Jill and I are getting ready for the trip to lower Manhattan on Friday. Someone with access to a plane has generously given us some of their flight time for this trip, so we’ll be leaving early Friday morning and coming back on Friday evening. The opportunity to go up and back is a real blessing right now and has, honestly, allowed the trip to happen so quickly.
I just got off the phone with Dr. Dutcher’s office and she has given her approval for me to shoot digital video at our office visit on Friday. I wanted to do that for a couple of reasons. I want to remember every word she says, so that I can share them with Dr. Pippas, who I’d really like to have with us on Friday. I’d love for my incredible, mad-scientist oncologist, Dr. Andy Pippas, to have a conversation with HDIL-2 guru, Dr. Janice Dutcher, while I was a fly on the wall watching. That would be great. But the video will have to do, in this case.
Also, I’m going to consider posting some, or all, of the video on my blog for people to see Dr. Dutcher in action. She is a world-class renal cell cancer oncologist and is highly sought out for her knowledge about this insidious disease.
If a couple of back surgeries and cancer were not enough, I have developed a case of gout in my right great toe. It hurts like hell. I was able to reach my friend and podiatrist, Dr. Alap Shah, who prescribed a kidney-friendly medication to relieve me of the gout condition. He also recommended that I make contact with my regular family physician, Dr. Clark Gillett to manage the issue going forward. I think all doctors are taking a much-needed vacation here at the end of the year. ALL of my docs are out of the office today.
I’m a little bummed out that we now have gout to go along with all of my other health concerns on the table as we leave for New York to see Dr. Dutcher. I hope this won’t muddy the water for what we need to do going forward. But gout is caused by an elevation of uric acid in the blood. I figure uric acid must also have something to do with my kidney and I’m worried about it. So, I called my nephrologist to get him to weigh in on this.
By the way, my nephrologist, Dr. Raj Alappan, who was also not in his office today was supposed to be covered by Dr. Tamorie Smith. I talked to Linda at Dr. Alappan’s office three times today. Twice, when I called her to confirm that I would be getting a call by the end of the day today and once when she called me to confirm my date of birth and that I would be getting a call today. Dr. Tamorie Smith, whoever she is did not call me as promised. Thanks a lot, Dr. Tamorie Smith. No call, that’s all!
I think this is the first time since the diagnosis of my cancer that I have been left hanging with what I consider to be an important medical question. Other than Dr. Tamorie Smith, I have received prompt attention to my every medical situation.
Wow, I just realized what I said in the previous sentence. “My” cancer. Not “my” diagnosis of cancer, but “the” diagnosis of “my cancer.” Now that I think about this, I’ve heard most other people refer to their illness as “their” cancer. I can understand that feeling, because it literally takes over your life. In fact, it becomes your life. I will not give it that much power over me again. From this very second forward, I will refer to this damn disease as the life-robbing interloper that it is. It is not mine. I don’t want it. I will not lay claim to it again in this blog or in conversation, so help me God.
I have my Flipcam charged up. We’re ready to fly. On to the Big Apple with a great, hopeful attitude. And, thanks again, Dr. Tamorie Smith.