Steven’s Story

Site created on March 6, 2019

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Newest Update

Journal entry by Steven Schoenherr

Today starts the next phase of the journey.  The diagnosis is done, the testing is complete and the prep work of procedures are over.  Today we start to FIGHT BACK!  Today starts chemotherapy, time to TAKE ACTION.  

I feel anxious today.  I'm confident in the team that I have selected to guide us through this journey and in their ability to help my body heal from this devastating disease.  The day started by feeling like a fish out of water - not knowing what to do.  Went to the doctor's office, had some vitals taken, then had to go to 14th floor to get lab work done.  Well, can you say rush hour on 14?!?!?!  After waiting a small eternity they call me back and then wanted a vein!  How dare they, I just got this port put in use it! 😀   Ok, paperwork mix up but the nurse I'm with cannot do a port so shuttle me off to someone else who too really good care of me since the port was just placed yesterday.  That's done, now back down to the doctor's office...

We get there and meet with the Nurse Practitioner who started going over each of the drugs in the cocktail I get to take these upcoming weeks and their side effects.  In comes Dr. Mathew who wanted to update us on this week versus next.  He was able to sync with the doctors from ORMC who did the original diagnosis and who now had updated pathology reports, seems I'm HER2 positive so they will add a 4th drug to the regime next cycle, but its not ready for today's infusion.  So for now it's fluorouracil, leucovorin and oxiplaten with herceptin added next cycle.

Additionally he levies the next "ton o bricks" that the PET scan revealed the main tumor and the liver which we knew, but also lymph nodes around the esophogus and in the neck as well as lung and bone areas.  He stated I was doing really well for someone with that much disease so that's a good sign (way to put a positive spin on it doc!).  Needless to say that news hit hard.

Time for Q&A which Dr. Mathew is always great about and I'm good to go... back to the 14th floor!

I head up to 14, wait around a bit more then head back for infusion.  1 bag for a little over 2 hours, a 5 minute push on the other and then a pump to take home for the next 46 hours to return on Thursday.  All this time Shannon and little "N" get to entertain each other and wonder NY Presbyterian!  She did say she ran into Dr. Mathew and had a good chat with him - its amazing from the first oncologist who walked out on us how we could find a doctor who truly does care about his patients and their families.

Infusions over and head back up to Orange County for another night of a few hours of sleep.  Day 1 over but what an important day to finally have in the books!
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