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"Casey" at the bat


UncleDoug

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Journal entry 04/04/05:

Monday, April 4th (The Patient) Well, enough about the bit players in our little drama. Doctor (my oncologist), Don (my Doctor brother; albeit a pediatrician) and I met for about 30 minutes. Doctor offered three options for treatment: One, do nothing and my life expectancy would be, in her estimate, about eight weeks. Two, enter a trial-based program which was, experimentally, using Cisplatin in conjunction with another med. This modality had first been introduced in Japan and had had some success among people of Asian ancestry. Unfortunately, among the Caucasian community the side-effects were more severe and there didn’t seem to be any noticeable increase in life-expectancy. Or, three, use the “standard” treatment which consisted of Carboplatin and Vepesid (VP-16) over a multi-week period. This treatment regimen had shown to have the best success rate, overall, of all protocols then in use, with a life-expectancy of 8-12 months, plus. “Uh . . . I’ll take what’s behind curtain number 3, Monte!”

Okay, that was easy. Of course, deciding between 8 weeks of unremitting agony and death, 8-12 months of projectile vomiting, or 8-12 months plus of 2-hour days in the TGH Oncology “Chemical Spa” wasn’t up there with Truman’s decision to drop the bomb, but I think I made the right choice.

Doctor wanted to get a full-body CT bone scan and a head MRI before Wednesday. This was to see just how far the disease had spread. This was tricky since there was so little time, only two days. So . . . send in “Super Doc”!

Don had been ‘benched’ for much of the morning, so he was rarin’ to go! Like any good pinch-hitter he selected his bat (in this case the phone), stepped up to the plate (the nurses station), adjusted his supporter (re-arranged his cell phone) and glared at the opposing pitcher (fumbled with his blackberry). It was amazing to watch! Bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, our team trailing by a run – he takes his stance, narrows his eyes, grinds his heels into the dirt in the batter’s box, and - there’s the windup, the pitch, the swing, and . . . oops, wrong number.

Well, with a little more glaring, spitting and scratching, Don managed to get me squeezed into the line-up that afternoon for both procedures – the CT and the MRI. Wednesday, here I come! Opening day!

Uncle Doug

Tacoma, WA

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Doug,

I sure wish you didn't have to write this diary, but I know when Dianne journaled her PCI it was very useful to many survivors.

This is a scary journey, no doubt. Sharing this trip with us, I would believe to be useful to you and I know to many of us.

I wish you nothing but success.

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Hey Doug,

I love the way you write, and like Ginny, I sure wish you didn't have to write it, or even have a need to be here.

It sounds like you have a good "team". There are alot of folks here who have had that chemo regemine. My father started out with those chemos and that combination put him into his first NED- wiped out the tumors in his lung and liver.

There are survivors out there with your same diagnosis. Cindy just celebrated 4 years as an extensive sclc survivor and is NED. There are others celebrating 1,2,3 years here as well, so while you keep those stats of 8-12 months in the back of your mind, remember that peoples bodies differ, they react differently to treatment, and there are MANY who have blown that stat OUT of the ballpark. And in the meantime, there are new options and clinical trials and research happening each and everyday.

Sending positive thoughts for your scans and my warmest wishes,

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Hi, Doug,

It's good to have a game plan, and apparently really good to have a brother (pinch-hitter) who is already familiar with the playing (medical) field. I have to take my turn based on predetermined batting order (next available appointment for scans/tests). :wink: <- The wink means I'm teasing you and not really upset that you received an earlier appointment. I envy you the Doctor Brother, but I do not resent you for having the good sense to be born into a family of intelligent and accomplished men.

Doug, there are lots of things available to help lessen the negative side effects of treatment. And if what they give you doesn't work, ask for something else. You can have three people on the same chemo protocol, and one person will have no nausea at all, another has it under control by taking Kytrill, another by taking Compazine. What works for one may not work for another.

You've got a whole stadium (LCSC site) cheering for you and your team.

YAY, DOUG!!!!!

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