© 2019 by Jason Elbinger

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The Oncologist

Updated: Aug 7, 2019

Yesterday I saw the oncologist. The first thing I found out when I got his offices at the Miami Cancer Institute was that I’m not 6’5” like I thought but 6’3”. So much for my dream of playing in the NBA.

I liked Dr. Ucar. His was professional and serious, and he explained what treatment plan entails.

Here’s some highlights:

1. My cancer is Stage 3b, which he says is highly treatable.

2. First I will have chemotherapy, then radiation, then surgery to remove what’s left after the treatments.

3. I’ll have to have a port installed in my body through which the chemo is administered.

4. Every other week, starting Monday, I’ll go in for the chemo. The process will take four hours.

5. I will be taking home a chemo pump that will administer more chemo over the following 46 hours, and then I return to the center to have it removed.

6. I may need up to 4 cycles or more of the chemo depending on how I do.

He also made referrals for me to see a nutritionist, get a genealogy test, have the port installed, and take a chemotherapy class.

I did the class today.

A woman was playing a harp in the lobby of the cancer center today. If you don’t like the Beatles, wait until you hear her play “Let It Be”.

I met with a nurse who explained everything I should expect, from what will happen when I start next Monday to the side effects I might have. One of them is tingling in my fingers, which indicates the potential for nerve damage. I am to inform the staff immediately if I get the tingling to avoid permanent damage.

Another interesting side effect is that I can’t drink cold beverages. My throat will swell up if I do and it will be hard to breathe. She taught me what to do if I accidently drink something cold so I won’t panic.

My white blood cell count will go down, so I have to mitigate the potential for infection by eating well-done meat and fish. I have to avoid eating salads out because restaurants might not wash the lettuce and veggies with the diligence I must. Speaking of washing, I’ve got to keep my hands clean and carry hand sanitizer.

Oh, there is a cow near the elevators.

I feel like I’m getting the best care possible, and they are anticipating other needs I may have as the process continues. For instance, today I got a call from my assigned social worker.

There is much more to say, but I’m exhausted and have a headache after the long day.

I just don't feel too creative. Please don’t call the grammar police if you spot errors.


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