Monday, I had a bone marrow biopsy. Not as painful as some folks claim. No report yet on whether the Hodgkin’s lymphoma has gotten into the marrow
Today, I saw my old neighbor in Omaha, Dr. Jim Armitage, who is one of the world’s leading authorities on the treatment of lymphoma. He is at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. What a gentle, kind man! He will consult with Dr. Nate Green my local treating oncologist. I have great confidence in Dr. Green as well.
Earlier, I had a CT guided needle biopsy of the lymph nodes but the PET scan that followed isolated activity in the left lung as well as activity in the lymph nodes. Dr. Armitage therefore suggested a biopsy of a nodule in my left lung revealed by the PET scan. While it is unlikely, he wants to rule out the possibility that there are two different kinds of cancers taking a bite out of me at the same time. So, off to UNMC on Friday to have a CT guided needle biopsy of the left lung by an interventional radiologist. Thereafter, the pathologists at UNMC, who are also world-class when it comes to lymphomas, will be able to tell if the growth is the product of Hodgkin’s lymphoma or some other cancer.
At the local hospital, I will have the port installed tomorrow through which chemotherapy will be administered. On Thursday, once again at the local hospital, the ejection fraction of my heart (pumping capacity in lay terms) will be tested so that the doctors have a good baseline. Certain chemo drugs can impair the heart and with a proper baseline that concern can be monitored properly during the administration of chemo therapy.
Hopefully, early next week, Dr. Green will tell me what he and Dr. Armitage have decided is the best course of treatment. After that, I can start planning on how to balance my caseload with the demands of treatment. My wonderful colleagues have offered to lend a hand in any way I might need. But, I can’t make any firm plans until I have a better insight into what may be ahead. In this regard, I am very sensitive to the fact that lawyers need to know where they stand, but feel awkward inquiring. (“Say Judge, I know you have cancer and all, but are you going to be able to try my fucking case that you continued twice already?”) Truly, as soon as I have firm plan of action, I will let my colleagues and members of the bar know what I will be doing.
To conclude, let me ask a question: Can you ever get too much of a good thing? By the looks of things, I am out to answer that age-old question. More later.
PS. I appreciate the many words of support and encouragement. When I can, I will respond individually. But for now, know that I appreciate the thoughtfulness. That appreciation even extends to David Stickman, Nebraska’s excellent Federal Public Defender. In part, David wrote: “This type of cancer must be like the guidelines, no longer mandating a harsh result. Advisory in the sense it must be properly diagnosed (and treated) but then wholly disregarded!” David Stickman, March 7, 2014 at 8:46 am. David, you have no shame, but I have always liked that about you.