Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Day 1548

I finally talked to an oncologist about Dash. I guess I was hoping for a conclusive answer, but what I heard was ambiguous at best. The oncologist said the pathology report didn't go into enough detail and that she would have to call the lab. What she did see didn't sound good. She said some of the carcinoma cells were the type that tended to get into the blood stream and the only way to effectively treat this was through chemotherapy. How long? Six months was typical, she said. How do you know if the treatment worked, I asked? Well, you don't ever know definitively, she said. Cancer cells are microscopic and they can always be hiding somewhere. I guess this is why you hear people say things like "I've been cancer free for five years." That's all they really know.

Medical issues are starting to wear me down. Doctors are far from infallible and you either trust them or you don't. I am not a trusting person, but what other choice do you have?  If you do nothing, you or your pet dies. If you do everything that is asked of you, you may die anyway. It's very frustrating. Modern medicine is very expensive. Doctors don't always agree on things. And a treatment that is in vogue with doctors today can easily become one of those "Call 1-800-BAD-DRUG" commercials tomorrow. Already, some tests and screenings I had ten years ago, are considered ineffectual or even worthless today. That's the thing about medicine. It is always evolving.

I'm not even sure that Dot's water therapy really works. I'd like to believe that it helps, but how do you know for sure? There could be a dozen reasons why she appears stronger now. She could also stumble and injure herself tomorrow, despite everything I've done. That's just the way life it. I'll continue the water therapy though. Seeing her walking in the tank gives me a positive, hopeful feeling. There is nothing dangerous about the water treadmill either. Chemotherapy is different. There are quite a few risks to chemotherapy. You just hope that the rewards on the other side are worth it.

The editor of the cookbook I'm featured in wrote today and told me that the SXSW Cookbook had just gotten a great review in The New York Times. She also told me that my own recipe was one of her personal favorites and that she's cooked it for breakfast herself. Amazing! This is one development that I never would have predicted. Although I love to eat, I certainly wouldn't consider myself much of a cook. Hey, if I can wind up in a popular cookbook, I might get that Amtrak writer's residency grant too. You never know. I never thought I'd be a spokesperson for Paypal either.

This is why I don't like medicine. I've generally led a charmed life. I bumble around aimlessly, and good things happen to me anyway. Medicine doesn't work this way. Whatever you do, you continue to age. The more you age, the more your body deteriorates. Dash is still a young dog though. In dog years, he's much younger than I am. He certainly deserves a shot at living a normal life for another seven or eight years. I just hope that chemotherapy doesn't make his life miserable.

Lance is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day