The Doctor Who Saved My Life

Right there. That’s the difference. That’s the life and death move that spared me. And that technology wasn’t always here to know contemporaneously how well you’d cut.

Someone left a voicemail a few days ago. Voicemail. In 2019 friends don’t leave friends voicemail.

Transcript: Hi, Mr. Fox, my name is Tiffany. I’m calling from Dr. Shaw’s office. I wanted to remind you that you’re due for an annual appointment follow-up appointment. So, please call us back at 949-76x-xxxx. Thank you, bye-bye.

A pre-chemo blood draw to make sure I was strong enough to endure the poisonous drugs they were about to drip into my system

“Helaine,” I called out, “Do I have a Dr. Shaw?”

Anything’s possible. Cancer left me with an army of docs including some who stepped in-and-out for a single procedure. I returned the call.

We were right. No Dr. Shaw. I was really wanted by Dr. Selby, one of the surgeons who performed my Whipple operation. He wants to admire his handiwork which required me to leave the hospital with my belly held together by 16 staples.

This is an emotional moment for me. Lots of people worked hard and were integral in saving my life. It’s different with Dr. Selby and his partner Dr. Staffer. They cut out the thing that was going to kill me.

As they were closing me up a pathologist found they hadn’t gotten a clean margin, meaning a few cancer cells were left. They undid some stitches, went back in to cut some more.

Right there. That’s the difference. That’s the life and death move that spared me. And that technology wasn’t always here to quickly know how well you’d cut.

All my test are clean from a cancer that returns quickly. I likely will survive 10:1 odds against–just a 9% chance. That’s crazy. A lucky early find and skillful surgeons well equipped. No one is luckier than me.

I will hug Dr. Selby when I see him. Last time I whispered in his ear, “You saved my life.” I’m thinking no one tires hearing that… or saying it.

15 thoughts on “The Doctor Who Saved My Life”

  1. Dear Geoff,
    I am beyond thrilled for you !!!! Sadly they did not find my moms pancreatic cancer until it was stage 4
    I also lost a childhood friend on the table as they were doing the whipple
    Thank you for the update and I am sure they will keep getting better and better at finding this cancer early , I pray the survival rate will increase
    Love and Hugs to you and your family and doppler
    from Wallingford ct
    Linda

  2. Love you Geoff! Always love reading your messages! I keep praying for you! You will beat this and have a long , happy, healthy life! Keep us posted! Good luck at the Dr and hug him for me too because he saved our buddy who is one hell of a guy and is truly an inspiration to us all! God Bless!!

  3. Geoff so glad you are able to keep us informed on My Permanent Record. I am especially happy that you are winning the battle to be with us. You are an example of what it is to fight , stay strong and win.

  4. God Be With You in this Journey Geoff!!! It’s a long haul, I know I have been there. I had been diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2008 and in 2018 I passed my 10 year Cancer Free period. Of course they still have me scheduled for a Mammo and Ultra Sound on the Breast that is left as I have
    “dense breasts” or should I say a dense breast on the left, the right is no longer there. However, I am thankful that all those visits with my Oncologist and Surgeon for the past 10 years. So your Journey is well worth it if all is “good” after every visit and test! Give the Dog a Hug, I miss mine..

  5. Ive been following you since my husband was diagnosed with inoperable stage 4 pancreatic cancer…he fought hard to gain a few extra months after a late diagnosis with chemo and radiation. The battle ended in July 2017. I am so happy for you and so happy to hear when someone kicks pan-cans ass!!! Cancer sucks but you rock . Sorry about the language but I just really hate cancer. Always brightens my day when you update!!!

  6. I spent last spring and summer helping my closest friend go through the whole cancer surgery/radiation/chemo carousel … she feels the exact same way about the doctor at Mass General who performed the surgery that saved her life. Where would we be without these angels with mad skills??? I’m so glad you found yours and had such a successful outcome.

  7. What a great story you have Geoff….thank God you were saved by good doctors and the
    right timing. You were indeed blessed.

  8. Geoff. We are very happy that you have fought Cancer and won. We still miss you an ch 8. we wish you could do another year of the forecasts from your California garage.

  9. Geoff,
    So very happy that you are doing so well. My son was diagnosed, at age 40, with stage 4, inoperable pancreatic cancer. He was given approximately 4 months to live. He first went through a very aggressive round of chemotherapy, a second round (less aggressive) of chemo, and then 30+ days of radiation. This happened 5+ years ago. Thank the Lord, he is alive and doing relatively well. The cancer is “dormant” at the moment. Praying that it stays that way for a long time!
    I am so happy that you found doctors that were skilled and knowledgeable and able to save your life. Miss seeing you here in CT. I wish you a long and happy life!

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