Thursday, January 30, 2014

Pink and Purses

Dr. Sue A. Mandell, Medical Director Radiation Oncologist, is Dads new doctor. My parents "absolutely love her!" They feel she is knowledgeable but knows how to explain things in layman's terms. Also, she is happy to answer all of my Dads questions. Dr . Mandell (or like my Dad likes to call her Mandella) had him pegged the first visit. She said "You are a Type A personality that has a lot of questions, and I'm willing to answer them all."

Dad will have 28 total radiation treatments, 3 down, 25 to go. In addition to that he will have chemo pumped into his chest 24/7 hence the black shoulder strap chemo bag which holds the machine.
My Mom really liked this picture of my Dad with his pink shirt and purse. Do with that what you will.

On a personal note - I read this essay in the NYT this last week, about a young man having cancer and his thoughts on how long he has left. I know a lot of us have family and friends who have dealt with similar feelings and situations.

We love you all.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

We received great news today!

1st of all--GOOD NEWS-- I GET TO GO TO THE NEXT LEVEL OF TREATMENT AND GET RADIATION/CHEMO!!!! The meeting with Dr Haque was very good and encouraging--there seems to be no advanced lymph's, nodules or juvenile (my words) tumors in the CT scan comparatives--Great News! There were some nodules that showed up on the scan, but they existed prior, and in the words of the Radiation Dr. "if we scanned my lungs I have some--everyone does"--so that is more good news--Also, the existing nodules are really small--largest is 3 mm. We walked down the hall to the Radiation Clinic and met Dr. Sue Mandell--(I call her Mandella) she is a straight shooter and both of us really liked her-- She, after the dust settled, was very very encouraged with my current health, weight (I am currently up to 160 lbs from a low of 148), and elements of treatment so far--she confirmed that the CT scan looked good and advised us that the treatment regime is going to be 5 and 1/2 weeks and not 8 weeks--(made my day) but this still will not be a walk in the park-- They are going to deliver 50.4 grey at a rate of 1.8 grey per day--that info was for Jordan-- I will start as soon as the 27th or as late as the 3rd-- The Doc is working up a mapping and virtual configuration to induce the radiation. She is also going to try to do a delivery system called I.M.R.T.--Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy--a more precise delivery (a step in the direction of proton) which would lessen the chance of scaring and other adverse side affects/collateral we like that idea too. She was frank about the 50/50 chance that I will be diabetic after these treatments----However, 50/50 odds have served me well to this point-- At the end of the 5 1/2 weeks we repeat the CT and blood to check the cancer markers and see if there are any issues--if none then I go into a monitor schedule of every 3 months CT and blood ---this is as good of news as we could ever ask for --even the fact that I "GET TO GO THRU RAD/CHEMO" On a parting note with Dr. H--I confirmed that we are still going for "cure" --and he said yes very distinctly CURE!!! I also asked him how many pancreatic patients he was now treating and he said 5-6 and I asked how I compared---he said that all the others were metastasized and on that note we all realized just how UNBELIEVABLY BLESSED I HAVE BEEN-- So--bottom line--I can take anything for 5 1/2 weeks--with prayer and love from ya'll-- I can't thank you all adequately enough for the love that Jeanie and I have felt-- All my love, Bruce (Pops)
*Picture from Christmas with Jamie and Jordan who were able to visit!*