Returning to earth

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I need to develop a new napping strategy.  My inability to be out of bed for any length of time is starting to interfere with my very limited engagement schedule.  I’m in bed at 4 o’clock on Saturday afternoon, having spent the entire day here and I could stay in bed for the night, but I need to get up as I’m meeting my parents for dinner in an hour. Continue reading

A cancer free Thanksgiving

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This cancer-free holiday weekend is coming to a close.  It has been a weekend away from cancer care, clinics, hospitals, radiation, scans and therapy.  I am immersed in cancer care, which I am thankful for on this Thanksgiving weekend.  I am thankful for the doctors, nurses, therapists, and researchers who devote their minds, their talents and their energies to ridding me of this disease. Continue reading

UWMC, ProCure and a VW Van

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Twenty-five thousand people work at UW Medicine.  Twenty-five THOUSAND people and I feel like I need them all. “The Radiation Oncology Services at the University of Washington Medical Center provide comprehensive and personalized evaluation, consultation, planning, radiotherapy and follow-up for patients with a wide range of cancers.”  Yup, right off their website.  Who doesn’t want comprehensive and personalized evaluation, consultation and planning?  Of course I do.  But right now I just want the PLAN.  I was really hoping that today, after treatment number nine, Dr. Tseng was going to give me ‘the plan”;  the number of proton boost treatments at ProCure, how many photon treatments at UWMC, and the date I would be going home.  Continue reading

Lucky Me!

20141013_083943Two weeks and seven treatments down, but more importantly, a few hours until Olivia and Stella arrive!  I am so looking forward to seeing them and to a weekend of seeing Seattle, being tourists, going to the farmers’ markets, walking, and not being radiated!  Not that the radiation has been difficult.  It is time consuming and awkward but the side effects have been minimal.  I can feel a slight sunburn and I am feeling tired, really tired.  I slept 14 hours on Thursday, which isn’t a bad thing, although it was a strange, restless, dream filled sleep, and I was visited for the second time by my bus incident of Tuesday.  I am beginning to wonder if this was a dream to begin with. Continue reading

Rain in Movember

Four treatments down, almost ten per cent of the way.  When I put it that way it doesn’t seem like very much, it sounds like I have just started, which is odd because after my treatment yesterday it felt like this is part of my routine; like I have been doing this for a long time.  Perhaps all of the planning, the preparation, the diagnostics and the anticipation have made it seem like I have been at this for a while.  I have thirty seven more to go; another in a few hours.  I think it is 37.  I have an appointment with Dr. Tseng today to sort out the photon plan and to review the proton regime to date.  I hope the photon portion completely replaces proton treatments and does not add any.  It will be good to get the overall plan, find out when we add photon, how that integrates with proton therapy, and determine dosage. Continue reading

Welcome to Seattle

Welcome to the next phase of my journey.  I’m in Seattle and undergoing radiation.  This week has been busy, emotional and exhausting, and I’ve been carried through it by the support I have received from family, friends, health care professionals and strangers.  I am two treatments in now and counting down the days until I am finished.  It looks like December 30th will be my end date, and now that we have turned over into November it doesn’t seem that far away.  I have added a countdown calendar to this site so that I can watch the days tick off until I go home. Continue reading

My Science Fiction Radiation Vacation

Our “science fiction radiation vacation”; that is how my wife characterized our very short trip to see the ProCure proton therapy centre in Seattle last weekend. It was short, with a whole lot of driving; 14 out of the 36 hours in the car. We arrived just as the Cowboys defeated the Seahawks, so we walked around Pike Place Market and the piers with a lot of disappointed Seahawks fans and a very few jubilant Texans. Continue reading

Calling a proton

It’s happening. I head to Seattle in a few hours. I have a consultation on Monday morning with Dr. Yolanda Tseng, a Radiation Oncologist at the ProCure Proton Therapy Center. The center is part of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, the largest cancer treatment center in the Pacific Northwest, and has opened recently, making it one of about 15 in the US. There are none in Canada, which is unfortunate, but Seattle is a heck of a lot closer (about a six hour drive) than either Loma Linda (San Francisco) or Boston, which were the two options we had at the start of this. Continue reading