Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Guthrie Hospital

On Monday March 31st, we went to Guthrie Hospital in Sayre, PA and met with Dr. Cagir as planned. He said that if he had his choice, he would have me receive my chemotherapy and radiation treatments at Guthrie Hospital so he could have complete control over everything. He had a concern about practitioners out of his reach not complying with his recommendation and reducing the possibility of the procedure going less than perfect.

Dr. Cagir made it clear he would oversee all treatment that I received at Guthrie Hospital should I choose to work with him. It was that type of colleague-t0-colleague relationship that had me so impressed with Cancer Treatment Centers of America. So, after a short conversation with Daniela, I decided I will work locally (or at least relatively locally) with Dr. Cagir at Guthrie Hospital. I was very happy to hear the confidence in the voices of Dr. Cagir and Dr. Allerton (my chemotherapy doctor), when both told me they believe my chemotherapy and radiation treatments will shrink the tumor significantly and make the surgery a much easier process.

Today Daniela & I met with Dr. Ho, my radiation doctor, and he presented his recommended treatment of five to five and a half weeks of radio therapy. I was then CT scanned and tattooed for the radiation treatment. The radiation and chemotherapy are both scheduled to begin on Tuesday.

As far as my chemotherapy treatment is concerned, I opted to go with 5-FU which is an intravenous application. The pill form is available to me, however the pill form includes a small risk of red, irritated and/or peeling, blistered skin on my palms and soles of my feet. Apparently, the odds of such a reaction are low, but considering my system is sensitive and I tend to experience the less common side effects, I opted, as stated. for the intravenous method.

In order to keep my veins from looking like overly used pin cushions, I will have a port attached to my body - beneath the skin and just under the collar bone - on Thursday. This port is about the size of a quarter, only thicker, and will allow me to receive chemotherapy treatment 24/7, so I don't have to have an intravenous hook up taped to my hand which would 1) require me to receive continual chemotherapy treatments 5 days a week and 2) require me to have the intravenous hookup changed every week or so.

It still feels a bit strange to be typing an entry about my chemo and radiation treatments. Not for long I suppose!


  1. Good for you! How wonderful that you and Daniela sound strong and steady, and are getting excellent, complete info to compare the options and make complex decisions. It sounds like you're in a good mental and physical place on your continued journey. Hang in there! Good vibes, well wishes, prayers and caring thoughts still coming your way!

  2. Blessed be. Cindy said it all so perfectly.
    See you Saturday,

  3. Given all of your options - it appears that you've made a choice that will be beneficial to your entire family. Guthrie/Robert Packer is one of the finest medical facilities in the north east and we're blessed to have it. No matter where you chose to go - your fighting spirit will heal you. Rick

  4. You should check out this site:

  5. Out of curiosity, did your oncologist talk about giving you Oxiliplatin too? It is expensive, but sometimes it is given along with 5-FU. Of course, no idea if it's appropriate in your case. Just wondering.

  6. Reply to anonymous:
    I have not heard of Oxiliplatin. Do you know anything about it?

  7. Sometimes Oxiliplatin is given along with Leucavorin/5-FU for some rectal cancers. There are so many chemo variations and things change all the time so I didn't know if it's appropriate for you situation or even used anymore.

    You'll hear names like folfox, folfox 4 and so on in terms of the various treatments. Lots of variations.