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Monday, October 1, 2007

The first step, seven hours away

I'm about to have some food at 11:30 p.m. That's because I can't eat after midnight. At 6:30 I must walk into Winter Park Hospital, part of the Florida Hospital group, for two procedures, adding a feeding tube to my stomach and adding a line to an artery in my chest. Each will have a specific use in the coming months.

The feeding tube will be there for the days I cannot eat or drink because the radiation has swelled my esophagus too much. "You can pour Gatorade or Ensure in," Dr. David Diamond told me. He's the radiologist who is the other part of my chemo-radiation pre-surgery treatment. He's a nice guy, even if he leans quite a bit to the right. So far to the right that he said to warn off liberals because he might not be able to treat them the same. Yipes, I thought. I'm about as liberal as they come, I told him. Should I find another doc? I asked. Of course not, he assured me, even after I insulted his party, its leader and its leader's corruption. But I digress.

So I go to the hospital and will be there a day and a half. From there, I go to the doctor's office Wednesday to have a radiation "sim." This is where they figure out just where they want that radioactive beam pointing. And for how long. I'll be zapped five days a week. It'll be intense. But I think the chemo, a shot every 22 days or so plus a daily dose with a chemo pump strapped to my belt and injecting radioactive chemicals into that line going into the artery in my chest.

I just keep thinking how lucky I really am.

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