Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
  • entries
    35
  • comments
    10
  • views
    2,672

About this blog

KennethLourie_t210_0.jpgThis column is my life as one of the fortunate few, a lung cancer anomaly: a stage IV lung cancer patient who has outlived his doctor’s original prognosis; and I’m glad to share it. It seems to help me cope writing about it. Perhaps it will help you relate reading about it.

Entries in this blog

 

Time Will Have Been Told

In two days I will have completed four weeks on my low iodine diet (no chocolate, no salt, no dairy, no bread) with four days remaining until my one-night hospital admission and subsequent seven-day medical quarantine at home. If I remember correctly, the substance of the hour-long phone conversation we had with a doctor from the Nuclear Medicine department previous to my beginning this thyroid cancer treatment process, on Friday--the day after my "radioiodine therapy"--my eating can return to i

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

Time Will Tell

Nearly three weeks into my low iodine diet, in preparation for my hospital overnight on May 28 when I will get my radioactive iodine therapy to be followed immediately by a medical quarantine at home for a week, I wouldn't say I'm thriving. More like persevering. I can't really satiate eating "rabbit" food and what culinary pleasures I can enjoy, I can only have them in small quantities and infrequently at that. I won't give you a list, but just consider what any 10-year-old likes to eat. A

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

What's Today?

After six weeks or so of isolating at home and working hardly at all, I believe it's time to invoke Violet Crawley (aka Maggie Smith), "the Dowager Countess of Grantham," and wonder aloud: "What's a weekend?" Every day feels like some other day or no day at all because the days in and of themselves are meaningless/indistinguishable. I mean, you can't go anywhere, you can't do anything; thankfully, you can use your phone and access your computer, but at the end of the same-old-day, you're basical

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

Hair Today, Not Gone Tomorrow

Sheltering in place while isolating at home, like so many others are, in Maryland, where non-essential businesses remain closed, means life has mostly come to a screeching halt. And unlike Georgia and nearly 30 other common-sense offenders, salons - among many other trying-to-get-going concerns, are not open. Moreover, given the social-distancing guidelines and the stay-at-home mandate, it's unlikely I'll be receiving any service providers in my home either. And considering that I'm not running
 

And So It Begins

The six-week schedule/treatment for my stage II papillary thyroid cancer began on Thursday, April 23 with an hour-long telephone appointment with one of the doctors from the Nuclear Medicine department. He was confirming, clarifying, and preparing yours truly for the arduous task at hand: a commitment to a month-long, low iodine diet beginning April 27 (no salt, no sugar, no dairy, no normal-type bread and a bunch of other less impactful nos) and 15 on-site hospital-related visits (in lab, in do

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

Wholesale Change

Since I'm not doing the food and pharmacy out-of-the-house shopping anymore, as I have for the last 40 years (as I may have mentioned in last week's column: "Money For What":),  I am no longer in control of what we buy and how much we spend. The pandemic and my upcoming thyroid cancer treatment have combined to empower my wife, Dina, to set fairly strict guidelines. Primarily that I am to stay put in the house ALL THE TIME and that during my isolation, she will fill the purchasing vacuum. The ef

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

Money For What, Exactly?

I don't know, really. Money comes in. Money goes out. But since I stay in and don't go out, cash is no longer king. Credit reigns supreme and since the accounting/budget system for the Lourie family business is rarely written down/planned for, I don't know from one expenditure to the next, where the money goes, unlike John Prine  knew  when he sang about "Sam Stone" when he came home. As the spouse responsible for the business side of the marriage, it has been my job to financially plan wha

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

Manual Labor

Having recently received in the mail the three-ring binder/manual on the dos, don'ts and what-fors concerning the upcoming treatment for my stage II papillary thyroid cancer, and information as well (including a cookbook) about the low iodine diet I am instructed to start two weeks before my actual treatment begins, my takeaway is that it is going to be long and hard six weeks from start to post-quarantine finish. The reason for my apprehension is twofold. First and foremost is that I am an

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

Cancer in a Pandemic

So far as I can tell, I'm being treated as per usual. Meaning, treatment for my recently diagnosed thyroid cancer is on track. On track meaning multiple hospital visits at two health care facilities (some even on the same day) over five consecutive days to include four radioiodine injections, pre-and post-treatment CT scans, lab work, miscellaneous other medical appointments and a low iodine diet to boot spread out over a nearly six-week interval including one over-night at the hospital. To

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

Risking a Reward

In my 11-plus years as a lung cancer "diagnosee," I've done a pretty good job of facing the facts and acting/planning accordingly. I've accepted my reality and somehow managed to live so long beyond the original "13 month to two year" prognosis I was given by my oncologist that he has introduced me to some of his students as his "third miracle." Unfortunately, this characterization is not the end of the story. In retrospect, dealing with/being treated for one type of cancer (non-small cell

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

Feeling Pale By Comparison

In a peculiar way, my cancer treatment and all has sort of gotten lost in the coronavirus talk. With so many changes to our regular lifestyle occurring on a daily basis, it feels as if nothing else matters. Granted, one's health is the most important consideration, but now the talk is about everybody's health. Nevertheless, how do I throw caution to the wind and interact with my environment when doing so might endanger the very stability I've worked over 11 years to maintain? I mean, I have to l

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

Useless Is As Useless Doesn't Have To Do

It began years ago when technology enabled bathrooms to change to hands-free. Other than the obvious hands-on responsibilities, many of the other elements no longer required any touching. Be it the paper-towel dispenser, the hand dryer, the hot and cold/on and off functions in the sinks, and, of course, the urinal and toilet flushing functions. All providing a convenience never before possible. Other than an automatic entry/exit function for the bathroom door, and one as well on the inside for t

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

One Step Forward, Hopefully Not Two Steps Backward

And so, what happens next? There's calm and then there's an eventual storm. The storm to which I refer is what will happen after the March 2nd meeting with my endocrinologist when she will assess and determine the next step in my post-thyroidectomy treatment. Presumably, in conjunction with my oncologist, a coordinated plan will be implemented for treating my two cancers. I can't imagine however, that being treated for two cancers, simultaneously, will be easier than being treated for one. And I

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

All Gowned Up

And somewhere to go, or so I thought. I had checked in at the front desk. I was given a number, and almost immediately, it was called. I said good-bye to Team Lourie and was led back to a staging area (beds, curtains, doctors, nurses) where I was told I would see them both before surgery. There I was given a gown, no-slip socks and a hair net to change into, and instructed to place all my clothes (underwear, too) into two plastic bags and then told to pull back the privacy curtain and lie back o

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

Off Topic, Way Off

From cancer to toilet paper. Is that "off" enough? My reason for writing this column might be because I need a diversion (see last week's column), and because, as is so happened recently, I needed to replenish our toilet paper supply. (It had nothing to do with a winter advisory in the forecast.) As the consumer in the house, I am keen and motivated to spend our money wisely. I look for sales, I use paper coupons, I use digital coupons and of course, I peruse the advertising circulars, in print

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

Can You Spell Thyroidectomy?

Can You Spell Thyroidectomy? I couldn't before, Mr. Rogers, but now I can. And I even know what it means, which 10 days ago, in my neighborhood, I wouldn't have had a clue. Now, not only do I have a clue, I have a date for surgery: January 27. Moreover, in addition to a date (and I don't mean my wife, Dina), I have a time and a place, a list of pre-surgical dos and don'ts, and a few items to buy: a post-surgical healing ointment and a special scrub to help minimize the risk of infection. And of

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

Still Waiting for "Canswers"

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

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

Now We Wait

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.

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

Catharsis

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

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

Still Processing

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

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

False Sense of Security

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

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

Lost in the Shuffle

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.

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

An Idiot Servant No More

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

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

Please Relief Me

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

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

"Underwhere" and What

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

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

Sign in to follow this  
×
×
  • Create New...