Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Es Kommt Nichts in Frage...

Let me explain the title by the following short story.  While in the mission field we taught a man by the name of H. J. Stammel.  He is a famous writer of western novels in Germany.  During one of our conversations he made the statement, "Es kommt nichts ins frage ob mann von idioten umgegen wird.  The einsige frage ist, vie grosse idioten sind die."  Which is translated to: "There's no doubt that we're surrounded by idiots.  The real question is, how big of idiots are they?"  Well, yesterday we made another trip to San Francisco to meet with my orthopedic surgeon and oncologist.  There we found out that the local radiologist that did my 6 MRIs over a month ago failed to send the MRIs to Dr Burch.  His office had to call just to get the report fax'd to them.  When he reviewed the report, then compared it to his x-rays, he stated that he disagreed with their report already but would suspend further judgment until seeing the MRIs.  So I don't know yet what exactly he wants to do about the remaining 4 collapsed vertebra.  There were rays of hope, however.  He did say that I'm ready for physical therapy, and that after 6 weeks of PT, he'd let me start pitching and putting.  No twisting of the spine allowed yet.  He also cleared me to ride a bicycle.  I also mentioned my love for backpacking, and he said he thought that I'd be able to do it again someday.  Just not soon.  I'll wait.
My brother Alan and his wife Lynette are going to meet Dale, Hillary and I in Moab on the 20th, and we're going to visit Arches and Canyonlands National Parks for a couple of days.  Just very short hiking there.  But then we're heading to Glenwood Springs, up in the Colorado Rockies for a ride along the river.  Then an 18 mile downhill ride from the top of Vail peak, into Vail, Colorado.  Dale and Hillary REALLY tried to get the doctors to say it wasn't a good idea for me, but both doctors said it was OK, if not a good idea.  It turns out that the doctors are outdoorsmen.  Suuweeet!
The whole "idiot" thing applied once again when I met with Dr. Wolf in the late afternoon. My local oncologists office failed to email my latest labs to him, even though I called them Friday and reminded them, and they said that they emailed them right them.  When they contacted the office and received them, they found that they weren't doing all of the right tests that he'd asked them to anyway.  So, I still don't know how my kidney level is.  It was perfect in the July tests, then  dropped "dramatically" in the August tests, according to the local Dr, but Dr Wolf had nothing to look at.  He'll just compare it to the results of the tests from yesterday, but, he said the other factors looked good, so he didn't see any reason to be too concerned.  Good news.  AND, he asked me to be a part of another study.  I'm part of the Revlimid daily pill instead of monthly infusion chemo study.  That will likely be for 2 years.  He and another doctor, Dr Brevin, head of the Orthopedic department, have gotten a grant to study the effects of multiple myloma (which eats bone) on the spine, and prophyllactic (preventative) means of minimizing spinal impact, which affects breathing as well.  What it means to me is that I'll receive more specialized care for my spine, and perhaps, more kyphoplasty, which is all right with me.  They are only having about 50 to 70 patients total in the study, which is just for one year.  However, they feel that it will bring good insight and dividends.  I'll go into more detail later.
Last, August 28th was the 1 year anniversary of my cancer diagnosis.  Sept. 11th for my 1st time going into the local ICU, and September 13th for my 1st visit to UCSFs ICU, etc.  So I made a bunch of decadent homemade cookies for the doctors & their staff, and twice as many that we delivered to the 11th and 14th floors of the hospital for the nurses.  We got to see a couple of my nurses.  One, Agnes, didn't even recognize me, but recognized Dale.  She had me at the beginning, before I was 85 lbs lighter and with my curly "poodlehead hair". When we got home we found that she'd left a message on our home phone apologizing for not recognizing us, but it came to her after we left.  That was fun.  I'm sure she ate a cookie anyway.
Well, both Doctors told me to hold tight until they call and speak to me either later this week or the beginning of next.  So I'll give ya'll an update at that time.  I might get a haircut next week.  Whatdaya think?


  1. Have a wonderful time in Arches and Canyonlands! I was there last year in October and the weather was perfect. However, don't let anyone tell you that the hike to the Delicate Arch is just a short little jaunt!!! It's about 1 1/2 straight uphill. I thought I'd die a few times but it was worth it in the end. Say "hello" to Alan for me! By the way, maybe you should let that poodle hair grow out in ringlets.

  2. That should be 1 1/2 case you were wondering! (not to be confused with feet or inches or even yards!)

  3. Dear Poodlehead -
    No haircut. Definitely. No. Norma