The starting gong for round 2 didn’t sound clearly. The start faltered under the guidance of my favourite oncologist. I can’t say with 100% certainty that it was all her (un)doing but she was quick enough to call me into her office for a lecture on receiving my ensuing email that’d bruised her ego. The good news is I’ve turned a corner with that relationship.
I finally met with another oncologist who said all the right things. She claims to treat people as complex individuals rather than focusing in on the disease and applying a purely scientific approach. She ended off by asking my expert opinion on myself and how I wanted to move forward. Brownie points for you, doc. She let me feel as though I’m in charge. Which I am. Most days. Maybe.
I remember many times over the past 2 years threatening to change doctors, leaving with angry tears welling out of frustration over the bad relationship which I couldn’t see objectively at the time.
Since this illness is partly fought mentally, I feel like I’ve gained back some ground.
If, unlike me, you tend to learn things the easy way, then learn from my pain. I hope that if you recognise the frustration of the situation and haven’t been able to give credit to your own feelings, that you start listening to them and move on.
After a colleague told me about Clive Rice (ex SA cricketer) and his trip to India for a high-tech, non-invasive surgical procedure, I made an enquiry. Thanks to enough prior disappointments, I didn’t hold my breath for a reply so I was surprised when they responded with a list of requirements. One 40-something page report and a consultation with the doctor later, they responded yesterday. They need to do an evaluation (PET scan, blood tests) followed by possible chemo and possible Cyberknife surgery depending on the results of the evaluation. And it’d take a 4-week visit. To India.
The trouble with PET scans
I raised it with the new onco who reinforced what my former onco had said; that I have too many adhesions and scar tissue for the sugar liquid (they use it as a tracer to find cancer cells) to reach my tumour. Also, since my borderline carcinoma is not aggressive but slow-growing, it could lie dormant for a week and only grow/be active on day 8 or 12 or any random day so if the scan was done on the wrong day, it wouldn’t pick up much with any degree of accuracy.
The trouble with India
It’s a 3rd world country as is the one in which I live. With poverty so evident there, what would it do to my mental state. I don’t even watch the news here. No thanks. I mean, I’d drag myself there were it the last resort but it’s not.
Israel has a similar programme, by the way.
Since the integrative oncology seminar I attended, I’ve been looking after myself better by indulging in a massage, some hypnosis, a reiki session, 2 other alternative healing modalities that would take pages to explain, and lots of hermitting rest. Oh, and juicing. I battle with that, still. The new onco has a possible explanation for that, too – that my body’s not processing the nutrients as quickly as it should and so day 3 is an overload which it, uh, returns to sender.
Just when I think I’ve got one up on life, it laughs at me. Picking loose hair off everything, I knew what was coming and so I didn’t wait as long as last time. I had it chopped off last weekend. Of course, now that I’m stopping my drugs after a week into the 2nd round, it’ll settle down in a month or 2 and I’ll have to go through all those weird stages of re-growth – again.
Maybe the point is that lessons are never straight forward. Or that the Universe has a wry sense of humour and is merely reminding me to play.