Posted by: cg00n | June 19, 2009

A Patient Patient

This week I was hoping to get an appointment with the surgeon who will do the isolated limb perfusion procedure but now I gather that this probably will not happen in the next two weeks.  The good news:  in the meantime I can still get on with things and they obviously don’t think my condition warrants emergency attention.  The bad news:  we have no idea how to plan anything for the summer.  I rattled  a few chains today so maybe someone can come up with a better-defined schedule next week.  In the meantime patience is a virtue.

Meanwhile my state of mind seems to have settled down nicely once more.  Every time I get all shook up I try to take the opportunity to cope a little better and to adjust my perceptions so that my sub-conscious will get a better grasp of what seems to be reality.

In the last couple of weeks, in addition to all the mindfulness stuff I have been working on by myself, I have spent an hour with the hypnotherapist and another hour with the psychiatrist.  The former walked me through a particularly painful incident from my past concerning my mother who died of cancer in the mid 1970’s.  I thought I had long since sorted through all that stuff, having talked it out with many people over the years.  However, as Dr. W.R of Fredericton points out:

The really big grief in life is never fully done; each time you learn something new from it.

There might be some connection between my anxiety and that “never fully done” grief.  I certainly felt better after the counselling session and over the next couple of days I was more sad than anxious.

The psychiatrist gave P and myself some homework to do aimed at relieving some of my self-doubts.   We are supposed to talk about my life skills that have helped me get along well in life and then go on to consider the ways in which A is like me and how she is like P.  I think I have to accept that there are some things about myself that are not fixable, even assuming that they’re broken in the first place.  Many personality traits cut two ways, for better or for worse.  Perhaps what I need to accept who and what I am to a greater extent rather than feeling that I should be able to do better all the time.

In more prosaic news I have caught the usual motley collection of articles in my reading net.  Here is one from Austrailia (that I’m sure I’ve come across in some form before) which describes as process by which T cells from a patient’s immune system were cultured in the lab and then re-injected resulting in a dramatic improvement in the patient’s condition.  This one talks about an experimental drug (PLX4032) that seems to help in cases of advanced melanoma.  Keeping cancer out of the brain is the subject of this article while this one is concerned with pain control.  Both of the latter appear to  apply to all kinds of cancer.  Finally, you may recall some months ago that I asked you what you thought about the mind-body connection:  a recent article in New Scientist talks about the nocebo effect – the dark side of placebo if you like.

That’s all for now.  If anything exciting happens I’ll blog it.


I forgot to include a reference to this article from The Independent which talks about the drug Ipilimumab producing astonishing results when used for treating prostate cancer.  A footnote to the article points out that the drug was primarily developed for use against melanoma.



  1. I am curious to know why it may be helpful to consider how A is like you, and how she is like P. I have always seen lots of both parents in her general make up, as well as some of Bram’s characteristics. At any rate, it may keep you pleasantly occupied while you wait for further appointments. It can’t be easy for the patient to practice patience!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: