Saturday, November 15, 2008

Do or die

"If you don't do radiation, you're looking at death."

That's a quote from the radiation oncologist I met with yesterday.

Undergo radiation for the cancer cells in one of my lymph nodes or die.

He was very matter of fact. If you don't do it, you'll die.

That's the third doctor in the United States who told me that I would die if I didn't do what he suggested. The doctor did admit that he and the others don't know all that much about the cyberknife treatment they've been using at The Klinik in Germany for the last 10 years, and that they used on my throat cancer last December.

Then the doctor scoped me, for no other reason than to see what the cyberknifing looked like.

He was blown away. The look on his face was almost funny.

He said, "Wow, I see where they blasted your tumour away. There's nothing there. No sign of the tumour.

“That's... amazing!"

Then he asked me about the side effects from the cyberknife.

I told him that there have been no side effects at all.

That was when he told me about the side effects I could expect from the low-level radiation.


Big difference.

If I do the low-level radiation, it will be one ten-minute session a day, five days a week, for six weeks. There should be no side effects for the first two to three weeks. Then he said I'll get the worst sore throat known to man-- so sore that I won't be able to eat solid foods and will even have a difficult time with liquids. He said I can expect to lose thirty or forty pounds.

The key, the doctor said, is to keep swallowing and eating and drinking, no matter how painful.

(My business partner bet me a hundred dollars that it won't stop me from talking.)

I've been in touch with the doctors at The Klinik, and this morning I got an email from The Klinik's cyberknife doctor He's waiting for the PT scans and report to arrive, and then he'll give me his opinion on whether I should be cyberknifed or go through the "low-level, non-invasive and very focused" radiation treatment.

I'll know more Monday or Tuesday.


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