Posted by: cg00n | September 17, 2009

Another doctor – encore

Just to confuse matters today’s doctor, a radiotherapy oncologist, is another Dr. C.  So I am going to refer to her as Dr. R to avoid ambiguity.

The pathology report that came out of the most recent surgery to my leg noted  a few sites where there is still cancerous activity in the margins.  In classical surgical terms this means that they should have cut more stuff out but in these few cases I would have lost tendons, major blood vessels and as a result probably the whole leg.  Given that the doctors are trying to keep me bi-pedal the next best option is to nuke the sites that looked suspicious.  Dr. R reckons this is a reasonable thing to do and shouldn’t be any great trouble.  It will have to wait until all the wounds are fully healed (which will probably be another month or so) and will probably involve half-hour outpatient sessions on five successive days.  P and I agreed that I should probably  just stay somewhere near the hospital for that week because a daily commute would be quite wearing on both of us.  Anyway, it will give me an opportunity to get to know a bit more about the city.

So for now we are back to waiting for the next appointment to be scheduled.

Meanwhile all the incisions, grafts and what-not are coming together very nicely.  Walking without artificial aids gets easier every day and I can even make it up and down stairs without too much trouble.  This is all very liberating and I am feeling greatly encouraged.  In fact during a chat earlier today one of my friends remarked:

Rationally, you’ve got it made. Physical health fast returning, loving family, lots of friends, beautiful house, no pressing needs…

This is all perfectly true and there have been many occasions lately when I have been very frustrated with myself for being unable to align my mood with this point of view.  Why am I so jittery and anxious so much of the time?  Beats me but as I’ve said in previous postings this has been going on for many years and I have yet to discover a really satisfactory solution.  Apparently several of my friends have been (or are still) struggling with similar mood disorders.  While I certainly don’t wish to spread the misery around it is comforting to know that some of you know precisely the sort of  difficulties with which I am coping.

What is less comforting is that depression reduces your chances of surviving cancer.  That’s a piece of news I really didn’t need to know.  However, on the brighter side, there seems to be a master gene that helps mobilize the immune system and a virus connected with prostate cancer, both signs that the march of science continues and will probably produce a cure for what ails me, sometime after I’m dead.



  1. Don’t you love it when they come up with yet another way of blaming the patient, for something they of course cannot control?

    I have poor sleep and left-handedness going for me as well.

  2. Newspaper articles and researchers like to dramatize their results, but a closer look at the article on depression being linked to higher death rates shows that the headline is bogus!

    They are leading people into the trap of confusing correlation with causation (although the researcher is quoted as saying there were other explanations, the article buries that near the end).

    So please don’t lose any sleep over that one.

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