To the few who have been following this blog but have almost given up, please know that I was diagnosed with a large sarcoma in my abdomen in February 2020. My oncologist at M. D. Anderson in Houston immediately put me on chemotherapy, which I received in Jackson from a local oncologist.
The first treatment consisted of GEMcitabine and DOCEtaxel. They corrupted my sense of taste and made nearly all food inedible, so I lost considerable weight. They also caused my hair to fall out, made me feel bad, and had no effect on the tumor.
In July, the doctors at M. D. Anderson switched me to DOXOrubicin, an older treatment with a reputation for making patients sick. They nicknamed it “Red Devil” after its red color. For me, it was an improvement. My hair came back, and I started to eat a wider variety of dishes. I also began to feel better. While the DOXOrubicin didn’t shrink the tumor, it stopped it from growing any further.
On March 9, I underwent abdominal surgery, which was a complete success. The tumor had attached itself to my body in only two places, and the surgeon removed it with little difficulty. The reconstruction surgeon took longer than the cancer surgeon to repair my abdominal wall.
To my surprise, the doctors discharged me the following Wednesday, the 17th. In my previous surgery (2013), I stayed in the hospital for nearly five weeks.
Because of the pandemic, the hospital forbade visitors, so my wife stayed in Jackson. Until this stay in Houston, I had not realized how much I needed companionship while staying in a hospital room. The nurses and doctors were in the room frequently, but they were no substitute for a friend or loved one. They were friendly, but they had their work to do and little time to socialize. I was lonely.
I’ve been recovering from the surgery, but until now, I haven’t felt like writing.
So much has happened since the presidential election that I haven’t mentioned. Catching up will be impossible. I have some comments concerning the insurrection on January 6 at the U. S. Capitol that will appear on this blog in a few days. The current amnesia now being exhibited by numerous Republicans attempting to downplay the seriousness of that attack will also be the subject of another article. Stay tuned.