Movin’ on up!

Well … I had a meeting with my oncologist and she thinks I am having an allergic reaction to the chemo (hence my shortness of breath that put me in the ER) so she has decided I don’t have to do my 4th and final Red Devil chemo and I can move on to the next phase.

WHAT? Holy shit. I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am not to do another round. I seriously barely made it through 3 … I really didn’t think I could do a 4th. So when she said no more Red Devil I just about fell at her feet and kissed them.

My heart goes out to anyone who has to do more than 3.

screen-capture-10So here’s the story. Remember when I was complaining about my oncologist etc etc etc (read about it here). Well it turns out she’s not an oncologist but the BC Cancer Agencies Cancer GP.

It’s a little confusing (so bear with me) but I had my first initial meeting with oncologist Dr.B and she was the one who explained my treatment plan to me.

I immediately liked her. She has a dry sense of humour and is a very smart scientist. And she’s part of my tribe. She talks with the same cadence as the rest of my Jewish family… 🙂 … so I immediately felt comfortable with her and the way she talks about my treatment.

I have had 2x pre-chemo visits with this other doctor who I thought was an oncologist filling in for Dr.B while she was away or something. Turns out she’s the GP and her job is to make sure I’m ok  before I continue with treatment.

OHHHH. Nobody told us that. We thought we were talking to another oncologist.

So when I had complications and went to the ER for my shortness of breath Dr.B was informed and she set up an appointment to see me right away. I asked her why I wasn’t seeing her instead of the other doc and that’s when she explained that the way it works is the GP fills in the gaps so she can focus on the serious stuff.

If I have a minor issue like my fingernails turning black (don’t ask) then the GP takes care of that. If it’s something serious (like my lungs failing) then I see Dr.B.

OK. This all makes sense now … but here’s the thing. I told the GP multiple times that I had issues with my breathing after each chemo. Dr.B checked my file and there is no mention of my lungs in either write up of my visits.

That … is a problem.

So Dr.B has booked me with her when she can fit me into her schedule and she has changed me to a different GP for the other check-ups.

Phew! That was exhausting to explain. Ha ha. I hope it makes sense. 🙂

So the next phase of my treatment plan is I have a couple weeks of recuperation time and then first week of Aug I start with my new chemo. This chemo will be 1x a week for 12 weeks. According to Dr.B it’s easier to handle. Nausea is not a part of this chemo … and I should have an easier time (knock on wood).

Talking things out with Dr.B was excellent. I made a list of my issues/concerns and we talked it through. So I am feeling a bit more optimistic about everything and feel like I have more support from my doc.

So bottom line. No more Red Devil chemo. We are moving to an easier chemo. I am ready for phase 2. BRING IT!


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20 Responses to Movin’ on up!

  1. Renée says:

    That is a lot of information to navigate. So much to think about! I had to read it twice to get it straight.

    Yes to less nausea!

  2. ann says:

    Countdown!! Yeeehawwww!!

  3. Catherine says:

    Sarah, I’m glad you got the answers you deserve and that you don’t have to do that horrible chemo! Take care of yourself during your recoup time and I hope your next round of chemo does indeed go better. We are thinking about you here! xox C and M

  4. Ariane says:

    YES!!! I am so glad you get so skip the last round, though yikes being allergic to chemo and not having the first GP take it seriously?!?!? 🙁

    I wish that any of this was surprising to me, or hard to understand, alas it sounds pretty par for the course of all the healthcare I’ve received in Vancouver in the public healthcare system.

    It’s really hard for me to believe that they do all these things (like sub in a GP instead of an oncologist) to save money, and don’t understand/realize that in the end it’s actually costing 3 times as much because people end up for example in emergency cause they can’t breathe!!!

    Anyway, I’m glad that all got sorted out, and that you get a new doctor (I felt like the whole iron/eyesight response was a pretty big red flag but was trying not to project my doctor issues and be like “WTF this person is not doing their job well”…) 😉

    Hopefully onwards and upwards from here!


  5. Fletch O'Flaherty says:

    I am formerly liam96801. Dual cancer survivor and working to Vegan.
    Sarah? So happy you are on to tolerable chemo. And stick with Dr. B as the other did not take your concerns seriously. It is cancer and every word you say is to be heard and concerns written down.
    Dr. B sounds awesome. Keep her.
    I keep you in my daily thoughts and prayers my friend from online. You amaze me. I went through this twice alone and I love that you share/vent.
    Your voice speaks for those who cannot or will not. You touch a thousand for every one that responds..the law of letters.
    I am proud of you and hope that one day when i get to bc..waiting a couple ears for what they deem elective surgeries…that we will meet.
    Much love and know you are why two of three meals are vegan or vegetarian. Know that we survivors are a growing lot and support eachother.
    Know that you are the Queen of awesome bravery.

  6. Nicole says:

    *happy dance*. this is just fantastic news!! now you can be the red devil to zee cancer. rock on, rock star <3

  7. Jane says:

    Sarah, I am really relieved you got rid of that other doctor relatively quickly.
    And I’m thrilled for you that you are done w the “bad” chemo.
    I love you!

  8. Esther Patrick says:

    How infuriating (not to mention dangerous) that the GP didn’t think to keep proper notes and escalate such a serious problem 🙁 Onwards and upwards now, though. Great news about the change in chemo… fingers crossed for you x

  9. Taylor says:

    Awesome news, Sarah! Like Kris Carr says about having cancer, “You are working a FULL TIME job at the “office of healing”.” And goes on to remind you that YOU are the C.E.O. of that job. You decide who stays (doctor or otherwise), who goes, and what is/is not acceptable for your body. You go, girlfriend. It certainly sounds like things are moving in the right direction…upward! xo Taylor

  10. Jamie says:

    That is good news! Stay strong lovely lady! 🙂

  11. Denise says:

    Adriamycin Cytoxan is legalized torture – I am sorry you had severe reactions but thankful you went to ER with shortness of breath to have it checked. So many women do not – like me. I had severe shortness of breath while on AC, and had a heart attack while on it and because of it. I am on lots of heart meds now thanks to the Red Devil/Red Death.
    I am happy you don’t have to endure #4 – the rest has it’s own difficulties, but it is much easier.

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