Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Best Sleep in Ages

I woke up with a start at 9:00 a.m. this morning, Tuesday, May 25, because workmen were scheduled to arrive in a gondola (don't think Venice, think the sort that ascend and descend high rise buildings) to install 'bird spikes' so that the pigeons are discouraged from roosting in our bougainvilleas.

Much as I love nature, it's not healthy to have a colony of pigeons almost in our bedroom! A lesson learnt from the SARS epidemic of several years ago.

Lin said that I slept like a log, even as he was unpacking, putting things away and generally making noise.

Must have been the potent combination of a few glasses of red wine at my cousin Ricca's on our way home from meeting Prof John Wong at NUH and the after effects of our meeting. My mind and body must have agreed that we are on the threshold of finding a treatment for Lin and that I could enjoy a good night's sleep.

Those of you who know me well know how well I sleep and that I can fall asleep almost anywhere! But good sleep has been more elusive of late - until last night.

So, much as I am thirsty for a big mug of hot, strong tea, I am writing a potted account of last evening's consultation.

We were going in as most patients and staff were leaving; there were people waiting for the shuttle buses, cars and taxis as we arrived at the Kent Ridge Wing.

Cancer Center @ Level 3 (must have been named by the same people as use mis-spelling and typographical signs or symbols in proper names) was deserted, bar a receptionist, when we set foot in it a at 6:27 p.m.

Our appointment was for 7:30 p.m. but while we were at home, we received a call requesting our presence at 6:30 p.m. as the professor was making good headway through his workload.

We were ushered into his office shortly after 7:00 p.m. and did not leave until 8:15 p.m.

Some of that time was spent touching on the issue of supplements that Lin has been taking recently. Long story short, he strongly advocates the benefits of a healthy diet and continued intake of vitamin D3 (albeit in a smaller dose).

He was very thorough, very knowledgeable and totally impressive.

Very briefly:

He said that Lin looked younger than his 81 years (I claimed credit for the effects of benign neglect!) and that his overall physical condition (healthy heart and major organs) would be factor's in Lin's favour of undergoing chemotherapy.

He used Adjuvant Online to print out and explain the effect of 5Fu and FOLFOX regimens on Lin's 5-year survival chances in a manner even Lin could understand right away! (Although the other doctors had mentioned similar statistics only one other had printed out the charts.)

In reply to our question, he said that there are good doctors in Hong Kong (he's worked with oncologists at the Chinese U and Prince of Wales Hospital) and Lin could have his chemotherapy done there or here in Singapore.

It emerged during the consultation that both Lin's parents died of cancer. He immediately suggested Lin ask his siblings to get colonoscopies if they had not done so recently.

He suggested we take our time to come to a decision.

In the meantime we sent the paraffin blocks for KRAS testing, to confirm earlier results.

Next steps: his clinical staff would be in touch.

And we need to find out what Lin has had in the way of antibiotics and various other details to round off his collection of data.

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