Tuesday, December 7, 2010

No More Testing!

This is December, the last month of the year and I have decided not to get further Cat and Pet scans. I could get them now for free as I have paid the thousand dollar deductible on my insurance. I had them at the beginning, eleven months ago, and they were pretty clear then. I had cancer everywhere. Stage three and a half Hodgkin's Lymphoma that has spread into my spleen and spine and just about every lymph node. I didn't even know I had that many.
My father died of cancer and it took a year to kill him. He wanted to live and did everything:
Surgery, Radiation and Chemo. The surgeons cut his tongue off and half the inside of his mouth.
The radiologist destroyed the rest of his face and his chemo finished him off. It wasn't pleasant.
I told my doctors that they only had one chance "to cure" me, that's all I had in me. They opted and I agreed to a series of 12 chemos, that ABVD stuff made from Mustard Gas, the poison made for trench warfare. I knew instantly that this was going to be nuts.
Three months into this program I had the CAT and PET scans repeated. These tests are dangerous, the equivalent of 420 chest X-rays, and are known to cause cancer! The chemo is no piece of cake and you want to know that it is working to acquire that strength to continue it.
It was working well. Half way through this chemo and the cancer was 80% gone! That was overwhelmingly good news. Six more to go and I lost all my hair, eyebrows, everywhere, lost 50 pounds, became a 90 year old man almost overnight.
It is nice to be alive and there is a lot I want to do, but I don't think I have another recovery in me. The last check up and blood work I had was all optomistic, the lumps are all gone.
My doctor says an additional CAT and PET scans are for reassurance, basically to make me feel good. They are never conclusive and often miss what they are attempting to see. and they are dangerous. As James Brown says, "I feel fine!" and will go about my life with every intention of living it. This is all a luxury anyway. I can get the test any time I choose to do it. After this month it will cost me that $1,000 deductable. I have already spent $130,000 of the Insurance Company's money.

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  1. How can I say I agree with you 100% on this and is exactly what I would do... I don't even know if I'd do it the first time.. for fear of just what happened to you father.. I hope you'll be around for a very long time... (who else would listen to my babbling craziness?) so You do what ever it is that makes you feel better. So go clean your truck!

  2. StonePost you are very wise! I did not have the stats however, I do know of the risks associated with 'unnecessary' testing. There are times that I think another test is necessary to determine the cause of the extensive lump in the vicinity of the tumour and the reality is....I don't want to know. Not out of fear! Rather it is time to put some life in these 'old' bones. I want to live. To give in now would be too easy.

  3. Can you imagine here we are nearly at 2011 and they use Mustard Gas to make us better. That is such a daunting reality!! Stuff they used in WWI WOW!!
    But on the other hand, I'm not sure which is more frightening, the Mustard gas or the amount of $130,000..
    exactly, get out there and do your thing!!

    Take care Alli xx

  4. That is a lot of painting money you have spent there Jerry. LOL Sorry I tend to see life in terms of paint. I am happy it has worked and you are still here with us

  5. You had the courage, you are my very special friend and I love you more! oxox