Saturday, August 23, 2008

3rd Time Is A Charm

We've scheduled a "3rd opinion" with Dr. Druker at the Oregon Health & Science University Cancer Institute for Thursday October 30, 2008. The first available appointment was October 23rd, but that's my birthday and I refuse to be in a cancer center on my birthday. Apparently he's one of the leading authorities on CML and Gleevec in the United States. Our main goal for the visit is to get some concrete information on conception while I'm on the Gleevec. It'll be nice to get another opinion on the course of my treatment as well.

I've invited my parents to accompany us on this trip. Hopefully it'll be a positive way to get them involved.

The catalyst for this visit was an email from Jon Gershon, a CML patient from Rhode Island. Even living all the way across the country, Jon uses Dr. Druker as his primary oncologist. He highly recommended a visit based on his experiences.

One of the positive things I found after being diagnosed with cancer was all the support from people who are also going through it, or have already gone through it and come out the other side for better or worse. Both cancer patients and the loved ones of cancer patients seem to have no shortage of love, support and advice to offer.

When I started riding motorcycles I found that most riders feel like they are all part of the same club. Everyone waves to passing riders, we all watch for police for each other (if you've ever seen a rider patting the top of his helmet, he's indicating to other riders to watch for police) and everyone seems to look out for everyone else in general. It's a fun club to belong to.

Cancer is kind of like that. All the members of the club try to provide support and advice to other members. There are get-togethers, special priveleges and we even have our own colors. The difference is being in the cancer club sucks and you'll do anything to get out of it.

3 comments:

Jon Gershon said...

Matt,

I am thrilled you followed my advice. I waited a long time before seeing Dr. Druker and his wonderful nurse Carolyn Blasdel. He is my primary oncologist even though I fly all the way across the country to see him. I also have a local oncologist in Boston, but was informed in a letter I received this weekend, that he will be leaving the hospital in 2 weeks.

Our timing almost worked out perfectly. I will see Dr. Druker the week after you.

Jon Gershon
jongershon.blogspot.com

john said...

A google alert that I set for 'CML cancer' hit on your blog and I thought that I'd drop you a note.

My wife was diagnosed with CML in March of this year. She is close in age (33). Reading your blog sounds alot like her experiences. Here's hoping that you're both in the 85%

Matt said...

Jon,

Bummer we couldn't have met up. It would be nice to meet you. I hope your visit goes well.

John,

I'm very sorry to hear about your wife. Judging from my and my wife's experience, it's hard on both people. I hope you are coping well and that treatment works well for your wife.