Author Topic: Results of 7/13/10 visit to Cancer Treatment Centers of America  (Read 3607 times)


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Hi to all my wonderful friends and family members!

We left Cancer Treatment Centers of America yesterday and are currently in Iowa staying the night and will be finishing up our trip home tomorrow.

I am pleased and more than a little relieved to report that all my test results came back great again! 

Marianne and her friend Bela accompanied me on this trip.  We stayed at the Illinois Beach Resort - and they both had tons of fun playing on the beach of Lake Michigan and also swimming indoors in the pool.  I dropped my van off at Ernie's Automotive in Zion - because he is the only mechanic I trust at this time to work on my van.  We rented a 2010 Dodge Charger and drove it around while Ernie was fixing the van.  It was good to see him and his wife Renee.   

This will be our last time we stay at the resort because they are getting rid of all their smoking rooms.  I was a real mess when they told me this - went up to our room and bawled my eyes out.  I was (and still am) angry that smoker's are treated as second class citizens and my rights seem to be taken away every where I turn.  Geez... I even saw a sign at a REST AREA today that said you cannot smoke on the rest area property.... not just the building... the grounds too!  They were kind enough to say on the sign that you could smoke in your vehicle while at the rest area - YIPPEE - that makes them taking my rights away feel so much BETTER!!

Anyway - back to my hissy fit.... I called Tom and told him that the last hotel in Zion was phasing out their smoking rooms and that I was going to have to start going to CTCA in Tulsa - or perhaps Phoenix.  He calmed me down and told me to get on the internet and look around for hotels in nearby towns - and golly gee whiz... I found a Super 8 that is about 10 miles away that doesn't discriminate against second class citizens!  So... that made me feel better - and that is where we will be staying from here on out.

This visit was a little different, because they have changed their protocol at CTCA. 

I had ct scans and a full body bone scan done on Monday the 12th.  It was great seeing Babette at the front desk right when we enter the hospital.  She checked us in and of course asked how things were going with me.  This may sound silly, but it is nice to be "recognized" by someone each time I go to CTCA.  I have been seeing the same Internal Medicine doctor for probably 6-7 years - and while all the people in the front have been there the whole time, they have no clue who I am until I give them my name.  CTCA probably has a gazillion more cancer patients - and yet when some of the "old timers" that have been there since I started going 3 years ago see me - they know who I am!

I also got to see my buddy Brenda, who is the one who accesses my port to draw blood and prep me for my infusion of Zometa.  Brenda is a sweetheart - and a pistol - all rolled into one.  I would never want to get on her bad side!  We always hug each other and tell each other "I love you" and I know I mean it - and believe she does too. 

On Tuesday, we went to go see Dr. Neelam.  This is where the protocol has changed - and it was pretty neat.  The nurse, Peggy, took me to the dreaded scales, took my blood pressure and got me into my exam room.  From there... all the different people that are on my oncology team came to meet with me in the room - as opposed to me going to their offices.  First Amy came in and went over my medication list.  Then the Nutritionist came in and went over my diet and advised me to start eating 3 meals a day (instead of my normal 1 or 2) and to take fish oil because it is known to help cancer victims.  Next, Dr. Neelam came in and went over my test results and sat and talked with me for a while.  I, of course, was thrilled with the results of my tests.  After Dr. Neelam, came Dr. Eliot Edwards - the Naturopathic doctor.  We went over all the herbal supplements I am taking and he suggested that I start taking Inositol Powder 2 times a day to help with my stress levels and to help me sleep at night - which I have a rough time doing even taking 20mg of Melatonin at night.  I am also taking Valerian as needed for stress and Eliot said to continue with that as well.

My bone scan said : "Subtle uptake is present in the known metastasis in the left side of L-4,  Negative for other bone tetastases. Degenerative activity is present in the knees and feet."  (This means I may die of old age and arthritis before I die of breast cancer!  LOL

CA 15-3 (Breast Antigen) was 6 - same as in March of 2010
CA 27.29 was 9.6 down from 11.8 in March 2010
CEA continues to be a little high - 3.5 as compared to 3.6 in March 2010.

My next visit will be in November - and Tom is supposed to go with me!

Thanks again for all your prayers!

Judy Gunderson