The Answers

The Answers…
             as presented by your local physician.

Let me preface the following with the fact that my radiology oncologist is a very nice lady.  I mean that sincerely.  I think she might do just about anything possible to help someone out.  I have complete confidence in her due to the association we have already had together with past cancer treatments.

Now… with that said… I asked my set of questions… of course in my usual “un-normal” fashion with the hope of receiving the honest and complete facts from information that was available to her.  She answered… not in the manner I expected… not the answers I expected… actually it seemed as though she was giving me long and detailed answers to someone else’s questions.  As some of you might have already expected… I’m a bit more confused than I was before I asked them.

First question:

I told her of my concern about the severity of the cancer considering the location of the two tumors.  I gave her some information that I had obtained from the wonderful source of Google from studies done by reputable organizations.  She neither confirmed nor denied the facts of that study that the survival rate of these cancers was 5 to 8 percent.  She said my case was unusual.  I had a unique set of circumstances that prevented me from being placed into a specific category of individuals so it would be impossible to associate those statistics with the odds of survival for my particular set of circumstances.

Good answer Doc.  I think.  In a way… it actually does answer my question.  The odds stink.  I want at least double digits.  From her response, it seems that my odds could actually be worse than those of the research groups.  I’ll assume however… the opposite.

Second question:

Radiation therapy to the areas of concern can cause very serious collateral damage.  Is there any way to prevent it?  Her response was that they had calculated the trajectories and procedures on my treatment to avoid as much damage to neighboring tissue and organs as possible… but of course… there were no guarantees.

Third question:

My VA primary care physician didn’t like my low vitamin D level while currently taking 50,000 units a week so he doubled the prescription to 100,000 units.  I told her I was a bit leery of taking that much Vitamin D and would like her input on the subject.  She explained that there was obviously some problem with my absorption of certain vitamins and doubling the amount would most likely not result in much difference of what my system could retain.  She said that she didn’t want to tell me not to take the double dose since my primary physician advised me to do so… but that was a lot of Vitamin D.  I’ve opted not to double the dose.

Next question:

Doc… will I still be around in six months?  Doc’s answer, “No.  Because I’m going to run over you in the parking lot so you can’t ask me anymore questions.”  OKAY… I’M JUST KIDDING HERE.  She didn’t say that… I would never ask that specific question anyway because I don’t think patients should be told those things.  I do believe that it can sometimes cause a person to just give up and we all know that I’m not about to do that, no matter the circumstances I face.

So… here’s the story.  Intense radiation therapy every day for the next six weeks.  What?  Are you kidding me?  Every %#&$#%# day?  If karma is real… I must have been very, very bad.  I’m going to be badly burned.  I have my Aloe Vera gel ready for the burned skin.  For the burned innards… well… I’ll have a very large vision of hope.

I want to add something here that I have pondered a bit with reservations as to whether I should comment about in this ‘public’ journal.  What I want to say is to suggest that everyone be very cautious when making contributions to nonprofit organizations.  I can’t speak for all nonprofits, but I have had experience with cancer nonprofits on the federal and local level.  They put on a good show and tell some sad tales in order to get your money… I have found that they actually help… very few of those who really need the help.  I’ve contacted all the federal cancer nonprofits, only to be told that they can’t help people with my type of cancer or because of where I live.  Are you kidding me?  I’ve now had five types of cancer… and they can’t help because I don’t have the right kind of cancer?

The local nonprofit in my town has a ridiculously beautiful building where the cost of the furnishings alone could have paid for hundreds if not thousands of less fortunate cancer patient treatments.  In my first experience with cancer I had hope of benefiting in some way from the cancer center… I was given a great deal of hope… they were going to help me with the copay on my treaments… with covering my utility bills… repairs to my home… only to find that they were all just empty promises.  As a result, the total benefits I received from the cancer house was six bottles of Boost.  By the way… those six bottle of Boost were donated by an individual… they did not even come from the budget of the cancer house.  There are many well to do individuals in this town that turn out for the fund raisers, many of whom are there to flaunt their name and image, while nearly all the funds raised go to the salaries, maintenance and building budgets.  Welcome to the real world of nonprofits.  I was however… very thankful for my six bottles of Boost.  I was very weak from treatments and I truly needed them at that time.

If there is someone you care about that has cancer and is struggling with medical bills or utility bills or weakness or taking care of daily things like housework… don’t count on your cancer nonprofits to ever lift a hand or to give any assistance with utility bills or yard care or housework or for heaven’s sake to ever help with cancer treatment bills or medication.  If you care about them… offer them your “own” hand.  Sometimes just a little time of caring and understanding goes a very long way with someone who is suffering for whatever reason.  What in the world are we here for if we can’t show our compassion for another… if we can’t reach out for someone who is ill or sad or hurting… and offer to them a moment of ourselves.



6 thoughts on “The Answers

  1. Michael, your narrative is so typically discouraging. Did you view the FREE videos provided by Chris Wark in the link I entered in the last comment? He has survived stage 4 cancer since 2003 without any radiation or any chemotherapy. Will you at LEAST sign up to view his FREE installments? Please, do it. I, for one, don’t want you to be confused!!! I want you to be WELL. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Ruth Ann…

      Thank you so much for your continued support, encouragement and caring. I have read the material from Chris Wark and viewed the videos that accompanied the information. Actually, most of the questions he presented that are applicable to me and my circumstances have been answered. My oncologist is actually very eager to at least attempt to answer my questions. However, not every case is the same as I indicated in this post and some of those questions just cannot be answered.

      There is no reasonable oncologist that is going to give me chemo drugs due to the weakened condition of my heart so none of the questions he proposed about chemo are relative to me. I am too high of a risk for surgery because of the same reason. That only leaves radiation or some alternative treatment that is not available to me in my location and I am unable to travel. If what Chris has to offer is something that I can put to good use… I will certainly consider it.

      The cancer I now have has been confirmed and is growing at a very fast pace. As far as asking questions about the quality of life if I do nothing, with consideration of the location of these tumors, the quality would be very short term. I know that there are other options if one has the resources and the ability to travel. I have neither.

      According to the email sent from Chris I can only begin watching the program on September 12th and each day thereafter, so he evidently doesn’t make it available to one on demand. I will view them as they are sent to me. I don’t know Chris’s whole story as yet, but if he has indeed survived stage 4 cancer since 2003 without any treatment… then he is a very fortunate man and I certainly wish him well. In my 4 years of attempting to survive 5 different cancers, I have encountered a few people who have survived stage 4, but most all of them had treatment of one form or another… but they too, have been very fortunate.

      I don’t mean to be discouraging on my posts. I am only stating the facts as I see them, hear them, and feel them and I will continue to question every diagnosis and treatment. Sometimes those options are very limited and sometimes there is hope of a better solution. I will continue in my hopefulness of a cure for all cancer victims and perhaps someday… people like Chris Wark will lead us into a cancer free world.

      I hope your day has been most beautiful Ruth Ann and thank you again for the information and your wonderful compassion.



  2. My goodness, Michael, how do you absorb all that and have time to decide what to do?! Let me run this by you. My husband has a lump on the side of his neck. We went to the dr, who wanted to send him for biopsies,so we got another opinion. The second dr simply said, it has to come out. Fast forward, from surgery in March (1990) to June (1990). Yep, it took that long to find out that he had cancer. Why? because he didn’t fall into any of the normal categories. In fact, if you mention the type he had to other medical professionals, they look at you like you have 4 heads! What’s the point of all this? your doc told you your case is different. Just go with it. As for radiation every day, I can only offer you my prayers, and healing vibes, and mostly, my friendship. You’re a fighter. You’ll get through this. Your kitties are depending on you, and so am I ❤


  3. Hi Michael
    Well you are certainly braver than I could be so far. I have a link somewhere that I will dig out for you. Its free housekeeping for cancer patients. I’ve been meaning to call them myself. If its easier for you, I can do the preliminaries ( for my sake) and then fill you in. That way if its bogus, you will not have wasted energy.
    I agree about the not for profits- though Cancer Society has given me housing for when I needed to be close to the hospital or travel for 2nd opinions. I have a good liason at my clinic and wouldn’t have known this. They might even have more well hidden treats so digging might be in order. The other helpful aid has come from my cancer clinic- endowment money. Its limited but has paid some bills, gas cards and grocery cards. Thats going to depend on your clinic of course.
    Chris Wark seems legit. He has a series he plays periodically which is what the email invited you to view but there are a few podcastes on his site that are on demand. He had colon cancer , removed a tumor and refused mop up treatment ( radiation/chemo). That was several years ago and it has not recurred. Since I had a similar situation, and mine recurred, I see him as a success myself. I i derstand how you might feel about any of this though. I get frustrated with all the alt options myself sometimes.
    I’m happy to dig around for you if you need so ething specific as far as services. Dept of Aging and Disability and a good cancer social worjer plus palliative care have been the most helpful as far as getting me to resources though. Just drop me a line if you need so eone to have a look at something. I don’t mind if you don’t but u derstand if you are not comfortable too. morantribe at gmail dot com. Sending you the very best of healing.


  4. PS there are some studies that have shown that seaweed and cultured foods help with radiation. One of my herbalist friends looked intomit for me pist radiation in 2012.


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