Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Chemo, Good. Bleeding, Bad.

Went for my routine Herceptin treatment. While there, I showed chemo doc my lumpy chest. She was alarmed and said I couldn’t start radiation on Thursday as scheduled. She told me to go to my surgeon to have a tube drain put in on the right side to drain out the blood. I could have the less accurate 2D radiation with a lumpy chest, but she said she’d prefer I got the best radiation treatment possible, i.e. 3D conformal, even if it meant putting in a drain and risking infection. She said she’d monitor me closely for infection and give me a prophylactic course of antibiotics. Said she’ll talk to my radiation oncologist and convince him to give me 3D with drains in place.

Off to the surgeon. He put in a small “lantern drain” on the right side under local anesthesia. Left side can stay lumpy since I’m not getting radiation on that side. Drained 60 ml. after putting in the drain. Drain filled up before I even left the office, so emptied another 15 ml.

Surgeon consulted with my radiation oncologist by phone. Radiotherapy will have to be delayed for two more weeks, until bleeding stops and skin sticks flat onto chest wall. Radiation oncologist said he’ll have to do the simulation again, since the draining of blood has changed the shape of the treatment field. Need to go back to him once the fluid is all gone and chest has completely flattened out.

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