Saturday, May 22, 2010

Starting Our Search

Dear Friends and Relatives,

I do not know who I may have left out as I have not a list. So pls share the update if you would like to do so.

For some of you this may be the first of the news regarding Lin's health (for the same reason I mentioned above).

Today, Lin and I went to QMH to see an oncologist, Rico Liu.

He roughly told us what we had already heard and know. Anyway, Dr Liu detailed two options. Oral chemotherapy (Xeloda) and the combination of Xeloda and Oxaliplatin (via IV). Both would be 3 week cycles for 6 months. From the gist of our discussion we came away with the impression he recommends the Xeloda and Oxaliplatin option.

As for side effects, he did not seem particularly perturbed (he printed out a list and ticked off the ones he thought might be relevant) and said that they might not be too bad as they'd put him on 80% of the normal dosage because of his age.

To sum it up, I think Lin found it rather depressing. I certainly did, seeing so many sick people in such a small space.

The cancer centre on the first floor of the Professorial Block was chock-a-block and people (like staff) were almost shouting to be heard. It was an organised chaos, but chaos all the same.

I felt so sad for the sick people lying on hospital beds waiting for blood draws or to see a doctor. MD Anderson with its many clinics was much calmer and less unsettling.

For the private patient with no influence any savings is likely outweighed by the crush and clamor.  An atmosphere not unlike being in a crowded wet market - but with every other person masked and sick.

We are looking for an oncologist we like; have seen two now. I know it probably sounds silly to say we are looking for someone we like; it is probably more like someone we feel we have faith in and who we feel comfortable with, like Lin's surgeon.

We have another name and this afternoon Lin called to make an appointment for Wednesday so we shall see.  This doc was a good friend's oncologist about twelve years ago. She had breast cancer then and mentioned her oncologist to us. He (the doc) had a sister who died of colon cancer and would probably be quite knowledgeable on the subject.

Anyway we see him on Wednesday morning. And then decide - probably between the first oncologist that we met and Wednesday's date.

Keep well,


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