Part 9

Another “however”

Yeah. Well. In order to give me the best odds possible, chemotherapy is recommended.

I really don’t like this, because, in the world of prostate cancer chemotherapy is often an end-stage treatment, a delaying action. It works for a period of time, and then you may pass on to another level of existence. So “chemotherapy” has for me become an emotionally loaded concept.

I call Dr. Myers after having sent him some web-based research that indicated chemotherapy was not necessary for stage II colon cancer and asked his opinion. He reminded me of his approach to treatment: you choose the therapies that are most effective for you and compare their side-effects with those of the disease that you are treating. He then told me, in a way that I could not misunderstand, that dying of colon cancer was an extremely unpleasant process.

Okay, I know what I have to do. In January 2005 I begin chemotherapy with a combination of drugs. One drug, Eloxatin (a platin drug), is stopped after a few weeks because I begin to develop peripheral neuropathy. This is a strange feeling; my fingers are numb under the nail beds to some extent, and my feet feel like they are calloused, although I have no calluses. Weird. We continue with increased dosages of the other two drugs, leucovorin and 5-fluorouracil, which are delivered via “portacath” or portable catheter, surgically inserted in my chest with a very small tube running to my heart. A portacath is roughly the size and shape of a bottle cap. The treatment continued for 6 months. I finished on June 28 and await results next week. I highly recommend a portacath if you are going to have this kind of treatment. Beats the heck out of puncturing a vein every week. Ouch!

During this time, I begin to act a little “flaky”. Okay, maybe a lot “flaky”. Read Part 10 to discover another sneaky little . . .