As an update of the last week or so, the fluid (ascites, a by product of uncontrolled cancer) in my torso has been increasing for at least the past week. Since I experienced this a year ago and ended up with a 4-day hospital stay, I suspected that the chemo I began at the beginning of June was NOT working.
On Monday, July 5, a holiday, I decided I would start my preparation for a CT-PET scan (limited food and drink procedure) on Tuesday, and prepare to show-up at my oncologist's office early Tuesday morning, all in order to get this checked out, without having to be admitted to the hospital.
I was very lucky because someone cancelled her scan and I was scanned by 1pm! !!!!! My oncologist had the report by Wednesday am and I was in his office by 1:10, ten minutes early !!!
Since I have been on five different chemos over the past two years, two of which did not work, he was sending me to Premiere Oncology, a place I go for weekly art therapy sessions. He said there may be some clinical trials that maybe effective.
My oncologist wanted to be notified who my new doctor would be so the two of them could have a discussion about my case and to whom he would fax my records. From the oncologist office I attempted to make an appointment with the best doctor who was doing ovarian cancer clinical trials. The time: 1:30. After 15 minutes of being on hold because the scheduler at Premiere was busy, I was told P..., would call me back. As I was leaving my dear oncologist office, the doctor who has help me to stay alive since 2004, he was faxing my records to the head doctor at Premiere Oncology.
As I drove home, there was NO return call from P... . I have run into that issue of not receiving a call-back in a timely fashion in the past with my GP so, then as well as yesterday, I decided to JUST show up! Did I tell you that Premiere Oncology is ten blocks from my home!
By 5 o'clock, the two doctors had spoken, the 19-page fax of my most important medical history was in the new doctor's hands, my vitals were taken by a nurse I know, and my new doctor, someone I had previously met on several other occasions, had completed the comprehensive, intake examination. The 'Ball is rolling.'
By this Thursday morning I will have an appointment to get the excess fluid withdrawn from my torso ASAP. It feels like there is at least a gallon of fluid filling my torso and pressing on my organs.
p.s. While my new doctor was examining me my phone silently went off at 4:30--I later checked it and it was P... returning my call. "Please call back to make an appointment" (Little did she know, I created my own appointment by being "Patient Active," an important concept from The Wellness Community, an international and local support program for cancer survivors and family.
Image: Detail of a custom made bed spread from Bali