Pondering Consequences

Oliver 2

Well… where to begin?  I suppose this update should include the worsening of symptoms.  I won’t go into detail, but I’m sure most of you can figure those out from previous posts.  The oncology doc called on Monday, sounding a bit excited about the results from the whatever test she was having done to see if I might qualify for immunotherapy.  I met with her on Thursday and as it turns out… I do.  She sort of explained the process, touched lightly on the side effects and said that as soon as they get the insurance to approve the treatment, we would get started.  She then turned me over to a nurse practitioner who supposedly was going to explain it all to me in detail.  She did not.  She had me sign a consent form and turned me over to another nurse to show me around the area where the torture… umm… I mean treatment… will be done.  

What I needed here was time to think.  They were all very anxious to get started but I was not.  I thought that I would have at least a week or so to think about it all while they dealt with the insurance.  I was wrong again.  They called the same day (Thursday) and said that they had received the approval to start.  They wanted to start on Monday.  I did not.  I told them I had a busy appointment schedule that week (at least partially true… but they don’t really seem to understand… “I want to take some time and think about it”) and asked that we start the following week.  Reluctantly… they agreed.  They then tried to give me a late afternoon appointment.  I refused to take it because I do so poorly in the afternoons and I didn’t want to start this process already feeling poorly.  They reluctantly agreed to give me a morning appointment… told me that the actual dose of meds they will be giving me will take about 30 minutes.  I was excited about that part until… until they started telling me that the ones administering the meds… worked all over the hospital and it depended on how busy they were and that the pharmacy sometimes took a very long time to get the medicine down to them and… and… and… in other words… I would be there for hours… waiting.  My first clue was a rather full waiting room in the treatment area when they were showing me around. 

Okay… none of that is good for business nor for my patience.  If they think that I am going to sit there for hours for a thirty minute treatment without complaining or…. perhaps getting up and going home and telling them to call me when they find the time to treat a dying cancer patient… they would be thinking incorrectly.  That’s just not the right way to treat seriously ill patients.    Another thing wrong with the medical profession… none of them want to hire enough staff to properly care for the patients… but they sure want to keep those patients coming in with their money and their insurance cards.  It’s just like calling Medicare or an insurance company or even a medical care facility when you hear… “Your call is important to us…”  now… if you’ll just stay on the line for the next three hours we might take your call or we might just disconnect you and allow you to start all over… or maybe get so frustrated that you won’t call us back at all.

I don’t really feel like getting deep into the… what’s wrong with the medical profession or about the cost of it all today and I’m sure some of you will be thankful for me omitting my blather of all that.  I will however complain a bit about palliative care.  I asked my oncologist if it was necessary for me to go to palliative care and she replied by saying that “we work as a team.”  I suppose that meant that she wanted me to continue to see them.  So… I went yesterday to see the morticians… umm… I mean the palliative care folks.  I was there for more than an hour and a half and all they did was ask a million questions that I have already answered at the previous appointment and then they prescribed some cough medicine.  What?  I don’t do cough medicine.  Ever!  Of course it will most likely be a very long time before I receive it any way since they are attempting to get it through the VA.  Good luck with that one.  Oh… the nurse came back in the room about fifteen minutes after completing all of her tasks with me… shut the door very quietly… and in a soft, almost whispering voice… scolded me for not returning my advance directive to them… dated and signed and witnessed.  I don’t have to see them again until February… which may already be past my expiration date.  Time will tell…

Tick…………………………… Tock…………………………….

The immunotherapy drug they want to give me is called Keytruda.  It’s supposed to be the best choice for the kind of cancer I have.  If you Google the drug, the first thing you see on the official site is this:

Important Safety Information about KEYTRUDA

KEYTRUDA is a medicine that may treat certain cancers by working with your immune system. KEYTRUDA can cause your immune system to attack normal organs and tissues in any area of your body and can affect the way they work. These problems can sometimes become severe or life-threatening and can lead to death. These problems may happen any time during treatment or even after your treatment has ended.

Well… that’s really encouraging, isn’t it?  Then it goes on to give many, many more side effects, most of which are quite severe.

I’m pondering here….

I need time to think about it all.

They wanted to have a port put in my upper chest or neck to administer the drug.

No!  I mean… hell no!

They said they will attempt to administer it by IV but they often have problems with that.

I need time to think… though there are those who think that I should just blindly follow their little set plan of attack like a good little lamb.  I’m not feeling much like being a good little lamb at the moment… so they can forget that.

So… I’m going to go ponder… but while I ponder… I’ll be wishing you all a most beautiful day… and VERY GOOD HEALTH!


12 thoughts on “Pondering Consequences

  1. I’m praying for wisdom, health, & strength for you and those around you. So many people with good health take it for granted. Wish I had the ability to comfort you and your loved ones while you ponder, and especially the ability to help your body heal.


    • Good morning Miss Merry Hearts and thank you so very much. I feel as though you have provided comfort for me and mine over many years now. Every word you have written me has given me hope… comfort… brought many a smile to my face when I thought that wasn’t even possible.

      You needn’t ‘wish’ for that ability… you have it ingrained in your soul and you have stirred mine in ways you could never imagine… and I am so very grateful that you have always made me feel as though you have always been near to me. I know you will be here pondering by my side… and again… thank you for bringing a smile to my face.
      Wishing you a most beautiful Sunday full of smiles…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for your kind comment. It’s been so long since I’d heard back from you that I thought “either he’s feeling too lousy to read comments or he’s finally had enough of my ramblings.” Ha

        I’m glad I’ve brought you smiles. Thanks for returning the favor…today started with many tears for me, but you have brought a smile to my face this afternoon. It really is true that “a merry heart does good like a medicine” (Proverbs 17:22).

        You know, I don’t usually pay much attention to the second half of that Bible verse. The complete verse is “a merry heart does good like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” Keep spreading that smile across your lips, Michael, because I imagine your bones are dry enough after all the times the doctors have radiated them! I’ll be thinking of you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Good morning Merry Heart…

        I really have no good excuse for not responding to comments. Some days I struggle to write anything and some days I don’t even feel like posting anything… but it always makes me feel badly when I don’t.

        I am so very sorry that your Sunday ‘started with many tears’. It makes it very difficult to want to face the day with a start like that. But I’m certainly glad that you found a smile on your face later in the day. I think spreading that merry heart of yours has worked many miracles along the way… sometimes… just a smile can do wonderful things for the soul of another.

        I will continue to smile, though I often struggle to do so… I will continue to laugh, though laughter always makes me cough… but if I lose the laughter and smiles to share with another… then yes… I will find a broken spirit that dries the bones… and that doesn’t sound very pleasant.

        Please, don’t stop sending your beautiful words and thoughts my way. They have so often been the light within the darkness.

        A most beautiful day to you!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Michael, you’re in my thoughts & prayers, as I can’t even imagine what you’re going through. I understand the medical team feeling they need to start immediately, but shame on them for not taking your thoughts into consideration. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Dorinda. Those thoughts and prayers are often what leads me through a difficult moment. Perhaps I’m not the best patient to deal with, but I try to be as cooperative as possible, but along with the honesty of how I feel. Sometimes… they just don’t want to hear it. One day… I may ponder a bit too long on something critical to my well being… but… at least it will be my choice to do so. I don’t like to be rushed into things that can possible cause more harm than I am already facing… so… I shall ponder.

      Thank you for always lifting my spirits and for all the smiles you have shared with me. You say you can’t imagine what I’m going through… but you probably also can’t imagine how much your comments mean to me. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been wondering how you’re doing and praying as you ponder. Have they pumped you full of Keytruda yet, or at least gotten that bottle of cough syrup to you for you to throw away? Perhaps they’ve already devised a new, unexpected way to torture you? My heart aches for the suffering you’re enduring…there’s too much of it in this old world. I’m wishing health and strength for you, and enlightened, helpful doctors.


    • Good morning Miss Merry Heart… It’s good to hear from you to warm me up on this cold December morn. They had to delay the Keytruda treatment because I managed to get in the way of some virus germs that infiltrated my chest, sinuses and throat. Can’t have treatments if you’re sick… so I’m told. Just finished taking double doses of antibiotics and hope to start treatment on Christmas eve… (that sounds a bit cruel doesn’t it?) As for the cough med… I did receive it… finally… they sent six bottles in one shipment. I don’t know if they were hoping maybe I’d drink them all at once or if they just screwed that up too. I’ve taken a few doses… doesn’t work. Does absolutely nothing.

      Please don’t let that merry heart of yours ache for the suffering I’m enduring. Remember, it is that very merry heart that has continued to bring light, cheerfulness and healing to me on a regular basis. Just exactly what I need the most. I do need to soak in that strength you are wishing for me and absorb it fully. Thank you.

      Thank you so much for thinking of me and I’ll be wishing you a most beautiful day and to be surrounded by merry hearts everywhere.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tell those lousy viruses to pack their bags and get out of there — you have much more important things to do than host their party! Six bottles? Funny! Cough syrup never works, in my experience. Well, except for a homemade version my neighbor gave me years ago…

        Christmas eve, wow, that does seem harsh to handle. Unless…maybe, just maybe, Keytruda will turn out to be the gift you’ve been waiting for all year?! Here’s hoping you’ll be the shining example of an astoundingly quick recovery that they will want to showcase! You could be the poster child, the star of stars, the marketing goldmine for all their commercials in the future. Imagine starting your new career as a TV celebrity in 2020; and I’ll be able to say I rubbed virtual elbows with the nation’s broadcast miracle man!

        (Ha ha Perhaps I should refrain from sending messages when I’m half awake. Oh well, maybe this will entertain you. I’ll be thinking of you.)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s