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Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Treatment Plan:

“A further sign of health is that we don't become undone by fear and trembling, but we take it as a message that it's time to stop struggling and look directly at what's threatening us. ” ~Pema Chödrön, The Places that Scare You

    We met with the radiographer and the Oncologist yesterday at Mt. Vernon Cancer Centre. They briefly went over the short term and long term side effects of radiation therapy and Les had to sign a document which stated he had been informed of such. 
   Possible short term side effects: diarrhea, a mucous discharge from the rectum, pain and tenderness at the radiation point and rectally, frequent urination with pain, pain passing stools, tiredness. 
   Possible long term side effects: persistent diarrhea, fibrosis and stricture of the bowel, difficulty passing stools, impotence, second line cancer.
   Les was led away for a CT scan while son Kevin and I sat in the waiting room amongst the other patients and families. Those waiting to receive radiotherapy often had a thermos of hot water from home. One woman had her husband's water thermos tucked under her armpit to warm it. This is necessary because every time they irradiate you, an empty bowel and a full bladder are required.
   The water on offer at the centre is chilled quite cold and drinking a large amount of it causes a drop in patient temperature and shivers which makes it difficult to lay perfectly still during the radiotherapy which is essential. One would think the specialists at this centre would ensure their patients have access to warm drinking water on the premises without having to cart it from home.
   Still others were waiting for more chemotherapy, their bald heads, pasty white complexions, and lack of energy marked them out from family members waiting as well for the coffee bar to open. 
   And what does the hospital coffee bar sell? Candy bars, chips, sandwiches made with white bread, coffee, tea and soda pop. I think it is negligent at best and criminal in the worst sense of the word for the hospital to feed their patient's disease when each one is fighting for their life and it enrages me.
   I frame this in light of a conversation earlier that morning with Les' Oncologist Dr. J. He was distant and preoccupied and looked quite tired as he sat down to speak with us. After he laid out Les' treatment plan I commented that statistics indicate at least 70% of all cancer could be prevented by a proper diet (like that of Gerson as an example). The Oncologist slumped forward in his chair, ran his hands over his head and replied without looking us in the eyes, " Oh, I would say a lot more than 70%. In fact nearly all cancer could be prevented by a decent diet." Even his doctor gets on him for eating things he knows are not good for him.
   We have yet to hear from Mr. H., the surgeon. He was on vacation last week. Dr. J said he would contact the surgeon's office and get it sorted. According to him, Les will undergo radiotherapy every day next week and then the following week Mr. H will operate and create the Ileostomy, remove the tumor and re-sect Les' bowel all in one go. Les will be hospitalized anywhere from 7-10 days and then released to come home if there are no complications. 
   After 3-5 weeks we return to visit the oncologist who will review any further recommendations for postoperative chemo/radiation therapy based on what the surgeon finds.  

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh dear lady and dear sir...our thoughts and hopes and dare I say prayers to the gods that may be that the coming trials you are going through will be less than feared. Fight on, eat good, and love hard.
love Karen in Pullman

Nev Wells said...

I don't possess the words to let you know how I feel about your present fight, just to say thinking of you both a lot right now,

Take care of each other,

Nev

Anonymous said...

What Karen said and more. We are all thinking about you. All the very best of good wishes for next week. As for me I will find out more after a scope on the 30th. xx

Sally

Ray Butler said...

Crossed fingers and all good wishes

Anonymous said...

I would like to agree whole-heartedly with Karen in Pullman. Take very good care and be strong. Love, Shirley

Dave,Beryl Bradshaw said...

Thinking of you both
The NHS doesn't change
when our son was diagnosed
with type 1 diabetes 18 yrs ago
at age 3 there was no suitable food
on the menu I had to take food in for
him.
keep fighting love Beryl & Dave nb Sokai
Ellesmere Port

Carol Palin said...

It’s going to be a tough week for both of you - our thoughts and prayers are with you. xx

MortimerBones said...

I was trying to find your email to email you but failed so here is a message sending you my thoughts. I will be thinking of you all.
B

Carol Ives said...

I will be thinking of you all. Keep strong. X

Anonymous said...

Still praying for you both.

Alistair

jercher said...

You two are such a strong team - you will beat this beast!! You are in our thoughts and forever in our hearts!! Definitly on team Biggs!
Love you guys,
Jerry and Cheri

Neil Corbett said...

We second all the above comments, especially Nev's, it's so hard to convey our concern. We are thinking about you a lot. You a a great team, may all go well for you both.
Kath & Neil (nb Herbie)

Les Biggs said...

Everyone:
Thanks for all your support.
I am sure the treatment will all be ok and the surgery will go well. Jaq and I are determined to get me back to strength over the next few months and get back to cruising.
Bones mentioned E Mail and our e mail details are top left of page.

Jaqueline Biggs said...

Thanks everyone for your support. I cannot stress enough how much it means to us both. Thanks to all of you as well for taking the time to comment. Your words, thoughts, friendship, love and prayers go a long, long way towards giving us strength for this journey.
All of our love,
Jaq and LesXX

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs