That’s right. Keep fighting! I know you’ve heard it before but this common sentiment has born fruit in my life and I wanted to tell you about it and maybe encourage you.
If you’ve followed my blog then you are probably aware that I have not had the best of luck with doctors, hospitals, ambulances, nurses…..is there anyone left? 🙂 Here’s a recap of the highlights. I have been coerced by a surgeon to have useless surgery that I was too smart to follow through on. I have had a “carcinoid specialist” tell me that there was nothing that could be done for me and to prepare to die. I have been told that I was a candidate for surgery to remove my tumors only to have them tell me it was a “mix up” and that I could NOT have surgery. AND…..like most of the cancer patients I have chatted with have had my “run ins” with uncaring medical staff. Finally, I have been accused of being a drug addict when asking for a pain killer which, after reading other blogs, I have found out is a common experience. I have been through it all. At least I hope so. 🙂 So, why do I say keep on fighting.
I Have A New Plan To Fight My Cancer
My doctor at Duke, who is not a carcinoid specialist but is doing a much better job than the ones I’ve seen so far, referred me to the liver team. The nurse was amazing. She cared. She was informative. She listened to me. She did not interrupt even when I lost my point and got confused about treatment options. I cannot say enough good about her.
Then I met the doctor….actually, the surgeon. Why, oh why, did it take so long for me to meet the right people?! Providence, I guess. I sat in his office waiting…..and waiting….and waiting. The nurse popped in and told me to hang tight because he was researching my latest possible treatment option, PRRT. My instant reaction was to leave. I said, “That’s OK. We can come back. I don’t want to trouble him”. I was thinking that I was sitting in another clown’s office who thought he could understand carcinoid cancer, PRRT and all of my issues in a single office visit but the nurse encouraged me to stay and so I did. She told me to let him do his thing and so I did. 🙂
As you know, I have an “open door policy”. If there is an open door regarding the treatment of my cancer then I walk through it and investigate. In fact, I’ve been known to kick in a few doors too. Some of these doors lead to long hallways and eventually dead ends but maybe one will result in a cure. I don’t quit.
As it turns out, he did understand my issues in a single office visit! He poured over the web while I was sitting there and came in the office completely versed in PRRT. Well, at least enough that I was confident in taking his advice. You see, he does other radiation treatments and so, I guess, this gave him enough of a background to help me. Now, he did not recommend anything at first but as I sat there a very clear path of treatment unfolded.
First, he laid out all of my options. This always tests my patience because the doctors are unaware that I have been researching like a wild man and know most of this stuff. I sat there quietly and listened like a good patient. My wife may have elbowed me a few times. 🙂 He went over all of the embolization options, radiation options and so on. His conclusion. Go to Texas and have the PRRT.
No, he did not want to operate or use some sort of advanced technique on me. Why? Because it was not in my best interest. Outstanding. He told me to get the PRRT and that we can always circle back and do any of these other procedures later. He then proceeded to break down my “post PRRT” options.
So, after fighting my way through a herd of clowns I have a quality Oncologist (actually a team at Duke), a Liver Specialist working hand in hand with the oncologist and have now gotten my first treatment of PRRT. Giving up would have been easier but, in the end, would have resulted in my death. I AM ALIVE BECAUSE I KEPT FIGHTING! If you feel like giving up well, don’t. You only go around once. Oh, and get this. My first predicted date has past. Yes, I have gotten a number of “predictions” saying I had 2, 5, 10 and 15 years to live. I plan on beating them all. The 2 year prediction has passed. I am now setting my sights on the 5 year date. God willing, I will beat it and I will beat the 10 year mark and the 15 year mark. How? I will keep fighting. What else have you got to do?
Ed – To find out how to use my images on your blog for free – Click Here