First Day of Chemo

MARC BUDKE Marc's Cancer Journey

First post: Jun 26, 2021 Latest post: Sep 28, 2021
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I will attempt to start at the beginning and let everyone know how we got to this point. We heard the words that no one thinks will be directed their way.  I had a very difficult and drawn out search/safari into what could be causing this low back pain that never seemed to go away. So with that mythical quest in mind, I went to the Emergency Room at Sky Ridge Medical Center in hopes of obtaining a CT scan.  I have had a long history of dormant Chrohn's disease and my fear was that maybe I had developed a blockage in the large intestine/colon. So pretty quickly after we were admitted to the ER, I was off to have my scan performed. We were eagerly sitting in the ER room waiting on the results, while discussing what an impacted bowel may look or feel like (I had never had one, nor had I ever been constipated in my adult life.) The ER Doc came into our  room with the results.  At that time she informed us that she had good and bad news. She stated that the good news was that I was not having a Chrohn's related bowel issue. During this scan, my colon appeared normal and did not show signs of any blockages. The Radiologist did notice something else of great concern. The bad news is that you have some type of Cancer that we need to identify. The Doc asked us 3x in the next 10 minutes if we had any question, at that point we were incomplete shock that we could not think straight.  The ER doctor did have some really good news, that she had already spoken to one of the Cancer Specialist  Doctors, who already made an appointment time for us to have a face to face meeting in his office at noon the next day. Come to find out, this cancer Doc is one of the best in Colorado and people from all over to see him for his expertise. We feel very fortunate to have been put with him from day one! It seems that he just happened to be taking his "on call" rotation for the emergency room, when he spoke to the ER Doc about our case. In our minds we know there is nothing that happens by chance. God brings people in and out of our lives at precisely the right moment.

May 16, 2021 was the first time we heard the word "cancer" and that started a journey for us that we never thought we would be on.  There were several long weeks of trying to figure out how to manage the low back pain that I was having, while also getting scans and tests to determine what type of cancer this was.  Three and a half weeks later, we learned that it is Stage 4 Colon Cancer that has metastasized  to my liver.  The doctors aren't 100% sure that the cancer started in the colon, but even if it started in the small intestines (another possibility) the treatment would be the same - four rounds of chemo, ever other week to start.  So, four weeks after we first sat in the oncologist's office, I started chemo on June 14, 2021. 

We were apprehensive going into chemo but the staff at Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers are compassionate and knowledgeable, which put us at ease.  We were given a private room for the infusion and I slept most of the time.  After the infusion was done at the clinic, I was set up with a 46-hour infusion of another chemo drug that would run while we were at home.  We asked how patients feel during the treatment and were told that most patients do well during the 3 days of infusion, but the 2 days after are usually the worst, so after the port was detached on Wednesday, we waited to see how I would react.

Most of my symptoms were mild on Thursday, but the pain was back and was worse through Friday.  On Friday, my fatigue was so bad that I couldn't keep my eyes open most of the day.  Every time I sat down, I was falling asleep.  Then, I started with a low-grade fever, which kept climbing.  When it reached 100.3, we called the oncologist's office and were told that we needed to go back to the ER for a fever work up.  This is where we will start with journal entries for the rest of our story.

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