The Course The Doctors Charted


When my cancer was first discovered I had a doctor. Now I have a stable of specialists. One-by-one I’ve been visiting them to make sure my surgical recovery fits into their concerns.

Tuesday it was the oncologist. His one-and-only job is to devise my cancer treatment.

He took out a pad and began to draw a little chart. It is my chemotherapy regimen.

My poison will be Gemzar via IV at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach. It’s two weeks on, one week off, two weeks on.

He says my chance of nausea is around 5%. I should be able to work.

Next six weeks of radiation five days a week. Just a few minutes a day, but at the hospital. My chance for nausea doubles.

When the radiation is done it’s back to chemo. Hopefully these steps will be enough and I’ll just have to get scans.

Helaine thought the oncologist was very encouraging. This is a vile disease, but I start from a decent place. At the moment I’d test cancer free. With pancreatic cancer that’s a meaningless claim. Gotta stay in front of it.

Like so much else associated with cancer, treatment is a pain in the ass. Because I’ll be needing lots of blood drawn and IV fluid infused I’m getting a port. One more minor surgical procedure.

A port is a permanent catheter into the major vein to your heart. No more needles, they just plug in to your chest. Am I USB3 compatible?

Nothing about this sounds fun. Thankfully, I’ll be in twilight during the procedure.

Cardiologist next. This was simpler.

My EKG looked good. A roving stethoscope found I sounded good. Blood pressure, oxygenation and pulse good. She adjusted one medication and sent me on my way. See you in six months. The appointment’s already made.

Cancer has turned into a second job.

11 thoughts on “The Course The Doctors Charted”

  1. Hi Jeff, I have been in treatment for breast cancer and cancer will become your full time job when your in the thick of it. I have a great team of doctors that are all on the same page. Hang in there, be strong,stay hopefull, most important try to stay positive and surround yourself with uplifting people and lean on them. Thoughts and prayers with you,your team,your family

  2. Jeff – most important is your attitude in the fight. Believe in life. Believe it will work. Believe in yourself – and —–“you got this!” live strong!!

  3. Sounds like you’re moving along well! I did great on the Gemzar! I had absolutely NO side effects from it! Unfortunately, after a year, I had to switch back to the stronger stuff. Pancreatic cancer sucks!

  4. Jeff I’m a breast cancer survivor who has a port as well! I hated my port with a passion, however it was the best way to go. I asked for and received a cream that I put on about a half an hour before my treatment. It helped me both physically and emotionally. They also took blood from my port as well. Good luck and put on your warrior armor!!!

  5. You’re right about pancreatic cancer being a vile disease. I known of or been close to too many cases of it. Sounds like you, indeed, “started from a good place” (good being a relative term here) and you have a great & positive attitude. Keep that armor shiny and march forth. Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers back here in Connecticut.

  6. Wishing you the best Geoff….my husbnd made up his mind he was NOT
    going to get nauseous and he did not! They do have some good meds
    to avoid it. The port was a breeze for him, you’re right about it
    becoming a second job! A very important job….most important is a
    positive attitude, which you have!!

  7. Hi Jeff Another cancer survivor here and fan from Connecticut following your “journey”. I’m hoping to follow you for a very long time. Take care of yourself and thanks so much for keeping us posted. We care : )

  8. Remember to take it day by day. One step st s time. Its never easy. Tiny steps. Sending you my prayers rvetydsy thst you bear this.

  9. Here’s hoping everything goes well. Pancreatic cancer is an insisdious disease. Wishing you nothing but bright days ahead. Much love from Connecticut to you and Helaine and steph.

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