I have begun to keep a daily journal on my thoughts and feelings in the lead-up to my diagnosis and treatment of cancer, a dedifferentiated lymphosarcoma in the groin area. Sharing these thoughts was not my first or second impulse until Bill encouraged me to keep notes of my progress and publish them (from the point of view on our medical system and the more personal journey in considering my own mortality and experience).
I have a second surgery scheduled for Jan. 27; and then about 4-6 weeks later, I start a course of radiation 5 days a week for 33 treatments. I am greatful to have adequate insurance through medicare and medex blue cross/blue shield of MA. Dana Farber hospital has a bone cancer and sarcoma treatment center that has experience in my rather uncommon cancer and body location. My surgery will be at the Brigham and Womans Hospital, which is the big building next to Dana Farber, since DF does not provide those services. There is a close coordination between staff.
My Dec. 2 surgery by a urologist at another excellent regional hospital (Newton-Wellesley) was part of an exploratory and diagnostic survey and included the removal of a ‘growth’ that also needed a biopsy, a needle biopsy being inadequate due to the nature of lipomas. The first surgery turned into a more extensive 4 hour attempt at ‘clean margins’ which failed. The Mass General Hospital was consulted on the biopsied samples. Newton Wellesly has close ties to MGH as the cancer was not easily recognized and the consult was needed.
My attention to detail is on purpose as it is a demonstration of the benefit of living near world class hospitals, privelege of choice and access to them, and not worrying so far about the crushing cost if I had to pay out of pocket. This stands in contrast to what many Americans face in rural parts of the country.
I have notified most of the Bears; but, I want readers to know that Bill and Eric will be on top of things.