Tuesday, May 16, 2006

An Unwanted Journey: Day 0174 - Pain and Diagnosis

I find myself in an awkward position these days. I am suffering pain that I truly believe is hindering my efforts at recovering from surgery and subsequent complications. On the one hand, I'd like to be able to assign responsibility for diagnosing the problem and fixing it to a suitable medical authority. On the other hand, I recognize the complexities and timing of presenting symptoms have everything to do with diagnosis and treatment.

Some of the medical personnel (not to mention family and friends) I'm talking to in the past few days have voiced their own frustration. In doing so, they seem to imply that somebody isn't doing their job. That's not my take on things right now. Talk to me in another week; if I'm not making progress on diagnosis and treatment of my pain, then I'll very likely be willing to assign blame. But I fully expect that we will make good progress this next week in figuring out what's going on, where it's occurring, and what to do to deal with the symptoms.

But I'm going for the cure here, as the medical oncologist put it so succinctly yesterday in our consultation. I'm not interested in wasting energy and effort on anything which doesn't directly contribute to a cure. I owe it to myself. I owe it to my family and friends. And I owe it to the entire Ontario medical system. I hope my blog entries reflect that attitude.

I want my attitude to be one of gathering and sharing appropriate information about rectal cancer and its treatment. I want it to be one of cooperation with the entire medical team who are committing themselves to help me achieve a cure. I want it to be one of fairness and objectivity. I want it to be life enhancing.

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gentleascent said...

Don, first let me say, though my family and I are amazed at how you keep up with your blogging, we so appreciate the updates that you share.
Though I would wish that our friend was not suffering with the affects of rectal cancer, the fact is that you are. But you are a "champion" in the way you're handling your crises.
Further, I applaud your efforts and am cheering you on from the sidelines. The other day I walked in on a class that was working away diligently and told them that if one person could give them a standing ovation that would be me.True enough, my family could tell you of times that I've been watching a singer or an athelte on t.v. when suddenly I stand up by myself and clap. So Don, I'm giving you a standing ovation. Your attitude is a "three pointer" and you win.

Lisa - Pano said...

Well said gentleascent. At times I've read the posting that Don has written and felt like a bit of a gawker at a train wreck. Don, you have throughout this ordeal, laid yourself bare for all to see. I commend your unwaivering ability to blog when blogging was obviously the last thing you wanted to do. Most of us stumble through our lives taking our family, friends, occupations, etc. for granted. You, through your informative, gut wrenching accounts have taught us that we do that at our own peril. I'm sorry that it looks like I won't see you before I go but I will be a faithful observer of your ongoing progress. Keep it up.

Don Spencer said...

Ron & Lisa,

Thank you both for your comments. There are days when I feel like a train wreck, but they're fewer now.

Lisa, I hope we can see each other again in Peterborough sometime soon, even if just to talk about Pano days over a coffee.

Ron, thanks for everything you and Marg have done to help me and my family through this journey. Talk to you again soon.

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