Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Today was the day I'd had enough. I've been biting my tongue and laughing off a lot lately so today I fought back.

Yesterday was Doctor Day for the week and I repeated my request to see if the radiation field cannot be reduced. Dr. Linder said it was possible but not recommended for the same reasons Dr. Cheston had said it wasn't possible and not recommended. At this point in my treatment, the side effects are having a greatly increasing negative impact on my quality of life. Dr. Linder said it could be a week before I'd notice any change but also said the effects would last a few weeks after treatment was finished. I was told at the beginning that I'd be monitored and my treatment would be adjusted so today I'm cashing that chip in. I've requested that both doctors consult with one another and consider altering my exposure field so that I can start feeling better in a week instead of in four weeks. The tumor is most definitely shrinking and I feel it is not out of bounds to ask them to refocus the energy to keep hitting it and as little else as they can.

Today I was supposed to get a biopsy taken of whatever the little shadow was in my right lung on the PET scan. Emphasis on was.

Weeks ago the liver biopsy had come back negative and Dr. Lee wanted me to get my lung checked. I was told this one would be more conclusive because the surgeon would use a scope to actually look at what he/she was going to sample. The liver biopsy had been guided by an active CT scan but the surgeon then had admitted in his report that he had seen no lesions on my liver during the scan and had effectively been sampling me blind. When it came to light today that he (same surgeon) would be doing -another- CT-guided scan to sample my lung, I panicked.

I protested immediately and said I thought I was going to be anesthetized and that the biopsy would actually be taken only from a lesion that could be seen with the surgeon's eyes. "No, that;s not us. We don't do that here." Well then, I'm not doing this here either.

For starters, I was already against having this second biopsy done. It was based upon a very faint little blue blob in my right lung nowhere near as brightly shown as what my liver had been. Regardless of the results of the biopsy, my therapy would not change. I am already taking chemo as if I have stage 4 cancer so that any mets disease would be poisoned and killed before it can get going. A negative result would not reduce my chemo nor shorten my radiation and chemo regimen. A positive result won't increase them either. I will have to be PET scanned after surgery in any event. This is not to mention the hassle of fasting for another day while already weak and having to suck down chemo to make me even weaker without any food for fuel to just stay awake or walk into the hospital. This biposy was a waste of my time, a waste of my insurance benefits, a waste of the surgeon's time, and too late in my regimen to make a difference.

I apologized to the surgeon, but I told him I had no confidence he would find anything. If the cought that started this whole mess had been caused by mets in my right lung, guess what? It's gone now. I was not interested in laying awake through another blindfolded pin the tail on the Sco procedure.

Meanwhile, I now know I will be checking in to GBMC for surgery on Thursday, November 29th. That most likely keeps me in the hospital though the weekend and probably the better half of the first week of December. I also believe the surgery with be laproscopic and not terribly invasive. I will make absolutely sure of this with Dr. Grasso beforehand so that I am not surprised again like I was today.


Scattered Gemini said...

Way to go with speaking your mind and your concerns. It's your health and your body, you have every right to protest about something that makes you uncomfortable.

Anonymous said...

Dams boy! I thinks the insurance company should cut you a check! An unnecessary procedure averted! Fo Shizzle! Hang in there John!

tinkknitz said...

Your logic is on the money. I'll have to write this one down for later: "Could the results of this test change the type or amount of my treatment?" If the answer is NO? I'm outa there.

Thank you. Youdaman!