Thursday, March 13, 2014

Day 1549

We've got a long journey ahead of us. I got a call from Dash's oncologist today and she told me that after a review with the pathology lab, she and the other doctors recommend that Dash begin radiation treatments immediately with additional chemotherapy as needed. Evidently, the carcinoma the surgeon removed proved to be an aggressively growing type and they are worried that some cancer cells might have already spread beyond the tumor site. Since this type of cancer tends to invade the bloodstream, it could go anywhere. This is why they recommended radiation plus chemotherapy. In the worst case scenario, the treatments could last up to six months. They would begin with three radiation treatments a week, chemo would be added at some point, and then very gradually the treatments would taper off.

I tried to find out if we could just discontinue the treatments if they were making Dash miserable, but I couldn't really get a straight answer. For just about every question I asked today, the answer was "it depends." Apparently treating cancer is not an exact science. I have a call into the head oncologist to see if I can find out more details about the treatments and possible side effects. I'm OK with the therapy, but I'm more concerned about Dash's quality of life than the number of years he lives. I don't want him to suffer from the cancer, but I don't want him to suffer from the treatment either.

The cancer center wants to begin radiation treatments on Monday. I asked how they determined if the treatments were successful and they gave me a very ambiguous answer. I don't think doctors really know if a cancer ever completely leaves your body. They just feel successful if you are still alive after a certain point. It was pretty clear that the people I talked to today thought that Dash's cancer would just grow back if we did nothing. When doctors say a cancer is aggressive though, you don't know if they are talking about three months or three years.

I am so tired of medical problems. I have to get my blood tested every two weeks to make sure my hemoglobin levels don't fall dangerously low during my Hepatitis C treatment. The last thing I need right now is a heart attack. I take Dot for water therapy and acupuncture every week to keep her leg muscles from atrophying. Now Dash has the toughest journey of all. We are lucky that we caught the cancer at an early stage. We are unlucky that this not one of those slowing cancers that Dash might outlive on his own. I don't think doing nothing is even an option at this point.

I called my accountant today and told him I might not have time to get my tax information organized properly. He told me to just dump everything in a big envelope and he would figure it out. I wish I could just dump my entire life in a big envelope and have someone else figure it out. Things are getting complicated. You've got to keep moving forward though. I'm still going out for breakfast tomorrow. I'm still cranking out an unbelievable amount of work. I may quit the Wednesday networking group though. I love the bacon for breakfast, but business networking just isn't my style. What was I thinking? Honestly, I was probably just thinking about the bacon.

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


  1. Wow- I'm so sorry about Dash. By the time we discovered Chips' cancer it was too far gone. He was dead in a week. You've caught this much earlier, but all that treatment sounds pretty rough. I like your solution to just dump life in an envelope and hand it to someone else.

  2. Really sorry about the cancer news, John. Thank goodness it was detected so early. But sometimes it's hard to know if the illness or the treatment is the worse thing. All the best for Dash.