Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I Think I Can

'What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.'
- Albert Pike
How could you not love a doctor that opens a consultation with 'I've missed you; where have you been?' I was surprised! I was back in my 'comfort zone' with 'Dr Amazing.' When leaving his rooms last time, I understood he wanted to see me three weeks after commencing chemotherapy, so there was no need to take up his valuable time after saying 'no' to chemo.
He was happy to discuss the disease progression, listening intently when I expressed my thoughts. I asked him if he had seen anything like this previously and was surprised to learn that, although he had not seen it in Australia, it was not uncommon in African women. I mentioned different conversations that I had with health care professionals, and the possibility of this being radiation damage. Given that this is local chest wall recurrence it appears to respond differently to treatment. When I mentioned the possibility of cancer cells not being killed by radiation, then travelling along the vessels until they reach a point that has been damaged by radiation, or may even have glands infiltrated by cancer, it stops dead in its tracks. With nowhere to go it then breaks through the skin that has been 'zapped' and weakened. 'Dr Amazing' immediately said that he would be doing his own research. He was going to head into the Radiation Department to begin asking questions. Maybe some good can come from this! I like his style!
'Dr Amazing' checked and photographed the wound, expressing his concern at how aggressive it has become. He asked about the degree of pain and it was obvious that he really cared; he wanted to do everything possible to alleviate some of the pain and suffering. He even commented that my face was beginning to look ashen from the pain. He once again discussed the potential benefits of chemotherapy simply to manage symptoms. I could almost be sold on the idea! I was surprised when he mentioned using me as a Case Study. Strangely, I found myself warming to the idea. Dr Andre feels that not having had chemotherapy previously could increase the benefits. He comes across as being such a caring, compassionate man, genuinely interested in helping his patients, that it is almost impossible not to want to help him.
I remember that being with Jeremy gave me a sense of being the person I most enjoyed being. I truly felt that it was a special bond we shared; something reserved for just the two of us. It was not until I travelled to Victoria to bury my son that I realised his 'special' charm was part of who he was. Everyone that had the privilege of spending time with him felt exactly the same. You truly believed you were the most important person in his life. It gave me such a kick to realise he had that effect on all who knew and loved him. 'Dr Amazing' is exactly the same! As I sit in his consulting rooms, I truly believe  I am his number one patient and yet I know in my heart that as soon as the next patient walks in, they will feel exactly the same. Oh what a blessing!

Given that he is prepared to research the effects of radiation on localised breast cancer recurrence and that he is interested enough to make me a 'Case Study' does put a different slant on things. Knowing that Jeremy always said he wanted me to do less for him and more for myself in order to overcome this wretched disease has me thinking. As I have continued to struggle to do do this for myself, I think it is time to do this differently. Feeling truly blessed to have 'Dr Amazing' as my oncologist it is time to consider chemotherapy treatment for him, in the hope that others may benefit from my experience. I know that he would like to be better equipped to stop such cancers dead in their tracks. Together, we just may be able to make a difference!

Tomorrow when I go for lymphatic drainage on this swollen painful limb, I will call into the pathology department for the preparatory blood tests, followed by a visit to the pharmacy to collect the prescription for the Xeloda. One small step for....

15 comments:

stonepost said...

Hi Cheryl, I am so glad you discovered "Dr. Amazing"! Especially if you decide to go through with the chemo, talk with him about marijuana! I would have died without it. And eat a lot now!

Sean said...

Love that quote Cheryl. I am so happy you have the relationship you do with your doctor. He really does sound like "Dr.Amazing" and perhaps it is time to do things differently as you say. It's exciting to know he is going to do some research...sounds like just the one you want on your "team". Sometimes doing more for ourselves is the biggest gift we can give to those we love.

rama said...

I am glad Cheryl, that your talk with the doctor, brought about a change in you. And I would like to once again assure you that all your friends also care for you, even though we may not be with you. So go ahead without any doubt,you are under good hands and our prayers would be always be there with you.

Kaz said...

Chezzy my friend,do agree with Stonepost and Sean.

Have a idea i am going to run by you later.

Chez you know how i feel,so glad you found Dr.Amazing know what a diffences it has made on you.gotta also tell you about a Dr.show i watch the other day and it was to do with cancer,not what you are going thru.


Chez just remember beautiful lady that you are a treasure to us all and am so thankful our angel Jezz and Kass brought us together for many reason.

Love always,Kaz.xo

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

That is an excellent quote but it is now time to do something for yourself with the help of Dr. Amazing. With the lesion on the outside, you should be able to quickly see if chemo is working. Let the healing begin...

diane b said...

It is so good that you have found a caring doctor and I think you have made the right decision to go along with his suggestions seeing that he sounds genuinely interested in your well being and unusual case. Hoping with all my heart that he can help.

Julie Goodale said...

You are so fortunate to have found this doctor. I am full of hope that this new course of action can be beneficial. All my best thoughts are with you.

CancerCultureChronicles said...

Chez - I'm so heartened to hear about this visit with your Dr Amazing. Sometimes it's so difficult to think clearly in dealing with this "wretched disease", and its so easy to lose sight of the fact that our doctors are our allies, not adversaries. They are so invested in us, heart and soul and really are incredible human beings. I'm going to be thinking of this post when I go back and see my oncologist to discuss next steps for me. Sending you good thoughts for the "right" prescription.....

Cheryl said...

You are certainly right about the power of observation Sue, with this growth now covering a huge section of the chest wall. Seems like I am the 'guinea pig.'
The lymphoedema in my right arm now complicates things..

Deb said...

So happy to hear you have a Dr. Amazing and you my dear are a true "Patient Amazing". I admire your determination to never quit - my motto totally, and your continued inspiration to all of us who are blessed to know you is indeed such a precious gift!
Thoughts, prayers and <> surround you. Deb

Deb said...

Oops...forgot to add the most important part of my comment:

"I KNOW YOU CAN" !!!!

nancyspoint said...

Oh Chez, you are amazing. Like the others said, I'm so glad you found Dr. Amazing. He has a gift as did your special Jeremy. Making people feel cared about, that's the sign of a truly compassionate heart. Good luck deciding about the chemo. My best to you.

sm said...

power of observation is great
discussing really helps to understand

Cheryl said...

Thanks for dropping by sm. I like to feel reasonably well informed and observing aids decision making.

nollyposh said...

(((Hugs))) and ~Prayers~ for your Journey Cheryl... (Sounds wonderful to me) xox