Saturday, June 27, 2009

Brains, doctors

Laurel went with me yesterday to see my oncologist. We learned that the dose of the chemo that I'm starting with this month--today, in fact--will be the dose I'll continue with over the next two years, if I take the Temodar that long. So if I am going to have any side effects, they'll kick in this time. Which is good to know.

But the most interesting thing he had to say was when we asked him a question my acupuncturist asked me to ask: Can I take herbs while I'm on the Temodar? Can she prescribe traditional Chinese medicine to supplement the chemo? His answer was what I thought it would be: It depends on the herbs. However, I was impressed by how enthusiastic he was about me combining the chemo with acupuncture, and I said so.

He told us that when he'd been a resident, he'd worked with an ER doctor who had a brain tumor "like yours," he said. "A glioma." And this doctor was using acupuncture as an alternative treatment. It was working for him--so well that he quit western medicine, went to China to study acupuncture, and then became an acupuncturist himself.

"He's still alive and doing well," my doctor said. "Of course, it wasn't exactly like your tumor, every tumor is different and responds differently to treatment..." and he went on like that so I wouldn't sue him if acupuncture didn't heal me.

Regardless, hearing that story made my day.

Yeah, hope is a good thing. Hope and acupuncture. And friends who go to the oncologist with you. Thanks to Laurel, Megan, and Andy, who have all filled this position on this go-round. Thanks to Laurice, Claudia, Lauren, and everybody else who's accompanied me to all these appointments over the years. Nick who's met me at the emergency room, Rana who's taken me home from the hospital not once but several times... Yeah, this brain tumor is a pain in the butt. But I'm a lucky person.


manda said...

much love to you lady.

Megan said...

I'm so glad to hear this, E. Much love and happy acupuncturing!