to be that way too. I want people to be aware that rectal cancer exists, that it isn't just an old people disease, and that we all need to pay attention to our bodies, even the parts that aren't dinner table conversation.