If it was only as easy as ABC – Abraxane, Ben, Children…

27 Mar

The abdominal pains I’ve been suffering told me to go to hospital sooner rather than later. On Monday I was scheduled to start my new treatment – but Pam prevailed upon me to go on Sunday. This is how it panned out.

Tel Hashomer has an oncology doctor on call – saving sufferers the added discomfort of unnecessary queuing and quibbling. Call me “Ben” says the young man. You know you’re getting old not when the body lets you down but when the doctors don’t seem old enough to have finished school. I briefly tell him my case history – and smile to myself as he raises his eyebrows when I date my diagnosis as October 2010. He seems extremely competent and caring – but couldn’t confirm whether my pain was a direct cause of the illness or side effects of Tarceva. “At least you’ve done with Tarceva”, he says encouragingly, but can’t allay my concern. His best effort is to prescribe better pain killers – and give me the all-clear to start Abraxane.

Good that new beginnings fill me with optimism. But on what is it based? Do I have any idea of the side effects in the offing? When and where they’ll kick in? And I have to get the naïveté that everything will be better into some prospective. Not easy. Is it such a wonder drug or is it only so much wishful  thinking? What I am learning is that the my oncology department doesn’t seem to have too much first hand experience with pancreatic cancer patients on Abraxane – it’s certainly not in our Ministry of Health’s basket of medicines – so I might be on the cutting edge again. But we manage the administrative hurdles and I had the first treatment on Sunday. So far so good…

But now comes the crunch – the children. It seems that whatever age your children – the accuracy of their perception can surprise you. No hiding my pain and no hiding yet another change of treatment. Their concern moves me to tears and emphasizes yet again what a strain this illness is on the whole family. But this gives us all strength as well … so maybe things will be easier.

As usual, the family have rallied round. Sheila came up with the idea that the recent addition to my diet of “bread” may have been too much too soon. So I’ve cut back for the moment – and happily, the first couple of days have me almost back to my old self.

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8 Responses to “If it was only as easy as ABC – Abraxane, Ben, Children…”

  1. Felicity March 27, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

    You’re such a natural writer. So able to express everything you’re going through, and as well as difficult stuff, you share with us the beautifu closeness of your family.

    I can’t wait to see you all. Lots of love, Fil

  2. sara March 28, 2012 at 9:33 am #

    marvel once again at your courage, wisdom and determination and of course your amazing family.
    with love as always
    sara and julian

  3. angiemaus March 28, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

    I check every day for a new posting on your wonderful blog and my heart lifts every time I see an update.

    And because we love you so much – we’re ALL going to give up bread next week in solidarity!

    Cannot wait to see you darling, counting the days.
    xxxxxxxxxx

    • fightingpancreaticcancer March 28, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

      Angie,
      Your comment is too beautiful for words. But if you could see the smile on my face you’d be more than happy too. Thanks so much.

  4. gill March 29, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    you’re such a hero Martin, Pam too! You’re the bravest people we’ve ever had the privilege of knowing.
    all our love,
    Gill & Sol

    • fightingpancreaticcancer March 29, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

      Thanks Gill & Sol. You are the most caring, supportive and generous friends we could wish to have!

  5. G.P. May 5, 2013 at 8:16 am #

    Just went thru your comments. Very helpful for somebody like me who has a younger brother that has gone along with the same treatment you have had, but just a bit later. Your writing gives me hope. Best wishes from Switzerland. G.

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