Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What do cancer and MS have in common?

Chronic pain.

We're heading to Houston for that appointment at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. The whole prospect of another doctor offering other worldly treatments with unknown chances of working has just got me down. Shots in the dark are expensive, unproductive, and take their toll on our emotions.

Our experience with the Which Doctor has been frustrating and depressing. He has maintained BR on increasingly potent opioids, without which BR's pain would be unbearable. All the while, he sequentially offers invasive treatments which seem to line his pocket without providing BR any relief.

It's time for some new blood on this symptom, which is why we've agreed to travel the 165 miles to Houston for a consultation. The drive alone will be torture for BR. Our hope is the doctor there will have a bit more compassion for a patient like BR. Maybe he will understand the toll chronic pain takes on every aspect of the patient's life. Maybe he will realize that experimentation, though necessary, comes at a cost to the patient, both financially and emotionally. And maybe, just maybe, he'll be a human, and not just a doctor.

If he has nothing to offer as treatment, that will be fine. If he has anything to offer about how to know when it's time for hospice, that will be better. When is the pain too much? In a particularly bad moment last week, BR wondered if Jesus had already come for him, and he didn't go.


Kim said...

When are you heading to Houston? Fingers crossed that this is a human doctor and not an evil, nasty doctor. More importantly, I hope that you get some answers, some relief, and some peace of mind.

Sending you tons of love,


Cranky said...

Steve - ditto to what Kim said. I couldn't have expressed it better.

Anonymous said...

You two have fought a wonderful fight and I hope you get answers and relief for sweet Bob.Let me know how the trip is going. Much love, Dede

kmilyun said...

Hope this trip is productive and BR finds some relief. Amazing how hard it is to find a Dr on the same page or at least willing to listen.