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For first time readers...my journey begins here: THE VERY FIRST BLOG POST (CC1)

Meaning of life

"The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away." ~ Pablo Picasso

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Cancer Chronicles 11

And now back to our regularly scheduled program...


As you might recall things were not going well prior to this.

I arrived on Friday, per my Social Worker's instructions, to speak with my surgeon. The front desk tells me Dr. Clayman is not in the clinic on Fridays. As I beg to differ, I explain the circumstances and I get a puzzled look from the receptionist. She then repeats, "But he is not in on Fridays." As if repeating it was going to make me go away!

He better be here. Have him paged! I'm told to wait and within a few minutes I'm escorted into an examination room. Doc arrives wearing his custom made ostrich cowboy boots made by one of his patients as a gift. I explain the mess, that nothing is getting done, appointments are being canceled, and I'm getting tired of all the crap!

Kindly he says "Brian, there is so much wrong with you and there are too many people involved in your care." YA THINK??? He says, "It's just going to take someone to grab the bull by the horns" So...Start grabbing Doc! He snatches up the phone and like the maestro of the New York Philharmonic, he orchestrates, "Get me Dr. Morrison! (radiology) Get me Dr. Kim! (chemotherapy) Get me Dr. Martin! (dental) Get me an appointment for a G-Tube Check!"

To Dr. Martin: "Why don't we have Mr. Walin's stent? I need it today." Git-R-Done!

To Dr. Morrison: "We need to get Mr. Walin back into simulation. His stent will be ready today." Git-R-Done!

To Dr. Kim "We need to get the ball rolling on Mr. Walin's chemotherapy." Git-R-Done!

His nurse returns an I have an appointment next Tuesday to check the G-Tube and hopefully resolve my stomach problems so I can stop sleeping with my toilet! Within 20 minutes, a weeks worth of appointments have been arranged an I'm off running again with renewed enthusiasm! Git-R-Done!

First to Dental. A slight wait. Dr. Martin is not available, but his Fellow is. (Your basic grad student there to learn) He takes a mold of my teeth upper and lower, then asks me to wait in the lobby. A few hours pass and a temporary wax version of the stent is read for testing. It doesn't fit so he works on it, whittles it down, and molds it on a Bunsen burner. Once it fits, he gives it to me in a plastic tub and I'm off to radiation for simulation. AKA: The Dungeon.

In radiation I'm prepared for my bondage treatment. At least I thought I was! I'm told to remove all but pants and socks. I get on the hard black wood bed and assume the position. Head on the acrylic neck pillow. Stent in mouth so nothing in my mouth can move, nor can I speak. I know some of you are thinking, "So that's how to shut him up!" Shut up yourselves and read!

I'm helped with the wrist restraints, foam placed under my knees, and then the bed rotates under a machine with green laser beams. There are four people, two on either side standing next to me. This should have given me a clue as to what was next. They have a flat plastic mesh screen thing cut out like the shape of a head and shoulders. They tell me to relax. I can only think, "How the hell am I supposed to relax like this?" Then I hear Dr. Morrison say, "This will be a little warm."

They lower the mesh cutout on to me and all I remember is screaming,
"FUCKINSONOFABITCH!" But remember, they couldn't understand a word because of the stent wedged in my mouth. A "little warm" my ass! The mesh was heated to a point that it melted around my face and upper body. Then to add to the pain they bolted it to the table and all four held me down until it began to harden. Fanning it a bit to cool it down. Once hardened, I was completely immobile. I swear it singed an eyebrow.

It's as comfortable as it is pretty!

Then they marked my body and new "mask" with tape and markers to insure the lasers were aligned and aimed in the same position everyday. This is important so the radiation is delivered in the exact spot they want it, avoiding spine, voice box, and salivary glands. Some X-Rays were taken while in my helpless state and then I was released from my bondage. Cancer is not for the weak or claustrophobic!
I was so grateful to be released. I asked the tech if these things ever break down. The machine looked pretty abused. She said, "No. They might be old, but they are very reliable." (Remember that!) I didn't know the Simulation machine was not the actual machine I would be assigned to at the time.

Things had gone well and I was given my wax stent to take home for the weekend. I was instructed to bring the stent back for Monday's Simulation and not to wash the markings off my body. It was a good weekend despite the abuse.Things were moving forward. (Remember that.)


Tune in next time, when Brian has a complete meltdown and walks out of the Hospital!



Lina said...

Se mi scrivi in INGLESE Saprò tradurre il tuo commento

Grateful Mom of 1 said...

What a gift you have!! I found myself laughing at the way you tell a story, while at the same time being deeply moved by your life events! Please keep this up, I will check daily in anticipation of a new post.

Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers. Your message is transcendant!

Dr. Swill said...

grateful mom of 1

Thank you so much for your compliment. I have been told many times I make people laugh when telling my story. It's really not my intent it's just how it comes out.

I see the world differently than most. Facing death more than once can do that to you.

With over 140 views of my blog today you are my only comment, so I often wonder if there is any interest and think why bother. Then someone like you posts and reminds me why I blog.

Thank you again for your kind thoughts and prayers. I am truly grateful.


Words To Live By:

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service to others." -Mahatma Gandhi