Blurr of Doctor visits

June 27, 2006

Okay, so now I’m diagnosed with Cancer. Oh, crap. This week is a complete blurr. I can’t remember the order of the events. I end up getting a PET scan, and a CAT scan. I ask for a DOG scan, but they tell me one doesn’t exist.

I meet a surgeon, a radiation oncologist, and the head oncologist at Alta Bates Cancer Center in Berkeley. I don’t remember the order, but do remember a sense of urgency with everyone concerned. These guys were all quick, efficient, and decisive. The results of the PET and CT scans weren’t in, but the options all pointed to surgery. Doctor Stallone (rhymes with “baloney”, not like Sylvester) was rarin to go remove this thing… until the results came back and showed the cancer had spread to a couple of lymph nodes. That’s not good.

I think that’s when I saw the oncologists. Dr Swift, the radiation oncologist, explained how they have this high-tech linear accellerator from Varian that can pin-point areas targeted for radiation.

Dr Cecchi’s visit was different. This guy is a genius. You can tell, the demenor, the confidence, the conviction. The other Doctors are awesome, don’t get me wrong — but Cecchi is clearly the Michael Jordan of this operation. I got a long great with this guy — he’s very high energy (like me), and I just felt instantly comfortable that I was under the best care possible. He ran though a bunch of options, and set up treatment.

At some point, I went back to Stallone’s office and scheduled what later I would realize was my first operation: installing a vein port so I could get Chemo administered way more safely. All the Doctors thought it was a good idea, and I still freak out with the needle in the arm thing. The port is placed up near the clavicle, which really isn’t nearly as sensitive as the crotch of your arm, inside the elbow.

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