Y-90 is the latest plan of action to treat my cancer. I have to say this has been the hairy -scary one of the bunch. Sure chemo was bad. And the chemo pill I am taking has its up and down days. But I have never heard of Y-90 and I am not one to search the Internet night and day to scare myself into having adverse side-effects. I mean, I really didn’t need to after the doctor ( I now have 3 new guys plus my oncologist) told me that given the extent of my cancer that death could be a factor. No further looking was necessary other than the information I was given.
So basically what I signed up for was a series of two part procedures. Both of these are done 1/2 awake. You know like “you will be relaxed but won’t feel anything”. The first thing they have to do is get pictures of what arteries are feeding into my liver. So they make me “relaxed”. Somehow part way through I woke up as the dr. told me to move my arms in various positions. They rolled me into another room to take pictures. Did I skip the part where I was actually relaxed enough not to know anything. Yeah, that’s where they ran a catheter into my right thigh to get the party started. I also woke up at the end of the procedure with a nurse pressing hard down onto the catheter part. I told him that hurt and he simply replied that it would be better to take a little more pain now than a lot more later.
I stayed sick for days. I was told not to bend my leg because of the catheter. I was nauseous. I couldn’t eat. I had to take steroids that made me restless and feel like I could jump out of my skin. I skipped out on Facebook, reading, and even watching Dr. Phil. After a few days, I started to feel better, so it was time for part two.
This time I seemed to sleep through more of it. They had the map of where the radiation beads needed to be placed, so maybe it didn’t take as long. And no more pictures were made in another room. I went home the same way except for an extra bruise that went all around the top of my leg! It was ugliest, scariest bruise I ever saw in my life. The doctor was very concerned and told me to come back to the hospital if it got worse, or didn’t start to heal in a day or so. I had all the other side effects except for death I suppose. But I have to say there was a day or two there that I began to believe that wouldn’t be so bad after all.
Then something happened. I began to feel better. I still needed pain pills and nausea medicine, but the pain that had been there (the actual cancer) began to ease up. I started to feel normal. When Darrell asked how I felt at one point, I actually said good without thinking. He remarked on how long it had been since he heard me use those words on how I felt. Now I do feel better. Not healed but better, and it has only been two weeks.
I told one of my friends about this procedure and she stated how BRAVE I was for doing this. I love her for that but I don’t feel brave. I am going to feel brave when I have to do it again because I know what to expect. HA! The plan is to map out for each part of my liver and place more radioactive beads. The doctors expects treatments to go on for 6 months with several weeks between treatments. I am sure I haven’t faced all of the side effects yet to come. But I know what it means to be brave.