Saturday, June 5, 2010

My Medical Degree is from Google...

And this guy's is real.

I finally got to meet Dr. Baltz on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend. I call him Baltzy for short, for no real reason, and I was honored to be Dad's date for his scan-reading appointment.
First, you wait in the waiting room for a really, rheaally, rrrreeeaaaaallly long time. You contemplate what everyone elses' affliction is, you watch the end of Ellen, then head on in to Oprah, you wonder why they've juxtaposed such modern art and horrific waiting room art.

Dad was VERY VERY last that day. You know what they say. So we go in, and they take your latest concerns, then the MAN comes in.

Let me say, that I'm fairly confident with my google degree. So first we do the introductions, and Baltzy says that the spots in Dad's lungs are still stable. This is good news, and Dad and I high-fived.

Side note on spherical volume: The mets that they measure, we assume are globular, but also spehrical in nature. THEREFORE; we can compute their volume, which is fun.
So, the larger met, in comparison to its measurement in July of 09, is a mere 18% of its original size. Roughly the size of your pinky fingernail. I'm a fingernail biter, so mine is really really smal. The small met, which we were originally calling a slack-ass because it wasn't shrinking like it should, is a mere 42% of it's original size. Ain't math fun? As Baltzy told us in the beginning, stability is the mark of success. Now,back to my visit with said Oncologist.

We get the good news that he's stable, we high-five, then I go in for the kill. I ask if Dad can take a lower dose of Sutent. Acutally, let me set this up for you.

Me: What's the risk (on a scale of 1-10) to lower his doseage to see if that gives him any relief from the sore feet?

Him: YOU KNOW WHAT? I'VE GOT SOME OF THIS BLONDE THINKING TOO (I do have excellent hair color, the fine Dr's is more natch...), AND I'M SICK OF THIS SHIT! He finishes his sentence with his fingers almost around my neck.

Me (in my head): Geeeez, my degree's as good as yours pal!
Me (in real life): Geeeez! Ok? So a 10?

Him: We're riding on a miracle wave here, and any ground we might lose we will never get back. His feet won't hurt if he's dead, would you prefer that?

Me (in my head) : I can't believe he tried to choke me?!
Me (real life): Of course not. So what about his thyroid levels. Do we do synthroid? Isn't low thyroid a good indicator of Sutent effectiveness?

Him: You have done your homework, but you have more to do. There's one group that says to treat the thyroid level. There's another that agrees with low thyroid being a symptom of effective Sutent, and not to treat. We're going with them. No synthroid. He won't have any fatigue if he's dead. Would you rather that?

Me: Eye roll, Elvis lip curl, and head shake

Him: You are a refreshing combination of your mother and father.

Me: Toothy grin and a thumbs up (I'm rendered speechless at this point and I've forgotten all my other questions.)

Bottom line is that his lungs are stable, and he is to continue on 50mg Sutent. Dad and I discussed that all we have is our side to contemplate. Baltzy told us that someone died of RCC last week. He's got the other side to pull from, and keeps us grounded in the reality of what we're facing. We trust him, and he'll keep on taking the 50 mg.

I've moved on to a google radiology degree, so I can measure these mets myownself.

Back at the casa, the redneck pool has taken on an astronomical form. It has fountains, squirters, and now.... A HEATER. Yup. So Sam and Dad spent the better part of Saturday plumbing in the heater. They were only short one 45 degree angled PVC connector (impressive!). Once it was all connected and plumbed, and ready, it wouldn't turn on. Aaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwww- it just wasn't plugged in. Ha!
So the propane heater raised up the water temperature from 62 to 76 in about 6 hours. Not bad. The grandbabies' lips didn't turn blue.

The grandkids had a fun time, Dad initiated a water gun fight, and it was kinda like being at the beach except for:
you have to climb a ladder to get to water
the dog was there
limited drive time

But it was really like the beach in that:
we played in the sun all day
bathing suits
sandwiches for lunch with wet hands
everybody there (except rach and matt)
that nice exhaused feeling you feel at 7 pm.

Here's Emily holding her own against all the boys.

All's stable,


Debbie Byrd said...

No picture of Dr. Baltz's office and waiting room experience would be complete without describing Belinda the Best Receptionist Anywhere. "How ya doin' Baby? We'll see you next time, Baby" Laughter, lots of laughter everywhere. It's a happy place. And I love the little glass-front refrigerator with little water bottles. Stay hydrated! Have we mentioned that we HEART Dr. Baltz?

Rachel Silvestri said...

I love that everytime I read a story of this so-called-best-weekend-in-LR-with-"EVERYONE THERE" ... Matt and I at least get a mention. Oh yes, let's not forget about that bonus kid. Haha. I kid. Glad you're stable Dad. I really am.

BrendaE said...

So happy for a good updated report. Praying you just get better and better. Now go jump in the pool!