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.
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.
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.
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.
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.