Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Night Before

I told my wife I could do this standing on my head. Now we'll see.

A little background. I turned 50 in September, and was diagnosed with T3a N+M0 bladder cancer in May, 2006. Because my cancer was both invasive and aggressive, my urologist recommended that I have surgery at USC Norris Cancer Center. My surgeon was Dr. John Stein. In that regard, I couldn't be more fortunate. Dr. Stein is one of the leading BC surgeons in the world, and my surgery (on June 23, 2006) went very well.

In fact, three months after the surgery, I feel terrific. Looking at me, you'd never know anything was wrong, and indeed, most of the time I almost forget I had surgery at all--my bladder, prostate, two feet of intestine, and 85 lymph nodes would probably be disappointed that they aren't missed too badly, but it was either them or me. They lost.
My pathology report, however, indicated that the cancer had spread to one of my lymph nodes, so three rounds of chemo were indicated. Both Dr. Stein and my local oncologist agreed on gemcitabine (Gemzar) and cisplatin.

I was pretty apprehensive about the chemo before meeting with my oncologist, but really, it doesn't sound as awful as I'd dreaded. I'm generally an optimistic person, and perhaps I'm being a bit naive, but I'm not as fearful about this as I was just last week. I'm going to bring my ipod, turn it on, let the nurse find a vein, and listen to music for four hours. I can do this standing on my head.

That's the plan.

Tomorrow is the day. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Since I'm having CT scans and x-rays right before the chemo begins, I just drank a bottle of something called Readi-Cat 2, no, not a new kitty litter, but a barium solution that tastes a bit like a virgin pina-colada served by Edna Wilholtz at the Boise Rotary Club's annual Luau night. A bit of rum would make it more palatable.