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May 3, 2006

No Self Diagnosis

Well, it's been an interesting week. Had my CT Scan last Thursday and viewed it Saturday night while working. It looked to have a new spot on the liver. On Sunday, I had them run the pictures off so I could take them with me for my doctor visit today (really yesterday as I write this). I'm not a radiologist, but I've seen what the spots look like and there was one very clearly there. Needless to say I was more than concerned. As usual, the Nurse Practioner sees you first and I informed her of what I saw. She informed me that the written report from the radiologist said all was going well and the spot was shrinking. When the doctor came in, I jumped him about the difference in opinion and immediately ticked him off. Good move. We argued over what was said about the liver being clear and my recall that the last scan did not show anything. He didn't believe me. He again said there was mis-communication and he never said the liver was clear. I could tell he was mad as he did his silly graph thing for the fourth time. He gave the same options again, stay with the anti-bodies or stop. We'll do another scan in four months and if I stop and it comes back it would be another chemo treatment. No real choice but to stay with the anti-bodies which have very little reaction. I had some other items I wanted to talk to him about, but with him being mad he was pretty short with any response. He did suggest I see my family doctor about the high blood pressure, although he said the drugs tend to raise your blood pressure. So does being mad. This weekend I'm going to have the "scan girls" pull up the disputed pictures and make me copies as I didn't do that at the time. Need to get something for the $4000 it costs. I don't mind the twice a month treatments as they don't cause any major problem. I was happier thinking it was keeping new growth from happening and I still think that's what was said back in February. Oh well. You win some, you lose some, and winning with a doctor is asking for the impossible. Lost a lot of respect for him today. I don't think he's used to being challenged and I might not have been too polite. Hey, it's my body we're talking about. Guess that's it. Good health to all of you.

Posted by Robert at 11:24 PM | Comments (1617)

May 10, 2006

A Doctor Who Really Listens

Today I visited my family doctor. We had a good long chat, about 30 minutes. That's unheard of to get that much time with a doctor. He clarified all I wanted to know, even though some of it was not the best news. I made the appointment to discuss my higher than normal blood pressure. That took about 2 minutes. He doesn't think it's high enough to worry about, but a good idea to keep monitoring it. At this time he'll do nothing about it. The liver is an all new problem. I did not have A spot. I had, and still have, several spots. Some of them are not much bigger than a pencil point. None of them have increased in size, which is good, but none of them has shrunk that much With the anti-bodies as the only treatment probably the best we can do is to keep them from growing. So, the future doesn't look real bright and as I had already come to grips with, looks like a lifetime of treatment to hold things off. He said what I already knew that this type of cancer can never to cured, at least at this time. I took CT scan pictures and radiologist reports with me, but the clinic had been keeping him informed as to what was happening so the scans weren't used. Obviously, he went into some detail, including the experimental program, and I'm just hitting the highlights of our talk. He was sorry that Dr. Stephens and I had our "disagreement" and said that if I ever lost confidence in what he was doing we could get a second opinion. He said he was confident of Dr. Stephens concern for his patients best interest and has had some of his own family members go to him. I just wish he could sit down and explain things like we did today. I guess that's what sets a family physician off from some specialists. I continue to learn alot from this experience. I do have a curious mind. I also have been reminded that a little knowledge can be dangerous. I'm sorry that I thought I was clear for the time being and just keeping things from returning. I had all these past months operating on false hopes and informing all of you falsely. I certainly will be much more careful in the future to not jump to conclusions from my self-diagnosis. Maybe I need to stop looking at cat scan pictures. I hope my hitting the high spots were clear to you, as bad as they were I guess I don't want to talk about them that much. At least my body is accepting the drugs with minor reactions, so we will continue for at least 4 months on the current program.
Good health to all of you.

Posted by Robert at 6:25 PM | Comments (5)

May 31, 2006

Another Routine Treatment

I was negligent in not writing about the last treatment and now we've added another treatment yesterday. I'm happy to say that both of them were pretty routine. My only problem is the breaking out from the experimental drug. It usually has it's peak and dies down. Last time it didn't and now adding another treatment I'm going to have a sore forehead. It has also spread around a little more than usual. I'm happy to say I was right about something. I tried to tell the clinic a cat scan at four months was not right. The girl from the experimental program told them the program calls for every 12 weeks so that was changed. After all this time I do know the routine. Guess that's really about it. Good health to all.

Posted by Robert at 12:48 PM | Comments (1554)