Clarity and Truth

Today we went back to the Oncologist to see if there was any news on alternative treatments for Julia or a restart of the treatment that finished in December when her lungs reacted badly to the drugs. To be honest I was prepared not to go in with Julia, my daughter and my niece because they drool all over poor Dr Garcia and having me there is an obvious distraction being the upstanding citizen I am.  My niece had an appointment of her own and wasn’t able to join us so I felt perhaps I could go in and keep my two in order. As it happened I didn’t have to. When Julia’s name was called we took her to be weighed…8st 4 lb including her riding boots etc. I’m quite pleased. Then we were led to a room I haven’t visited before.

Once there we were introduced to Dr. Smith, a very attractive lady of indeterminate accent ( though just possibly S’African or New Zealand). She explained that though she hadn’t met us before she knew Julia very well as she’s responsible for brewing all the concoctions Julia has had to take. She started to go through the notes with us to make sure we were aware f the current situation and left herself open for questions if there were any. There certainly were !! We have had explanations previously as to why Julia could not be operated on the main one being that the tumour being so badly placed that it had enclosed a series of arteries that would make an operation difficult. We asked about the possibility of replacing the pancreas with a manufactured one which had been suggested by an avid fund raiser who wanted Julia to be the first to undergo this operation in the US. We were informed this couldn’t happen as the cancer had spread to the lymph nodes and any operation to replace the pancreas wouldn’t solve that problem and may even exacerbate it. We hadn’t been told this before. Why? Possibly because Dr. Garcia wanted to sugar coat any news rather than cause more worry for Julia. So now we have to adjust ourselves to that news. We were also told that there is the possibility of a different chemo which wasn’t mentioned  before either or maybe even the same chemo at a reduced dose. First things first though, let’s arrange a new scan in about 5/6 weeks to see how things actually stand. It’s probable that we’ll see an increase in the tumour size again since it’s been 3  months without treatment of any kind. But, said Dr. Smith, Julia’s positivity is obviously making a great deal of difference to her and it may be best to leave any treatment alone until any symptoms start showing again. Pain or discomfort will be a good reason to revisit the situation but since we don’t want to disturb the lymph nodes if they are quiescent lets leave well enough alone for now.

So there we have it. The new Doctor is pretty and pretty smart too. Didn’t treat us as children unable to take bad news and accepted we’re adults. She was actually amazed at Julia going horse riding and has not had a pancreatic patient present herself looking as well as this at this stage. It certainly pays not to roll over and say die when the ‘C’ word is mentioned. I’m very proud of my wife and the fight she’s putting up. I hope sometime it may just give someone else a little hope.


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16 responses to “Clarity and Truth

  1. Hi, David,
    Great news all around, and very uplifting to read today, on International Women’s Day. This world would collapse into itself without us strong, caring, capable women to keep things in order! It does not surprise me in the least that a female doctor got straight to the heart of the problem. That combined with Julia’s spirit and grit and your love (and just being there for her) can accomplish great things, to be sure.


    Janet Angelo 🙂
    IndieGo ePublishing

    • Thanks Janet. I’m a big believer that the world would go to pot without women to organise us men and stop us waffling. It’s so much easier when we know what we’re dealing with.
      Sending you Hugs

  2. Dear GL,

    Dr Smith sounds much more like my mom’s Dr.s.. thank goodness! I’m so glad you have received information and truthfulness at last! This is someone you can work with. 😀 Ju is an amazement and I’m so happy her weight was good and she looked well. It must be your excellent care! Love to you both. I’ll keep everyone in my prayers!

    big hugs,

    • Hi Spidey. Today was a nice surprise even though I had doubts when I saw we were with a different Doctor. She opened my eyes with the easy way she dealt with things without having to prevaricate or gloss over things. I hope we get to see her next time too when we know she’ll lasten to what we have to say and come up with viable options.
      Love and Hugs as always

  3. I’ve never understood why so many doctors ‘spin’ the truth – don’t they realise that patients see through it and then go on to imagine the worst?
    So glad Lady J has met a ‘talker’ at last and is doing so well generally. If her body is fighting back that’s half the battle won!
    -hugs to you both-

  4. Hi Andrea. You’re right about that. It’s not the kindness that many doctors think it is. But, this one has made sure we had the truth and still left feeling positive.Ju’s body is doing a great job and it’s true that mental attitude in illness certainly plays a big part. I know how strong she is as she’s been battling me for years.
    Huge Hugs back to you Sweetie.

  5. David, you and Julia continue in my prayers. With an ocean in-between, I feel like we’re living somewhat parallel lives. We head to oncologist’s today for a follow-up appointment after the CT scan Matt had this week. It’s an hour and a half drive one way. Where you’re at, let me see, would that put you in the ocean? 🙂
    I’m thankful you were able to get more answers, even if they weren’t all what you wanted to hear. Thanks for keeping us updated.

  6. Best wishes to your wife and your whole family. I am amazed at your spirit and optimism — which I have read can mean a great deal in situations like this.

    Good luck to you all!

    • Thanks a lot Scott. The optimism is just hiding a streak of pure awkwardness in which I refuse to let this disease beat us. Julia is brilliant since she did a Samson and had her hair cut, it gave her more strength not less.
      Great Interview BTW.

  7. Hi Rosie. I always think of you and your husband and hope the news will be better than the last time. I wish they wouldn’t treat pancreatic cancer as the poor relation in comparison to others they throw research money at. One day a cure will be found and I want us all to enjoy it.
    To answer your question, it depends in which direction we drive… way it would take less than 5 mins and we’d be swimming. I must remember to put my trunks in the car.
    I’m always happy to hear from you and glad when you decide to share your news with friends here. Lets remind everyone where we are.
    Sending Huge Hugs and Great Hopes

  8. Hi Lord David,

    That is GREAT NEWS! My prayers for your lovely wife, Julia will continue.

    Best wishes,

    Michael Phelps

    • Many thanks Michael. The prayers are much appreciated. The next step is o hope that nothing starts the lymph nodes spreading it but she remains amazingly positive and refuses to give up her riding. Hope you’re well and doing well with the writing.

  9. I’m glad Julia’s weight and spirits are good. Your determination is very uplifting.

    Best wishes to you both.

  10. How do you know about the spirits Pete? I thought we kept that problem secret. Have you got a spy in your pay? I bet it’s Grizelda because I caught her running off with some stale crusts last week.
    It’s more Ju’s determination really and I just stand back in awe. Thanks so much for remembering us. I continue to love your site. (for anyone who hasn’t been there yet.)

  11. I would like to click on the LIKE button, but that seems a little inappropriate. I am now clicking on the button marked [positive feedback].
    Good luck, and I will be back. 🙂

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