Friday, November 13, 2009

A Cancerous Man with a Plan

Quick blast of semi-good news! We finally had an MRI done on the shoulder, the hematologist oncologist Dr. Bruce Culliney - a grand guy and super smart and well respected chemo doctor - wanted to be sure it wasn't the disease affecting it. I've torn my rotator cuff and the only solution (apart from surgery, which I am definitely not a candidate for) is cortisone injections. So there's a plan to help the shoulder pain. Also the very same Culliney said that we should try Motrin, even though it's effect is very similar to the steroids I am on. Et Voila!! The pain reduces significantly! Yeah!
Diane and he both agreed that I should restart the Keflex antibiotic to stop the smell coming from the recent fistulas (ulcers) on my neck skin,"Et Voila!" the smell is gone the next day!

Now every time a Dr. looks at my fistulas he gives us the "Carotid Blowout" scenario, very seriously, we cut them off saying Dr. Harrison gave us this speech before even starting the neck skin radiation. It's an odd telling though, for the docs explain very somberly how the opening fistula could reveal the Carotid artery and then the Carotid could open - leading to the "blowout" (see it in the summer blockbuster "Carotid Blowout!!".) Then he goes on to the plusses, where how it is painless, happens in a couple of minutes and all I would notice is my getting tired, and going to sleep for a long long time. Its the up-beat moment - like a get out of jail free card! Actually, it sounds a lot easier that way than languishing in bed, besotted with opiates, half-dreaming of naked female pirates at battle with the neo-cons for clothes at JCPenney!
There is no treatment for these fistulas, just keep them dry and avoid hitting them with your golf club.
So we picked up plans and news today and we both felt is was a great day! How was yours?


  1. Brian,

    Glad to hear that the Motrin reduces the pain; it's the only thing that ever works for me. The opiates make me vomit, so Motrin was all that I could take, even following my 2 cancer surgeries! Keflex is pretty strong, so sounds like it's keeping any infection in check. Little victories, little victories! Love the description of your opiate-related dreams! Every day is a great day...

  2. Thanks Brian and Diane, for living the good life and fighting the good fight and giving courage to the likes of me. You make me love you.

  3. You have a warped sense of humor-but I love that.

  4. Congratulations, Brian. A life well lived, and peace and comfort forever.

    Love and sympathy, Diane, and may you find joy and solace both in the warmth of your memories and in whatever you find to fill your life here on in, as Brian would undoubtedly want you to do.

  5. I'm so sorry, Diane. Please know that a friend you've never met mourns for you and your husband Brian. May he rest in peace.


  6. Brian has added so much to others lives by his blog and life. I hope he knew that.

  7. Dear Diane,

    My heartfelt condolences. Your husband was indeed a wise, gentle and beautiful lion of a man. I am so grateful to have discovered his words and wisdom.

    (Thank you, Brian.)

  8. Brian, if there is a way to read this from where you now are, you will. You were and always will be an inspiration. As a classmate and friend, you made an impact on me. Thank you, my friend.

    Pete Deutschman

  9. Ah Brian and Diane. I know of you vicariously through my friend Kyeong-Soo Kim. We know you are still here with us Brian. And we are with you Diane. Long live your gallant knight!

  10. Dear Brian, thank you for writing. I will miss you. I hope you are sitting in a patch of sunshine with a warm, soft cat on your lap.

    Diane, we will say more in a letter soon, but we are so sorry and thinking about you.

  11. Diane,

    I'm stunned to hear of Brian's passing; his humor and bravery has been, and will continue to be an inspiration to me. Please know that you have my heartfelt sympathy, and that my thoughts are with you.

    Brian lives on in the hearts and minds of those who were fortunate enough to know him, and others, like myself, who knew him only through his website.

  12. I only know Brian through his blog posts. I hope to carry the memory of his humor and spirit always.


  13. My deepest condolences to you. I only knew Brian thru this blog and I was moved by his courage and outlook about the life.

  14. Reading Brian's blog has been a privilege. All the condolences I can give

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