Alicia in Ojai

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Oh, Shoot !

Geez, I was so hoping I would not have to do radiation therapy, but the radiation oncologist, let's call him Dr. J, said the "Tumor Board" at Community Memorial Hospital (in Ventura) had a meeting and discussed my case and decided that since I was so "young" (that's a good one!) that eliminating radiology from my therapy gives me a 30% chance of recurrence at the same site.

So that means 6 weeks of treatment, 5 days a week, 20 minutes a day. I can maybe skip a day here or there, but that's the modus operandi. Oh well. Better than the alternative, I guess. The treatment itself is not painful, but the side effects can be, and it can make you very tired. After the radiation therapy, that's when they start you on 5 years of hormone therapy.

All of this has me concerned about going back to work. It's time for me to "ease back in", as they say, and I hope I have the stamina for all this.

I also have concerns about the makeup of the "Tumor Board". Dr. J says it's made up of a surgeon, a couple of radiation oncologists and a couple of other oncologists, and others, like ethical people, etc. (No that wasn't a misnomer.) Of course everyone is going to defer to the radiation oncologist (which Dr. J even said everyone did). And of course, if I were a radiation oncologist I would think everyone eligible "needs it".

Of course, Dr. J used the flattering "you're so young" (I'm 52) line once again. He said that if I were 70, he would debate it, and even said if it was his mother he wouldn't recommend it, but if it were his wife, he would insist on it.

So, since I have had the fear of death instilled once again, like a good little sheep I feel I have no option but to follow the herd. How depressing. But at least I'm better equipped to cope with it now than I would have been 6 months ago. That's the good part.

And there always seems to be a good part, doesn't there?

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