As I half expected, with my oncologist out on vacation this week, he and the endocrinologist didn't speak. As a result, after sitting in the examining chair, the first question the doctor asks is, "So you have thyroid cancer?" I snickered and said something like "Hopefully," before I began to elaborate. Though she had access to my medical records, I can't say she was prepped and ready for our appointment. As she listened to my story, I could she see was simultaneously trying to review my medical
The doctor told me that I'll probably receive results from today's biopsy in five to seven days. The pathologist will send the results to my oncologist who presumably will email them to me. Now whether that new information will cause a change in my treatment, I certainly don't know. However, I would imagine that knowing the genetic mutation/biomarker would cause an immediate change. We're not exactly waiting for Godot here. And neither is the process rocket science. It's medicine. It's research.
Having re-read what I wrote in last week's column "Still Processing," I can't say it made me feel a whole lot better than when I wrote it. Granted, it was a column that had to be written given my self-indulgent tendencies (that I fight against constantly) and the possible crossroads that I may be entering. Nevertheless, if part of the underlying reason why I take up this space every week is to vent and share, as a means, hopefully not to a premature end, I suppose there was stress released there
Off we go - or not, into the wild blue yonder. It seems that my most recent CT scan's results, described as "a little worse" by my oncologist, are indeed cause for some reflection and change. (I'm not quite able to say "cause for concern" yet.) As such, to make the most effective change, per my oncologist's orders, I am scheduled for a needle biopsy on the Wednesday this column publishes. This procedure will determine, if there is a match, to the specific type of cancer tumor that I have. (Witho
I never want to look a gift-oncologist in the mouth or take a "stable"-type CT scan with a grain of salt, however; self-preservation is a funny instinct. It can change from day to day (heck, even hour to hour) and dominate your pre-occupation or intrude your thinking not at all. You can rationalize away the good, bad or indifferent (results) or irrationalize away the less-than-expected or the more-than-anticipated. Results from lab work and/or diagnostic scans are the axis on which your entire
As difficult as the last few weeks have been, with Chino's at-home hospice-type care and ultimate passing and the "Catch-22 A" realities of "reverse-mortgaging" my house "perplexed" by the "derelicht" stable/shed on my property, my upcoming quarterly CT scan hasn't even "blipped" the radar. Though it will have occurred already by the time this column prints, it's quite possible, due to the Thanksgiving holiday, its results won't be known for much longer, 12 days in fact, than has been customary.
Given the extremely sad experience I shared with you all in last week's column: "Chino Lourie, Rest in Peace," this column will be an attempt to bounce back to my usual and customary reality, one oddly enough that has nothing to do with cancer (well, much, anyway). Instead it has to do with unexpected joy.
The joy to which I refer has to do with a subject which typically provides me little joy: I refer to our two automobiles, a 2000 Honda Accord and a 2018 Audi A4. The former inherited from
I’m an armed forces veteran. Also, a late stage diagnosed lung cancer survivor veteran. A smoker, I once had little doubt that smoking caused my lung cancer. Yet almost everyone in my immediate family smoked and none developed the disease. Could the unique hazards of armed forces training and warfare played a role in my disease?
Looking back, early in my career were demolition projects involving World War II era structures that were filled with asbestos. On deployment, burn pits predominat
Please relief me or let me go. So sang Engelbert Humperdink way back in 1967 about having lost that loving feeling. His lost loving feeling was not about his mortgage. The lyrics: "I have found a new love dear" imply, if not clearly state, that there's a woman involved. My lost loving feeling is about my mortgage. And contrary to Engelbert, I can't leave it, and believe me, I've tried, though I've never sung about it, only droned on about it in print. To invoke the legendary Ricky Ricardo, aka D
Though I don't think I've broken any laws, other than the laws of consumerism, I may have gone over to the dark side. And by 'dark side,' I refer to two elements, one way more significant than the other, both of which I will get to in short order. In the interim, I refer to that most private of previously public purchases: underwear.
The last two times I bought underwear, I did not, as my father before me did so regularly for his two sons, buy from a local distributor. No. I didn't brick an
When I heard this word used recently, twice, I thought it was one of my father's made-up words like "surgerize" and "confliction" risen from his memory to finally enter the world of Merriam-Webster. And so they have, sort of. Apparently, "maturation" is a word some doctors use to answer any and all questions asked by patients inquiring as to why something or other health-wise is happening to them. In short, "maturation" means wear and tear. If Mick Mulvaney were the doctor, he might have said: "
Let me get this out of my system because until I do, I won't be able to write about anything else. Not to worry. This is not a cancer column. I am fine until they tell me otherwise which occurs every eight weeks after my bi-monthly CT scan tells the tale of the tape.
No, this column is about my lack of understanding and business acumen which twice has led me down the garden path only to be asked to leave before I got to smell any of the pretty flowers. Once (twice, actually) had to do with
Dealing with a cancer diagnosis is one thing, and certainly a big thing, but I'm much better dealing with it when the 50 million other things we all have to deal with are not having to be dealt with (ending a sentence with a preposition notwithstanding) at the same time. And not that I'm the least bit unique in having all these other tasks and concerns or even the most bit interesting in that I have them. Hardly. They are simply the elements that sometimes make living more of a job and less of a
More like in my wallet. After worrying for the past 18 months about possibly losing my health insurance, I finally hit pay dirt - and it didn't hit back. I have received my Medicare card and after I "dissenroll" from my interim "Obama Care" within the next week or so, I will officially join the ranks of the millions who have insured their health - so to speak - with the Federal Government. No more will I ifs, ands, or buts about hospitals, doctors ("medical" actually) and prescription drugs (par
Not to be morbid in the least or self-indulgent in the most (last week's column, "Something or Nothing" not withstanding), but recently I've had cause to hear about the future and be more concerned about the present.
I have a homeowner problem that, like all such problems, is way beyond my limited skills: a crack in the concrete slab which "porches" our house, apparently caused by a very large and old tree growing way too close to this slab. This is not a water-leaking-into-the-house proble
As you can imagine - or read every week in this space - my health, especially considering that my stage IV non-small lung cancer is incurable/"terminal," is top of mind. (Truth be told, it's middle of mind, bottom of mind, and every other mind in between and all around.) That being said - I am prone to exaggerate the significance of seemingly unrelated peculiarities and draw them into my cancer "centricity" without any facts to support them. Though I feel fine-ish, mostly, (the previous weeks'
That was a close shave, if I may euphemistically characterize my most recent, blade-free brush with cancer-like symptoms, especially considering that I thought my life was at stake. The pain was located around my left-side rib cage, exactly where the pain was on that fateful January 1st, 2009 day when I couldn't ignore it any longer and thus felt compelled to get off the couch and go to the emergency room. Though I didn't have any shortness of breath, or difficulty inhaling, exhaling and bending
I mean, he didn't even examine me, which he rarely does. (The CT scan pretty much tells him what he needs to know, so he says.) In addition (or is that subtraction?), he didn't even ask me the standard questions he typically does about my quality of life, activities of daily living, and general health and welfare. In fact, near the presumptive end of our appointment, as peculiar and uncharacteristic of an appointment as it was, I felt compelled to blurt out the answers to all the questions that
Although I've had a pretty good run of late not writing much about "the cancer"—to quote "Forrest, Forrest Gump"—the reality is, as you might imagine, cancer is ever present - in your head and in your heart (and for me, in my lungs). Never more so than when your quarterly CT scan is imminent. As I sit and write this column on a Sunday, Wednesday—three days hence—Is what you'd call 'imminent.' Not that there's much preparation; there's not. But with electronic media being what it is, one does rec
Except I was not sitting in the audience for "The Price Is Right" when I heard my name called. Nor was I needing to guess the cost of my infusion with my treatment that day contingent on my guess not exceeding the "actual retail price." And neither were there any of "Barker's Beauties" to wave their hands and showcase what items I would be attempting to price right. No. There were only multiple oncology nurses standing in front of the Infusion Center's entry door calling out the names of the nex
Blog Entry is the Teamwork of both Michelle and Tom Gali:
After receiving a lung cancer diagnosis, the last issue, one would expect is problems with health insurance. While it’s unusual to have a claim fully denied, delays that effect diagnostics or treatment are quite common. Here are my 10 tips for dealing with health insurance problems.
1. Get your companies Human Resources staff engaged. Find out who has responsibility for claim payment. If it’s the employer, then they
This story is about my encounter with cancer, which happened in 2014. I had a near-death experience, and was rushed to Kaiser Zion medical facility in San Diego, CA. My doctor, Dr. Tomssi met me in the ICU and let me know that my body was struggling with issues regarding the bowel. I was excreting dark colors, almost purplish in color, which indicated blood. I had lost about four pints of blood and it would have led to death. I think God saved me from that near-death experience. In February of 2
I know it’s happened to all of us at some point during our experience as caregivers: the “self-care” lecture. Eat a vegetable! Take a stroll! Get to the gym, even for fifteen minutes! Get a pedicure!
And on, and on, and on…
How do these conversations make you feel?
I confess that they frustrated me immensely in the earliest days and weeks after my mom’s diagnosis. I was actively offended any time that someone had the audacity to suggest that anything was more important or more tim