Good Days

I had a great day and wanted to share it here.

First, a quick recap:

  • I’m recovering well from surgery.
  • I’ve gotten the ok to drive.
  • We’re ready to get started with treatment options.
  • (And there’s that living Hammer Down thing going on too. See last post)

Today we met with the oncologist. It may have been the best doctor-patient experience I could ever hope to have.

Tina and I were adamant about working with a different oncologist. And that is what we got — a recent transplant to Emory from California with all the right personal and professional qualities that differentiate a good doctor from an amazing one.

I really want to go into detail about how well our appointment with Dr. Read went and how much we appreciate him, but the important thing to convey here is that we had a really positive experience. It makes a big difference.

We don’t have an official Battle Plan yet, but here are the top possibilities:

  1. Stereotactic radiosurgery — It even sounds like hardcore tumor ass-kicking. If my radiologist thinks he can zap the last bit of tumor that’s attached to my Sylvian Fissure without compromising my clutch hand, then we’re gonna attack. You see, we can’t just leave a bit of tumor in there and hope it doesn’t cause trouble.
  2. Tumor Treating Fields therapy (Novocure™) — I would have to wear a skull cap of electrodes and tote around some equipment. The device creates electric fields that disrupt tumor cell division. No one’s saying this is the solution to brain cancer. In fact, I don’t think anyone is even sure how or why this device is effective fighting tumor growth. But results have been good and I’m a perfect candidate. It’s not invasive. There are no side-effects. I’m glad this is one of my options and that Dr. Read has experience with it.
    We’ll have to travel out of state again to get involved with the Novocure product — most likely Chicago.
  3. (More) Investigational Treatment — There are some clinical trials coming down the pike that should be ideal for me if options 1 and 2 above don’t pan out.

Some more details that may be of interest to other brain cancer savvy readers.

Avastin

Avastin is there as an option for me, if needed. But right now, it doesn’t seem to be of any use FOR ME. Dr. Read shared his understanding and belief about the real value of Avastin on brain tumors. I have never been keen to get on Avastin so I’m glad it’s not being pushed on me.

Testosterone

To be as healthy as I can be is a priority. It has been for me all along, but Dr. Read is the first doctor to really consider it part of the actual treatment plan. He’s encouraging me to continue my physical health activities — biking, walking, yoga, strength and endurance training. We tested my testosterone level today. If levels are low, which is very likely, he wants me to start using a supplement. I may get a nice looking body out of this deal.

Other reasons the last couple days have been so good:

  • Rubber, steel, asphalt, gasoline and speed — I’m motorcycle riding again and it’s truly good for the soul.
  • Family, friends, laughing and loving — I’m having fun and lots of people are helping that happen for me.
  • Creating, imagining, sharing and thinking — Working on this blog and putting ink and paint on canvas are great releases.
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6 responses to “Good Days”

  1. Hlee says :

    Ken -remember when Jim fractured a bone in his foot a month before going to climb Everest. He went to climb the mountain and took along a machine that shot electrodes into that fractured area to stimulate cell and bone growth. His experience is nothing like what you’re going taking on but it’s just amazing to me to hear the medical world have gadgets like what you mentioned to go after cancer. Hearing about radiosurgery is pretty compelling too. We keep you and Tina in mind everyday and know that you’re experience has changed how we live too.

  2. Anonymous says :

    I am happy for your news and your good feeling, super great!

  3. marcus says :

    Testosterone, motorcycles and a cool scar?!?! I had long suspected, but now it’s official, you’re a super-hero.

  4. Rob Marbury says :

    Great news, Ken. Sounds like you’ve gotten a second wind, and the new doc has helped you get it. You’ll look ultra-cool with the electrode skull cap on your head — maybe you can wear your motorcycle helmet over it! 😉

  5. ksennor@msn.com says :

    Ken,

    We are excited about the new doctor and the new approaches you and Tina are considering. Keep up the good work.

    Love,

    Liisa and Ken

  6. Kitty says :

    What refreshing news!!! I’ve wondered about another opinion for you! I am so happy you have a new outlook on your situation. I wish ALL doctors knew how their personable attitudes and abilities to communicate upbeat information to patients can positively affect their wellness. Being a good doctor is more than having a head full of medical words. From my experience with my MS, i had to move to Atlanta to find that. Be grateful you’re already here! I think that’s your biggest plus along with feeling good, being positive, being healthy, being able to do the things you love and being surrounded by hundreds of people who love you. You’re on the rise!

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