Cancer update - Part 3

Once we arrived in San Diego, we checked into our hotel and scheduled a Thoracentesis at a nearby medical center for the next morning. After the Thoracentesis we drove to Irvine, CA to another clinic that looked promising. This clinic however, offered a combination of both conventional and alternative treatments. I was too sick to fly back home to be treated by my regular oncologist, and he didn’t offer any alternative treatments. I personally knew I needed a combination of both if I was going to survive long term.

After my initial consult with the clinic doctor, I decided to go ahead with the treatment. I knew I needed to act quickly, so I agreed to chemo along with alternative treatments to try and reduce the side effects. Unfortunately the clinic was taking too long to treat me, and kept trying to sell me more treatments, supplements, etc.. I didn’t like how they managed their operation so I found another doctor in Newport Beach, CA. We left the next morning and drove from Irvine to Newport Beach.

When we arrived at our hotel in Newport Beach, I was so sick I could barely function. I was already in a wheelchair because I couldn’t walk, and I looked nine months pregnant from the ascites. My left lung was quickly filling with fluid again and I was struggling to breathe. I was still eating, but hadn’t had a bowel movement in over two weeks. Paige got the doctor on the phone, and she suggested I go to the ER stat.

When we arrived at the ER it didn’t take them long to admit me into the hospital. Paige wasn’t allowed inside due to Covid19 restrictions so she went back to the hotel with our two daughters, who had flown in to help out. I contacted a specific oncologist at the advice of the doctor we met in Newport Beach. He was an older doctor and had over 50 years experience in oncology. He wouldn’t come to the hospital due to Covid and his age, so he coordinated my treatment over the phone. He ordered a slew of exams and blood work, including another Thoracentesis and Paracentesis to drain my lung and abdomen. After he reviewed all my exams and blood work, he recommended that I start chemo (bendamustine) and Rituxin (B&R) immediately. He said if I didn’t take the treatment I might not leave the hospital alive. I knew how serious the situation was, and I was in unrelenting pain, so I agreed.

I ended up staying in the hospital for ten days and convinced them to release me. I felt a little better after the Thoracentesis and Paracentesis, and the B&R treatment knocked down most of my small tumors. I tolerated the treatment well with no side effects at the time. I was hopeful that one or two more treatments would knock down the rest of my cancer, and I could get back on the pancreatic enzyme treatment. The B&R treatment was every 28 days and the doctor we met in Newport Beach recommended that I see a specialized oncologist in Calabasas, CA to continue to be treated. I agreed, so we scheduled treatment with him the following week.