Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Number Eleven?!

Today is surgery day and I am now in almost a full-fledged panic about IORT. Am I making a mistake? If Johns Hopkins doesn’t regard this as safe for patients, am I stupid for going ahead with it?

I think my dreams have been trying to cheer me up. In the dreamworld the other night, a parade passed by with a contingent carrying signs saying “BII.” I wondered if this was a group of bisexuals, but it turned out it was the Buoyant Beamers—people who make a practice of being happy and of smiling. I don’t know why their signs said BII.

When I met with my radiation oncologist, Dr. L., a week ago, I asked him if he’d used IORT for DCIS, and he said he had, but today it occurred to me that maybe I should find out how long they’ve been doing this, and how many DCIS patients have received this treatment to date.

Well, here’s the answer, fresh from the telephone: This medical center has been using IORT for DCIS for four months, and they’ve used it on 28 people with invasive cancer, and on 10 DCIS patients to date.

Which makes me Number 11! Yow.

Dr. L. is awfully nice. I asked him how late I can change my mind without him wringing my neck, and he said I have right up until the moment they put me under anesthesia. Very good answer.

If he’d said, “It’s too late to redo the treatment plan. Nothing is going to go wrong. Trust me!” or anything along those lines, I would probably have called off the entire thing, including the surgery.

He also said that if I’m still not sure once I arrive at the hospital, we should do conventional radiation and skip the IORT.

I'm thinking I probably will go ahead with the IORT.

But: number 11?!
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