June 23, 2010

liveblogging - restaging

restaging - the process of assessing the current state of the disease, often involves (re)assessing the size of the primary tumor.  The status of pain is also a good indicator.

8:30 pm Thursday
Chemo is done.  I have to say that my brother looks far better than the last round.  Don't know if that's because it's 8:30 pm rather than 2:30 am, the fact that he knows there's just one more, or the fact that the acupuncture did something different this time.  We'll see if that continues the next few days.  Only one more round to go.

1:20 pm Thursday
Chemo has finally started.  I guess I can't really call it 'liveblogging' when it ain't live but I've had a horrible time with their wi-fi.  None of our laptops would connect.  My son happened to connect his i-touch to text his girlfriend, though.  Hey, gotta keep one's priorities straight.

I hesitate to comment on the scans because I'm not sure I really understood the report.  That's a direct function of the doctor not even knowing what was in the report.  It looks like the peripheral lesions (liver, ribs, etc) may be going away.  In the bony structures, it looks like there is some healing....well, something is replacing the metastatic cells anyways.  Even fibroblasts would be better than carcinoma cells at this point.  The primary shrunk a bit more which is good news.  My hunch is that with the peripheral mets controlled, after the 6th round, the doc may go in with radiation to clean up the primary and secondary tumor in the chest cavity.  But we'll have to wait another 3 weeks before we get anything more definitive.

11:15 am Thursday
Just got out from the doctor and I learned another valuable lesson as a physician.  If you're covering for another doc while they're out on vacation, make sure to spend more than 30 seconds reading the chart.  I was, shall we say less than pleased at the guy filling in for our regular doc who was out on vacation.  He basically said, and I'm not kidding, "the scans look good and we're going to keep going with chemo."  When asked to define "good" he gave a rambling non-answer and handed us the preliminary path report.  After reading it once, I knew more about it then he did.  Pitiful.

10:30 am Thursday
Our appointment was at 9 am which means we're still waiting for the doc.  It's like a commercial for apple here.  The kid in the middle is my brother's and the one on the left is mine.

4:30 pm Wednesday
Here's his third eye after acupuncture.  Funny side note.  I started to talking with the acupuncturist who happened to be a MD from China.  She was telling me about the different meridians and came to one near the shin that supposedly was associated with longer life.  I asked her if she utilized that point on herself.  Her response?  "No, I'm too lazy."  I guess both eastern and western physicians all take horrible care of themselves.

12:40 pm Wednesday
It's a bit like the military here.  There's way too much red tape.

There's a lot of walking from building to building (the place is massive).

There's a lot of hurrying up and waiting.  Everything seems to be running on time today, though.  We're waiting on his PET scan to finish and then we can grab some lunch before he goes to get his acupuncture session.

12:00 pm Wednesday
The chest x-ray is complete and now we're waiting for the PET scan.  For reasons that aren't entirely clear to me, he's not having a CT scan.  He's glad because that'd mean an IV.  He's sick of needles.  Here we are, me cussing at machines, because neither one of us can get our laptops to connect to their wi-fi.  I can see the router hanging on the ceiling 15 feet away and yet it won't connect.  So I adapt and go with the common use computers.

11:08 am Wednesday
Bloodwork is the only thing that moves quickly here.  He's done in 4 and a half minutes.

10:00 am Wednesday
We head down to the med center to get the bloodwork and imaging done in preparation of the doctor visit tomorrow.

6:50 pm Tuesday
Heading out the door to meet my brother and his wife halfway to Dallas. I then bring him back down to Houston to spend the night.

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