Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Christina Applegate

I read about Christina Applegate this morning and I felt terrible.

She found out that she had breast cancer and opted immediately for a double mastectomy. This beautiful, vivacious young woman went for the last resort first! I wonder if she knew that there were other options she could have taken, not only here but obviously in other countries. Like Germany.

It was one year ago today, August 19th, 2007, that I went to the doctor because I couldn’t swallow. He took one look at my throat and said, “It looks like throat cancer. Go get a biopsy.”

In fact, it was Stage 4 throat cancer. And I was told by that second doctor to have the “morbid operation”—doesn’t that sound nice?— an operation that would remove my ability to speak and swallow. The doctor recommended the full-blown operation, radiation, and chemotherapy, and then plastic surgery later to rebuild my neck, the lower right part of my jaw and the top of my right shoulder.

That was the first option I was given.

The next doctor told me to get my life in order.

The third told me that there was a treatment, and if I lived through the treatment— if the treatment didn’t kill me-- I’d have a cure,

The most important thing in a situation like this is to take charge of your life. I went ton nine different doctors before I found out about The Klinik.

Christina found out that she had cancer in one breast and she had a double mastectomy! That should have been the last resort. And that’s why it’s so important to get the word—and the options—out there.

As for me, my preventative treatment continues.

I started taking thalidomide on Friday. I know, most of us remember it as that drug that caused birth defects when it was taken by pregnant women back in the Sixties. But low doses of thalidomide stop growth of micro cancer cells. I have to sign all kinds of papers to get it. If I lose a prescription I have to report it, in case it gets in the wrong hands.

I have to take the pills for three months. And I’m off right now to get another bag of Erbitux.

So take charge! I feel for Christina and send her all my best. I only wish she hadn’t taken the last resort first, and isn’t sending the wrong message.