Saturday, March 5, 2011

Houston, We Have a Problem

We just got back from a trip to Houston, where the M D Anderson medical facility is located.  M D Anderson is not just a hospital.  It’s a metropolis unto itself.  It is immense.  It’s like a whole society dedicated to cancer patient care.  
Because of compassionate intervention on the part of some friends with more influence than Guido the Thumb Breaker, we were able meet with Dr. Bob Wolff, one of the premier pancreatic cancer doctors in the world.  We liked him immediately.  He is not only knowledgeable, but intuitive.  In the course of our extensive interview, he said he had plan A, B, C, D, and E.  He said that the way to fight this condition was with blunt force, and from Dennis’ history, Dr. Wolff recognized we were up to the task.  In fact, he tipped his hat to Dennis for his fortitude and stamina.  He said that reading over the record of what Dennis has endured curled his hair, which was sort of funny because he bears a strong resemblance to Kojak.  In short, Dr. Wolff made us stop our car, put it in reverse, and head in the opposite direction.  It was a game-changer, and has fortified us in our quest to resume fighting this scourge.  
For now, we will continue on the current protocol of gemcitabene and capecitabene.  It is a potent cocktail, but tolerable.  In fact, Dennis is doing quite well.  There has been minimal hair loss.  However, that may change.  It’s OK.  I will simply resume my role as the “hair whisperer.”  Dennis still has an abundance of chest growth, and we may have to resort to the old thoracic comb-over.  We will just brush it all upward toward the scalp from the right ear, arcing over the cranium, by-passing the medulla oblongata and eventually down to the left ear.  That, along with the surgical mask he wears to fend off germs and discourage panhandlers, he is ready for the witness protection program.  I guess that’s my main assignment as his official “chemo-sabi.”
We flew to Houston on a wing and a prayer.  It turned out to be many prayers.  It was like a pilgrimage to the Mecca of cancer care, which is not a bad comparison since we are waging jihad on this plague. M D Anderson and Huntsman Cancer Institute are also a potent team. Our hearts are full as we feel the tender concern, prayers, love and positive thoughts that are bearing us up in this crusade. You have covered our backs.  Because of that, we will keep our heads in the game and fight on.  


The Wheelers said...

Dennis & Joan we adore you! We are praying for you, love you & hoping for the very best!
Margaret & Alex

Julie R. Cowley said...

What was it Winston Churchill said? "Never, never, never give up." Love you all. Lots of knee-time going on. Julie