Part Six: Treatment Day Two & Three | PRRT & Me


Making it through Day One with little to no side effects felt like a massive accomplishment. Neither my roomie or I suffered any ill effects from the amino acids drip prior to the PRRT treatment. Some patients do, some patients don’t. It was a gorgeous, sunny day and we ate our breakfasts and were each brought down to imaging to have an octreoscan done. The doctor had told me prior to the actual treatment that they would also place a small amount of Indium-111 into the mix, to help with imaging on Day Two to make sure that the Y-90 laced octreotide was making it into the tumors. We waited pensively for our results.

Around three o’clock in the afternoon, the doctor spoke to each of us separately. My results from the octreoscan were very good, in fact, excellent. Even though my tumors are now showing far more aggression in their course, they readily absorbed the octreotide laced with the Y-90. This will, presumably, help the nuke the little suckers. The doctor was very happy with the results and confirmed that they believe this treatment will be excellent for me and that I would be invited for round two. Even more exciting was that he allowed me to wander out into the garden that I had been staring into for the last 30 hours. I was allowed to go outside, but told that if I needed to go to the bathroom that I would have to come back to the ward as all of our waste is collected and placed in holding tanks for three months, waiting for the radiation to wear off. The doctor also told me that because the Y-90 treatment is much harder than the Lu-77, that since I had no ill effects from the treatment, it was not likely I would have any from future treatments. It felt like a huge accomplishment.

I quickly Skype’d Mom at the hotel to let her know that I had a tiny window of freedom and to invite her to join me in the garden if she wanted. She came over and we sat in the garden (a few feet away from each other just to be safe) and visited for a couple of hours until dinner time. I spent a lot of time taking photos of the flowers. After dinner, the roomie and I just hung out and chatted, showered and got ready for bed. I used the hospital WiFi to listen to my radio show, which went into the wee hours of the morning. I just wasn’t sleepy at all, which I suspect was a side effect of the steroids they gave us throughout the treatment.

The next morning, we were brought breakfast and then were literally free to go. We ate, packed our belongings and left. I had to drop off some paperwork with a nurse and asked just to make sure. Yep, we could leave anytime we wanted. So waiting for a doctor to sign off or paperwork to get pushed through the system. Mom just happened to show up at exactly the time I was done packing and we left. I was back at the hotel drinking coffee with Mom by 8:30am.

2016-05-21 18.02.26-2Later that afternoon, when I was walking through the Marketplatz, I ran into my roommate and her husband. It was so awesome to be in a foreign country and hear someone yell your name across the street. We took the opportunity to get some photos together. Rooming with her really made the whole experience seem less scary.

Together, we had both made it through the mechanical part of round one and hopefully, on the path to stability.

>>> Part Seven

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Dawn Marie
Dawn Marie
Patient and advocate for better diagnosis, treatment and quality of life for people living with neuroendocrine cancers.