Have you had your
After you read this, you will wish it had been cake!
Chapter One:………………The Beginning
Chapter Two:……………….We ALL want to live
Chapter Three:…………….Ignoring the signs
Chapter Four:……………..Having the VA check it again
Chapter Five:………………ENT found a very large tumor
Chapter Six:……………….The Doctors would not believe me
Chapter Seven:……………Where my research took me
Chapter Eight:…………….Little rock bound – Our Doctor knows
Chapter Nine:………………Things you do NOT want to hear
Chapter Ten:……………….Treatment #1 is the worst of all
Chapter Eleven:…………..Lymph nodes extraction party
Chapter Twelve:…………..Poor ol Kawliga, never had a kiss
Chapter Thirteen:………..Can you say "Cancer Free?"
Chapter Fourteen:……….It worked! If you want to drink your food!
Chapter Fifteen:………….Hopefully, the last of the surgeries
Chapter Sixteen:………….Voices of the sufferers
Things you can expect………
Call it what you will, but it is what I want to
Preface this book with.
The following information is very serious, very timely
and very personal. It may offend you. It may make
you stop and reconsider your lifestyle. It may even save
your life! If personal, physical facts of life tend to
embarrass you, then pass on this and I hope you survive
the coming storm
If you do nothing else, take what I am saying very, very
seriously. Had someone told me, 40 years ago, what I am about to tell
you,, I would have ignored them, as you might
do with this, BUT, what I am going to tell you was
not available 40 years ago.
The life style portrayed in this information was just taking an
upswing towards where it is today. You did not beg, borrow,
buy or steal this book to just set it on a table and get on with
your burrito for lunch. So, read it! Take it to heart. That very
same heart could stop prematurely just for ignoring the facts
in this book.
This is about me. It is about my last 4years of intensive learning. As I do with
all my writing, sometimes I am 'tongue in cheek' with the way I write . I have
found out that having a sense of humor will make even this subject more
palatable. (see? There I go) Share this information with everyone you know
because YOU, and everyone you know is a potential victim! So, read on ,and by
all means, LEARN SOMETHING, THROW YOUR RELIGONS IN THE CLOSET FOR NOW.
As the Army says, be all that you can be, except, what you want to be is alive at 95!
Written by Bob De Long, aka Wes Terner
All rights reserved 2009
I wish I could say that what happened to me had a beginning, or that I knew with certainty when it occurred, but I can't. Nor will you know about your own life and it's changes, when they happened or with whom. Of course my episode had a beginning but to put a calendered number to it is impossible. As you read on you will understand.
The only beginning I can throw out is, when I started feeling 'different' ,and it was enough to make me sit up and notice. Something was going on. What was it? Should I be alarmed? Should I be at least curious?
I am sure that were I not of the male persuasion, (isn't that a dandy word to describe men?) I would have had myself into the doctor's office straight away. Ladies love to bandy about the idea that men are just grown up little boys, that we like to whine and fuss about every little ache and pain, but that theory doesn't apply to everyone. Especially me.
Anyone who knows me , knows that I am not a slacker, nor one who looks for sympathy for a hangnail, not one who demands 24 hours nursing for the common cold! It takes a lot to make me go to a doctor and where this might be considered 'macho' in Mexico, it is just plumb, dumb stupid here!
Had I gone on to the doctor at the onset of 'irritation' in my throat, I would have been a much happier camper along the way.
No, not me! I had to wait until blood was gushing from my neck before I would even consider a band-aid with a neat smiley face on it! I am being facetious to prove a point. The point being, I am a tad stubborn and reluctant to go to a doctor for something when I think it is nothing.
As the weeks went on, and the months grew into months, my throat seemed to be getting worse. It had reached a point where I would hurt when I swallowed something, or when I drank something, not always, but sometimes it would feel like a razor was being dragged across my throat. Whenever this happened, it got my attention. I found if I held my head at a certain angle, the pain was not there. Now, how big a brain does a golf ball need to make a right decision here?
Obviously, I didn't have it because I continued to put up with the pain and keep right on trucking. I did mention the problem to my VA doctor and she took in stride like it was no big thing. Hey, she was the doctor, she had the schooling, she had the Beamer or maybe a Prius, but she was able to sign prescriptions so who was I to argue.
There is one thing we all have in common. When we get sick, feel bad, get hit by a truck, no matter what, we share a common denominator and that is….
We ALL want to live!
To live, to stay alive as long as possible, by any means necessary! Even if it meant going outside of the VA system! Every time I confronted my doctor at the VA about my throat, she would take a tongue depressor, push the back of my tongue down (if nothing else, the depressor worked properly) look in and declared there was nothing wrong.
Hmmmmm. There was something wrong with this picture. Dummy me tho, I assumed my doctor knew if she could see something or not. (Besides, she was cute)
I continued to nurse my throat along. It was not a constant pain or anything like that, but even I could tell that it was not working right. The way I felt was not debilitating so I continued to work as always. I didn't complain, so the guys I worked around never knew I was even having a problem, small, large or otherwise.
I believe I rolled along with this condition, seeing my cute little VA doctor every few months and having them check for the 'whatever' in my throat. At times I wasn't even aware of it being there, and other times it 'smarted' a little.
Had I been normal, I might have had a room in the ICU at one of the local hospitals. I didn't. I had my own nurse-goodbody, my wonderful wife, taking care of me and even she was unaware of the seriousness of my condition because, and I hate to keep ringing this bell, I just never complained.
Strange though, when I look back and try to remember when and what and how bad I felt to drive me to the arms of a real doctor, I can't manage to circle that day on my calendar. It was that uneventful to me. Actually it wasn't, as you will find out later, but I did pay more attention that morning.
I had several choices, one which I was obviously choosing, was to ignoring signs and signals which were supposed to alert me. There are 9 symptoms of this serious condition which I was ignoring. Well, what the heck, I only had 4 of them, and I actually knew nothing of the others anyway.
Not unlike many people, I had my own ideas as to my situation but likewise, I chose to hope they would go away if I ignored them, and that is just what I was doing, ………
Ignoring the Signs!
At this time I started to conjure up in my own mind all the things that could possibly be wrong and as luck would have it, I had already been bitten by a brown recluse spider, been shot, had a bunch of useless scars, so that couldn't fit into the scenario.
The more I thought about it, the more interested I became in seeing if I could actually Google something on my computer. Up to that point, I had done very little with it other than writing e-mails and getting emails.
So, off I went, "google" in hand. Much as I hated to, I dove into the area of Cancer. I was not convinced I might have it because of where the pain was located. So, off I went, with all the enthusiasm of a kid who hates boiled eggs on his 25th Easter Egg hunt.
Now, what to my wandering eyes should appear? None other than "causes, symptoms and treatments" for Oral cancer. Don't let me lose you here. From this point on, this gets very interesting, personal and absolutely intriguing. You do not want to miss one word, or sentence. In other words, pay attention.
A sore on the lip or in the mouth that does not heal? (nope, not on me)
A lump on the lip or in the mouth or throat? (not this time)
A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, or lining of the mouth? (No, couldn't see one.)
Unusual bleeding, pain, or numbness in the mouth? (I could only wish at times)
A sore throat that does not go away, or a feeling that something is caught in the throat? (NOW we are getting somewhere!)
Difficulty or pain with chewing or swallowing? (oh yeah, we are jammin' now)
Swelling of the jaw that caused dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable? (Not since I still had 24 of the teeth my maw gave me)
A change in the voice? (I had considered signing up to sing bass with the Statler Brothers)
Pain in the ear? (huh? What was that you said?)
Suddenly, my attention was got! I knew that I had one choice and that was to let my very best and soft speaking doctor at the ……VA!
Having the VA check it again!
So, I make an appointment and it is a month or so away and now I am very interested in why Doc VA couldn't see anything. I could actually feel a lump through the skin of my throat, below my right jaw line. I could also see that the lymph node was swollen a little bit.
Don't leave me yet. You are going to WANT to see what caused this and how it applies to you!
Once I got into the VA again, my sweet, precious, soft talking doctor again assured me that she could see nothing. This was when I thought I might jump her since she can't see anything and then I remembered, she has my records in front of her and that might give me away.
I am still being fairly tolerant of the inconvenience of not being able to swallow comfortably, having it hurt when I did, my voice was getting lower (I thought I was entering puberty again) But now had a better picture of what "might be". Bummer.
More research now. What to look for this time. Should I wait until it gets a little more painful? Should I start bleeding, pain or numbness in the mouth? How about getting a lump on the lip or throat. Well, I felt a lump in my throat so I was pretty sure I had something unusual, but still not eaten up with anxiety.
There was more to learn and I wanted to know all that I could know. The wall you run into is because you actually don't know WHAT question to ask . So, with my Google in hand again, off I went.
Needless to say, not knowing what to ask can slow you down and put a big bend in your learning curve. Every where I looked I saw the same symptoms being touted. Slow learner that I am, even I had to consider that they might be on to something. 10,457 doctors and medical groups could not possibly be wrong.
Still, it took another incident, which I took to be totally unrelated, to make me GMAIG!
I woke up one morning and my right ear was stone cold deaf. I could hear nothing. I played with it a couple of days, thinking it would come back and when it didn't I thought it was time to go to a ENT doctor. Made an appointment, two weeks to wait. Who would have figured that time line but by golly, it was worth the wait. My new best friend doctor, the …..
ENT found a very large tumor!
When I finally made it to my appointed time in his office, wouldn't you just know it? My hearing had returned and I felt like canceling the appointment. I thought since I had the appointment, I will go on and go, so I did.
After filling out all the paperwork and waiting patiently, my turn came up. I went into his office feeling somewhat apprehensive because in the two weeks I waited to see him, I made a diagnosis of my own. I even drew a picture of where I thought something might be and the approximate size it could be by feeling with my fingers. Strange huh? Next time I see a VA doctor I am going to make sure they at least have fingers!
When my doctor came in I felt like he was an old friend before he ever said anything. Someone who had fallen off a Norman Rockwell painting, someone who might say, "Good morning Andy. How is Opie and Ms. Bee doing?" He was that kind of impressionable figure.
He had me open my mouth and (remember the tongue depressor thingy with the VA?) he pressed down on the back of my tongue, said "Hmmmm". Grabbed the end of my tongue with a gauze and pulled it out far enough to tie onto my buckle, or at least it felt that way, went hmmmmm again, then told me he was going to numb my nose and throat area. He did this with a spray and took a skinny, flexible light and jammed it up my nose and out my, well it 'felt' that long. Then he said to his assistant, "Come look at this, I want you to see this."
Now I don't care who you are, those kinds of words do not inspire confidence in getting out of there with a clean bill of health. It was when she looked in the scope, her face blanched, and she said, quite un-nurselike, "oh my God". I saw him shake a finger at her and shake his head in disapproval. That cinched it. I had not given him the drawing I had made yet, so when he mentioned that I might have a slight tumor at the base of my tongue, I pulled the picture out and said, "Does it look like this?"
He said that it looked exactly like the drawing in size and placement. How did I do it? I didn't know . I just felt like it was where it was and how big it felt. Needless to say, he ordered a biopsy the next week, and after two more weeks of waiting, it came back positive. It was a squamous cell carcinoma the size of his thumb, growing on my tongue, right at the base. I said all of that to say this, he did not believe me when I told him what caused it……..#1* (my first medical contact on this journey)
The Doctors would not believe me!
While googling around the Internet, I learned some mighty interesting stuff. Now, this is the part you want to sit down for and let me apologize in the beginning because, from here on, things become a little hard to believe, but very true none the less.
In one series of questions they asked, the questions about smoking and drinking comes up often. I have never smoked, nor have I ever consumed alcohol. These two things being the most common denominator for this type of throat cancer. This confused my doctor because I don't think he was ready for what I had assumed, and confirmed through research of my own.
I found out anyone who does not smoke or drink alcohol, can and does get this type of cancer, only it is from a far different place and way. Dr. #1 said he had never seen this in any one who had never smoked or drank in their life. This type of cancer will usually appear in people over 45. That was me. BUT, it does not rule out younger people. Don't get cocky!
If you are not sitting down, then at least lean on the wall a little. Ok, now, the following information is to be passed on to everyone you know who has children, 9 or older. Every person you know who has a mouth, every married, unmarried, homosexual, gay and heterosexual person you know absolutely NEEDS TO KNOW THIS!
The reason I got this cancer was because of Oral Sex. There, I said it and my mother would smack me good were she alive.. Facts are facts and google does not lie. Check for yourself. Google Oral sex and HPV. Ask yourself, why is this not talked about? I certainly never heard about such a problem arising from this activity. Neither have you. Do you see why you need to share this book with any of the above mentioned classes, categories or genders? You especially need to make sure young children know the dangers of such activity. They are already of the mindset that oral sex is not sex so it is okay to behave that way. It is up to you to re-adjust that fertile little mind.
Since the 1970's, when lifestyles started going down a different path than before, this disease, from this source, was practically unheard of. Smoking has declined since then, but the incidences of throat cancer have continued to go up. Why?
From 1973 to 1994, oral cancers closed the gap to the smokers and drinkers. In the next 10 years, HPV-16 will cause more cancers than smoking and alcohol. Why?
Our children, your children, ALL children need to be taught that such behavior is extremely hazardous to their health.
It spares no special race, gender, sexual proclivity or national border. It is no longer considered an acceptable alternative for birth control. It is no longer the safer 'drug of choice'.
Listen, this is not a "shoot the messenger" type of message. There are some of you reading this who will survive to live older than you would have without this message. But then there are some of you reading this who might get gored by a bull in the next 24 hours.
Since I have delivered the news you were all waiting to read, let me tell you what is in store for you if you choose to "keep on, keeping on".
When your parents told you not to touch a hot stove or it would burn you, you just had to find out for yourself. You touched it. Along came your siblings, they got the same information and could easily have relied on your judgment and experience to make the correct decision . They did not. They chose to "touch the stove", and thus learned their lesson, the old fashioned HARD way. Guess what? "do not touch the stove! It will burn you!" Again!
From this point on, "bigger brother" is going to tell you not to touch the stove or you will get burned. Make up your own mind as to whether to widen your horizon of experiences or …….show off your precious 'scars' later.
It is human nature to disbelieve something that would take 'pleasure' from our lifestyles so you are at that point on your moral compass where you need to make a decision. Let me give you more 'decision making ammo'.
Where My Research Took Me
"The sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer in women is poised to become one of the leading causes of oral cancer in men."
"The HPV-16 virus now causes as many cancers of the upper throat as tobacco and alcohol, probably due both to an increase in oral sex and the decline in smoking, researchers report."
"Good news is, the survival rate for the cancer is increasing. That is because tumors caused by HPV-16 respond better to chemotherapy and radiation."
In my research, I went to abcnews.go.com/print?id=6034244 and read an article titled "the Oral Sex Cancer Connection. It pretty well covers the information you need, to make intelligent decisions regarding your life and lifestyles.
I also boogied over to health.usnews.com/articles/health/sexual-reproductive/2008/02/19clueless-on-stds-throat-cancer-an
I checked out the Washington Post and looked at Virus Spread By Oral Sex whichis linked to Throat Cancer where it was very informational too.
Ah heck, just Google oral sex-HPV and you will have 441,000 places to look. I haven't the time to do all that for you. If you don't want to know the truth, then go right to your children and tell them that you don't care enough about them to tell them they can get cancer from oral sex. They will thank you for it later. Perhaps while on a hospital gurney, headed for the surgical ward, to have a cancer removed from their throat, tonsils, tongue, (while you are in Google, check out Glossectomy and then you will know that they have to look forward to.
Am I being brutal? Hell yes. I want you to understand what you are playing with here. There is NO safe sex and for the life of me I don't know how our race has survived the rigors of the diseases related to it. Perhaps that is why it was designed to be so pleasurable, so we would keep going back for more, in spite of our faces and other parts falling off!
Little Rock Bound
Our Doctor Knows His stuff
After much discussion with the ENT doctor, it was decided I should go to Little Rock to seek more information on my condition, from a doctor who is well known as one of the best in this field. Certainly the best in Arkansas.
I choose not to identify my doctors by name so as not to complicate matters of legal natures but suffice it to say, when a local doctor, #1, tells me there is no one in the Fort Smith area capable of attending to my immediate needs concerning this type of cancer , I pay attention.
I scheduled to meet my new doctor, #2, at UAMS in Little Rock on March 3rd, 2008, this being after a two week wait. Be advised at this point, cancer growth waits for no man or woman.
On Feb the 7th, I got my first CT scan, which is used to verify the existence of and size of the tumor. This was to be hand carried to my new doctor#2, in LR. (here after used for Little Rock)
Once we arrived in LR, a 2 ½ hour drive, we patiently awaited, (easier to do now since I am defined as an official 'patient',) our turn. It was during this visit when I learned some interesting stuff.
It did not take uslong with this doctor, to realize he knew his stuff. Now, you are thinking, how qualified am I to know if a doctor knows his/her stuff? Simple. We felt perfectly at ease and comfortable with him. I don't know about you, but THAT is a sure sign of qualification for me.
We learned the size of the mass, (Stage 4). How serious it was. (Very) What our next step(s) were. He patiently explained I had several options and I certainly wanted to know them all.
One was to have surgery, which included breaking (sawing) my jaw bone apart at the front seperating it, and I would guess, use a smaller version of the 'jaws of life', like the firemen use to open smashed cars. After the jaw was separated, they would then plunge on in to the base of my tongue and remove the cancer tumor and much of the tongue.
At this point, I envisioned a medical version of a "melon ball scoop", sharpened on one side and having various sizes to accommodate everyone. This "melon ball scoop" would be used to "scoop" the cancer out and away. Of course, that is not how they do it but give a fertile mind an inch and it will take off across the field. He mentioned a re-constructive surgeon would also have to be there to put it all together again. It would amount to a partial glossectomy and a portion of my forearm would be used to reconstruct that portion of the tongue they took off.
He then told us the surgery would have to be followed with radiation and chemotherapy treatments. He had lost me at the breaking of the jaw and melon ball scooping point. Of course we wanted to know other options.!
Then he told us that due to the position of the tumor, and the size, it was actually a good prospect for the radiation/chemo treatment. I would not have to suffer the ravages of a scarred up face (like that would bother me) and a long recovery time. This had more appeal to us and we decided it might be the better of the two.
I asked if there was a third option, he told me I could do nothing, go home, suffer a lot and die by the end of the year. Of course I had to ask him if I could think about it. My wife assured me that there would be no 'thinking' and that was that!
That was not the end of all he had to say. He continued to give us a thumbnail description of what to expect and how we would be having questions which should be addressed and not left to fester with unwarranted uncertainties.
This was when he hit us with the 'bomb'! That piece of the puzzle of information, that is there, but you don't expect. That sentence of such magnitude, you feel like you have been hit with a 2 X 4, right between the eyes. I realize for some of you, this would not make a difference one way or the other. Being told I had cancer did not hold that 'cloud' of doubt, the uncertainty that can envelop your mind when the news is presented.
OK, enough of the melodrama. What he said, and his nurse confirmed was……
Things you do not want to hear
Upon examining me, he was able to tell I had a mouth full of my own teeth. Twenty four to be precise. At the age of 67, this was an accomplishment on it's own merits. Being in the business which I am in, the field of dentistry, the fabrication side of the business, I had taken good care of what the Air Force allowed me to keep. Cold steel and sunshine was the order of the day for them in the early 6o's. I got out just in time!
He looked me straight in the eye and told me before they could proceed with the treatments, I would have to have ALL my teeth removed. Extracted. Yanked out. Ripped asunder! Whatever it took to render me edentulous! (ten dollar word for toothless) what you see is what I don't have!
I won't lie. I won't make up stories. I won't be a happy camper, but obviously I WILL be without teeth, if I wanted to proceed. Oh, I could have said no, and they would have left them but the radiation treatments were designed to radiate the area where my teeth were. The results of such massive amount of radiation could and probably would, kill my teeth, or some of them, enough to cause serious infection of the jaw and possibly require the removal of portions of it. Not cool!
OK, it doesn't take me long to get on the same page with someone who speaks clearly. None of my research prepared me for this. It was mentioned no where in the places I looked. I even went back and looked, in vain.
As I mentioned I am in the dental business and have many friends who are dentists. One good friend, (Doctor #3) whom I trusted with this task, was as shocked as I was. He is not a dummy, but it was news to him too. We made an appointment on March 8th, 2008 to accomplish the task at hand.
This took, from the day the doctor in LR told me, (March 3rd) to the final extraction, exactly
two weeks . This gave me time to make impressions and make a set of immediate dentures.
For those of you who are not up to speed on this technique, you have denture made to be inserted immediately after the last tooth is gone. It acts like a bandaid and provides some emotional comfort. A procedure which is done, with great success, daily, from almost every dental office, by many dental labs.
After arriving at my friend's office for the appointed time, with immediate dentures in hand, I was seated, numbed up and we proceeded. It only took one and a half hours to accomplish the task. There were x-rays, sutures, loud cracking sounds in my ears, more x-rays, more sutures and finally, after the last tooth was dropped into a metal dish with an ominous plink, I was as toothless as the day I was born.
I realize this is all very exciting for you, but I want you to know, THIS could be waiting for you, because you have no fear of the information I have given to you earlier. This is the good stuff. I haven't even shared the BAD stuff yet.
If you still think it is all fun and games, for all the fun and games we play in our lives, then please read on.
It was still a rough road to go down and tough task to tackle. Every step in this area was almost in vain, as I shall explain in greater detail later.
At this point I was given a feeding tube, a "PEG", in my stomach, right below the heart. ALL my food is now liquid and goes directly into my stomach, by way of the tube. (Doctor #4)
I haven't mentioned it sooner but rest assured I have one excellent partner in marriage and friendship. She has kept the 'bad guys" at bay throughout this whole experience. I am pretty sure I would not have bothered with this trip had I been single. She has been unbelievable, to say the least. If you do not have someone to make the trip with, find someone now. Family, friend, life companion, anyone you can be comfortable with and who is willing to go the distance with you. Very important for your well being!
That said, I continue, with you knowing, after the healing had taken place, I knew it was time to get on with the "other stuff".
Having heard so much bad about the treatments, you can understand my reluctance to proceed. I am questioning my decisions as to whether they were the right ones. I knew I had, but there are always the doubts. In this arena there will be things you get to keep, (your sanity, your friends, your life), and things to let go of, (your teeth, your weight, your hair, etc) but those are things that can and will come back. Ok, maybe not the teeth.
So, we are back in Fort Smith, we have seen the dentist, I am now about to enter the next phase of this journey, and might I add, these treatments are not high on my "wanna do" list, so off I go for them.
I sure hope you have not forgotten what I was doing earlier in my life that brought me to this junction! If you are doing it now and you know you are, you need to give your lifestyle a good thinking over….. Keep reading. The worse part is yet to come!
NOTE: In my original book, I have photographs to accompany these chapters. Some of them will really make you STOP and start to pay attention! Unfortunately, they would not allow me to post them on this platform.
Treatment #one is the worst of all
Before the next step in the treatment was two days old, I knew it was going to be rough.
Radiation treatments are not fun! In my case, as would be yours too, try to envision a circular microwave wrapped around your neck, like an old time slave collar. Now, visualize them turning it on high. Every day, 5 days a week, for approximately ninety seconds. Not a big deal for the first day or so, but after then, you start to feel different. Your neck starts to look like an over bar-b-qued wienie, food starts to be advertised on every channel, every billboard, towed behind planes on colorful banners, coupons to BK drop from the sky, and on and on! This amount of radiation will turn your throat to hamburger. The potential for that "hamburger" to fuse together will be very high. Esophageal dilation is possible on down the road, but it may not work.
Forget it! Your days of dining are done! You are steadily losing weight. You know this is not the diet you signed up for at Weight Watchers! No wonder they jack out your teeth. You're not going to be using then again, if ever!
I can't speak for others, but in my case, my olfactory system had become greatly enhanced. You are smelling things you never smelled before. You are actually nauseated by the smells of things that used to bring you running to the table.
I cross a bridge over the Arkansas River twice a day and it may just be an overactive imagination, but I would swear that I smell fish flatulence from that river twice a day. I had never noticed it before! When they advertise a car as being air tight, forget it. There is no way to keep the smell out.
Every day, 5 days a week, I am subjected to torture no military leader could ever be allowed to use. It soon becomes the longest ninety seconds in my life. I come to accept it as necessary but never fun. I am told I am getting the largest dose of radiation they can safely give a human. Doesn't that just make you want to say "yipee ky yay!?
I go in with a smile every time. I come out with a smile every time and they think I am having the time of my life. NEWS FLASH! I was not and neither will you! If the radiation wasn't bad enough I had to be subjected to the arrogance of a pipsqueak of a peckerhead posing as a radiologist, once a week. This was evidenced by the way he answered the questions I had about halfway through my treatment. I asked. "How am I doing Doc?" #5. He stood there, arms folded, arrogance oozing from every pore, and said, "You are in treatment.". I refused to confer with him from that point on. I got more information from his nurse during my required question/answer time.
I would tell her I just did not want to see him the day I was supposed to be in his presence. Maybe it is just me, but I was under the impression he was there to help me to get through the treatments with as much ease as possible. If you can visualize the paintings of Napoleon Boneapart then you have the picture. I do hope you get a better trained, caring Dr. than I did.
The oncologist, ( #6), on the other hand, was very nice, caring and attentive to our feelings. He took the time to talk to me and my wife and he answered all of our questions. When I presented him with my thoughts of where I might have gotten the cancer, he too, was reluctant to accept such an odd theory. I printed up some information for him straight from the Mayo clinic and even though he took it, said he read it, I could tell he wasn't buying it.
Sorry folks. Not all doctors have their heads out of their anal orifices. I told ALL the nurses with whom I was being associated what my thoughts were on the cause of my cancer. I could tell many of them wanted to believe what I was saying, so I started to give them information and places to find more.
Facts are facts are facts and burying your head in the sand will not make it go away. I started out wanting to reach the children about this danger but I soon realized I couldn't do that, but I could reach the parents of children and it really is THEIR job to protect their kids, from ALL dangers, regardless of their personal lifestyle.
This danger is as real as all the dope and drugs, cigarettes and alcohol that is readily available to them (the kids). It is not what they learn from their friends that will keep them safe. It is the blind leading the blind in most cases and I am beginning to think, perhaps the blindness starts at home.
NEWS FLASH: It is reported that oral sex is being practiced by children as young as 9. That is NINE! What were YOU doing at 9? Do you get the picture yet?
Back to my treatments, using the chemical, Cisplatin,, was fairly easy, if you like being stuck with a needle. I was given a shot they called The Giddy up shot. It was designed to make you pee and pee you did! Every 15 minutes! The only time I have peed more, is NOW, since I eat nothing but liquids and gravity and I are no longer friends. More on this later. Suffice it to say, you have this waiting for you too or your children will have it. I sure hope it is not your child.
My chemo treatments were given every Friday afternoon. It took 4 to 5 hours to accomplish the task. During the treatment, the micro wave crew would come and get me, haul me downstairs and bake me some more, take me back up stairs, all the while dragging my little "tree" with me.
Life is a bitch when you are having this much fun! It was only AFTER I completed my chemo treatments I came down with a serious bout of nausea. I had to grow new toenails after that!
Oddly enough, it is the only time the chemotherapy made me sick. I did get dehydrated once and spent two days getting re-hydrated. More fun, more needles!
It was at this point, I was finished with the chemotherapy. I was then rescheduled for my doctor #2, in LR. It is now May 27th. Time is marching on, but very slowly.
My doctor #2, in LR opted for a period of time to let the treatments do their thing. Prior to going to LR, I revisited my first doctor#1, the one who was in at the start. He looked at the area and said it looked excellent
On July 14th, I went to LR and had another CT scan done prior to seeing #2. After reviewing the scan, my doctor, #2, told me two lymph nodes looked highly suspicious, because they were enlarged and he wanted to go in and remove them for biopsy. It was the first two 'nodes in my neck, on the side where the tumor had been. He said the operation would be routine and all would be fine. Of course, I said it would be ok to get them out.
Four days later, we had a……..
For the 'rest of the story', see part two, starting at chapter eleven