Susan Neder


In Chemo/Radiation on November 15, 2010 at 11:18 pm

We are in Denver now, preparing to begin treatment this week.  Yesterday’s meetings with the lead oncologist, who is a very knowledgeable, kind, and gentle man, and the radiological oncologist, who is a very bright, efficient, and no-nonsense type of woman (which I appreciate), had a good news/bad news theme.  The good news, which is the best news of all, is that this treatment has a 70-80% cure rate–awesome!  The radiation doctor had at the job of telling me in gruesome detail some of the short term and long term side affects of the treatment, though (the bad news).  She was very thorough and graphic and when she was done with me I felt poleaxed– a good southern term that describes a state of extreme shock that makes you appear stunned and often involves crossed eyes for an hour or more.  Poleaxed people usually need to be led around until they recover!  If this ever happens to you, I recommend a cosmopolitan in a very classy bar–it did wonders for me.

So Monday morning I get a “port” put in for chemo.  It is something put under the skin, under my clavicle, that they can plug the chemo pump in and out of so I don’t have to have an IV 24/7.  The pump is something I will carry around and I hear it is the size of a video tape.  I can’t quite picture this, so I’ll know more on Monday, I guess.  Chemo is two weeks out of the six continual weeks of radiation, spaced out.  Week 1 and week 3 or 4, but sometimes you need a break because those grisly side affects get to be too much to handle.  But a break just delays things.  I also got 3 tattoos yesterday– guides for the boundaries of the radiation area, and that really hurt.  I don’t know how these kids can stand that pain for a big tattoo.  OUCH!  But now I am a little more “cool”, I suppose, although these tattoos will NOT be shown to anyone I know– only 15 or 20 strangers who work in the radiology department will see them.

One final note:  Just when I thought I was done, a radiation tech came in with a camera to take pictures of the radiation area on me.  At first I thought it was a joke–if I hadn’t been poleaxed I would have broken her wrist, if necessary, to get the camera away from her.  As it was, I could only say two things to her.  First, “you must be kidding…” and second, “I better not see those on the internet.”

I can hardly wait until Monday.

More later.



  1. Glad to see that your picture shows you taking this all so well. Dear Friend, daily prayers for you as you begin a journey that will take much fortitude. I love your humor. It helps all of us. Most of all you. lol

  2. hi susan, great foto on facebook and i love the look of that cosmopolitan here. glad you’re up for writing. hope the treatment isn’t as bad as it sounds. maybe you can imagine light vibrations moving thru after sessions to nourish and comfort you. and/put your hands on your heart, thanking it for being so strong and letting all the annoying thoughts in your head migrate down to the comfort of your heart. helps me, but then i just have minor pains now. much love, anna

  3. First I have to make sure you know that I took my maiden name back, so you will know who I am (youtsey). Next I must say that I was shocked to hear this news, however, I know you as a very strong woman with a fabulous sense of humor and a very special way of forging your way through any problem with a positive attitude. Knowing these things gives me the feeling that you will beat this and do it with flair. Please know that despite the miles, I still love you the same as if we were working every day together. My prayers are for you, my friend. Much love, gina

  4. Suz: One of the first things to go in the hospital is any sense of dignity or privacy, for sure! But just remember we ALL have the same body parts and, really, parts is parts! :o) LOVE YOU!!!

  5. Susan
    Where can I get a Netherlands flag? I will fly it high and proud for you. We are thinking about you. Since you are one of the toughest “ladies of quaility” I know, I believe this will not slow you down one bit. BTW, I read you can get some good anti-nausea med in Colorado.

  6. Hi Susan,
    Just had a great call from Emily today to update me on your new link to your blog…. great site. We are all cheering for you and I will be “tying one on ” for you with the prayer quilt on Sunday. So glad you found a great place to stay… I will be coming up as releif care giver to help Cindy out and to be there for you. You are on the top of my prayer list and want you to visualize your positive outcome…visualize the “vespa girls of Tuscany”!!!!love, Kim

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