Sunday, January 20, 2013

How much money for some life?

My neck, recently
The Old English predecessor to our word bonfire means 'bone fire' (info about Anglo-Saxon funereal practices anyone?)

Movies: Beasts of the Southern Wild. Excellent. Also Your Sister's Sister was good.

Very full days. Have some space tomorrow and hope to get packed for my retreat.

I'll have to narrow down the focus here to the talk with the oncologist Keith Block. First thing I noticed was that he didn't talk like other oncologists I've spoken to (lately). He sounded like a regular person.

They way they do chemotherapy at his clinic is called "chronotherapy" - it's administered somehow in line with circadian rhythms and reduces side effects by 40-80%, he says. They treat peripheral neuropathy with cold lasers. He knows of clinics in Israel, Cabo (Mexico), Germany, and Korea doing experimental therapies. If I had $100-200K to spend on it that'd be groovy. He did mention a few drugs to look into - Anvirzel, an extract of oleander that you can only get in Honduras, and the diabetes drug Metformin which has done very well for diabetics with ovarian cancer.

How can I think of my life in terms of how much money it's worth? Curing my condition would be worth a lot! I'd pay it back! But no one thinks that's going to happen. Is adding a possible one or three years to my life worth $100 or $200K? Never mind whether I could get my hands on that much money. Asking the question depresses me. Perhaps there is a different question I should ask. (Or, better, forget about the whole thing!)

The second bummer thing, though not surprising, was the answer to my question about whether there could be effective alternatives to chemotherapy. E.g., tomato enzymes or seaweed fungus, or whatever. He said my cancer is too far gone, I'd need some kind of chemotherapy.

He's going to get back to me about various things, and of course I have other irons in the fire. I haven't heard back from Nelson yet, and I still have the other consult at UCSF in Feb. That's with Dr. Pamela Munster.

I was thinking today though that even though my pelvis is messed up in multiple ways that make me feel old, at least the radiation got rid of all the cancer there. So that was worth it!

Right now, I don't want to talk to any more doctors.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm....Interesting about synching chemo with your circadian rhythms. I wonder if you could find out how they calculate that? It'd be worth knowing if you decide to do any chemo. I wonder if that would make trying more (or some different) chemo regimen any more attractive to you? Or less unattractive....Still, it's all a rum deal, huh? And thinking about how much money is worth one to three years more of life sounds about as satisfying as trying to think about just how much longer anyone could predict you "have". So to speak. Or maybe not to speak. What a question. Actually, I don't think your neck looks all that wrinkled. Certainly not as much as my decolletage!

    It was lovely to spend some time with you Friday and Saturday--your natural ease and softness-of-heart are a delight and a blessing! XOXOXO