Friday, September 2, 2011


The blogger interface on my cell phone only allows me to post a title, not an actual entry, which is why yesterday’s post about my tumor markers, entered from the clinic between appointments, was a surprisingly succinct commentary on the current state of my life, as compared with most commentaries. Such as this one.  

Today’s title is, of course, an increasingly less obscure reference to the state of my bowels.  They were, this morning, almost too, as these things go. I am having a real milk latte to compensate, but a smallish one.  I’m taking pains to not share it with Hoover.

There were a couple notable things about my appointment with Dr Specht yesterday.  One is that she said she was not, at this time, going to ask me to reassess my experience with Lapatinib and try it again, maybe starting at one pill per day and working up to maybe no more than three; no, she was not going to ask that at yesterday’s meeting, but that perhaps in 3 weeks, or 6 weeks, we could get together again and discuss.  She did ask, in the absence of asking me to reconsider Lapatinib, that I please not deny the possibility, completely, of ever taking it again, at this time.  

“Well,” I came back, “it’s a good thing you’re not asking me to reconsider today, because the answer would be a resounding NO.  It was the WORST THING I have ever experienced in my 12 ½  years of breast cancer treatments.”  I think that’s true even taking into account the intubation and bedpans of PCP in 2008, because at least then I was in the ICU of the hospital, with my own 24-hour butler (or nurse—hair splitting, really), and enjoying some pretty bad-ass psychopharmacology.  

“Besides,” I said, “I have a couple new things I’d like to try.  These are pretty out there,” I said, “and you’re going to think they’re crazy, and you’re definitely going to think one of them is crazier than the other.”

“Okay,” she said, nodding and looking doubtful. “This is not in the absence of all treatment, is it?” I assured her that Herceptin and Navelbine could stay on the roster for now. Dr Specht finds me, and my flamboyant turns of health, a bit difficult to understand, and maybe even to accept. I don’t fit neatly into very many boxes (this being a notable exception). 

“First, sometime this weekend I will be making my own hemp oil,” I said.  “No, I’m not going to be smoking pot, because, fun as that is, the curative powers of the marijuana plant come when you extract the oil and ingest it, in small doses, over two months. They say that’s enough to cure most cancers.”

Dr Specht’s look of doubt increased, and I understand—I’m not convinced, either, that hemp oil, even rich in cannabinoids and whatever else, will cure my cancer.  But the side effects are pretty minimal, particularly if you take the suggested dosage of one rice grain’s worth per day, so—worth a try.  An aside about the whole medical marijuana establishment: I believe I have found my first editorial crusade.  There is not a single medical marijuana website out there that I have seen—and I’ve seen many in the past month—that is free from typos and grammatical errors.  I will happily volunteer my time and skills to legitimize, if only in a linguistic way, the use of this plant.  

We finished up our discussion of the hemp oil I was going to make, the process, the expected results, etc, and then I said, grinning, “Okay, and now for the one that you’ll think is REALLY crazy!”

Dr Specht looked alarmed.  “What?” she exclaimed.  “That wasn’t the crazy one?”  Dr Specht is young, about my age (I think a couple years younger), but is definitely dedicated to her beliefs about Western medicine. This is good—she does excellent work, and knows her stuff really, really well.  But I am in a new wave of young cancer patients who are living with their cancers and therefore integrating their personal health systems from all sorts of arenas—and I’m putting all those usual arenas—and more—right in her face.  This is also good.  As she grows as an oncologist, and continues down the path of her career, perhaps for the next 3 or 4 decades, it will be good for her patients that she's already heard about some of the “crazy” stuff out there.  And she did offer me the six weeks just so I could try my things.

“Nope,” I said.  “This is the crazy one:  I’m going, on September 15, to visit an energetic, spiritual healer who is also a medium.  He can release dark energies from people’s bodies and help them heal physically.” She smiled and nodded. “He wrote a book,” I went on, “and is pretty clear that all he can do is help release energies and, for those who are interested, help explain where they're from—but for any healing to stay, the patients themselves need to work through the issues that allowed the energy to come around in the first place.”  With a final nod, Dr Specht moved back to the roundly physical, and asked about my eye issue.

“I got a steroid injection into the eyeball a couple months ago,” I said, “and I think two months is about as long as the effects of that are supposed to last.  I see the eye doc again on the 15th.  Oh, in fact, the morning before I see the healer!”

“Don’t tell him!” said Dr Specht, “And see if he figures it out on his own!”

“He doesn’t want any of his clients to tell him anything,” I replied.  “He learns it all from his guides and theirs!”  

At lunch yesterday after this appointment, friend L suggested I wear a thick turtleneck to hide my port and my faux teton, and I called her a doubter, too.  I’ll probably have one eye dilated when I arrive at the healer’s, though, and that will be hard to hide.  I’m not a complete credulous rube, though.  I think I’ll be okay.

And now, much as I’m sure I need to re-edit this post, I don’t have time.  Riding, horses, next on the agenda today!

No comments: