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Guns Reloading - Hapax Legomena
A word from the decaying mind of Paul Haines
Guns Reloading
While sheltering in a battered waiting room, bullets whistling past my ears, I pause to breathe and reload.  My oncologist is blowing a bugle, not quite the cavalry, but, fuck, at least he's on a horse and he's reaching out his arm to pull me up.

Unlike your over-worked, stressed GP who is always looking at his watch to see if you've hit your fifteen minute limit for an appointment, the over-worked, stressed oncologist takes as long as it takes with you. There are no hypochondriacs here.

He lays down the battle plan for forty-five minutes.

And here's how we attack:

He still wants to wait a couple of months (ideally he wants even more than that) to see how the cancer in my liver is behaving. He also understands our fear, our need, to not be sitting around waiting to do nothing. So in those couple of months we will try the other two forms of chemotherapy for cancers like I have and to combine that with a monoclonal antibody called Avastin. Chemo fights the tumour, the antibody fights the blood vessels feeding the tumour. Unfortunately, Avastin is not part of Medicare or the private health system's funding at this stage, so we're having to come up with $20,000 to do it. Our parents have said they will help us here, which is a great relief.

After a couple of months I get another CT scan. What do we want to see? Tumour shrinkage, reduction in the number of tumours, you know, that sort of life-affirming thing. If the cancer responds to the treatment, then we continue it. if it hasn't, and there are no further spots, then surgery becomes a good course of action. If there are more spots, then we hit it with direct radiation.

Combine all this with the diet and the meditation and healing course, and, hopefully, exercise, then I am throwing everything I possibly can at it. Except for the coffee enemas. My surgeon advised me not to, or, as he said, "I'd prefer you didn't", and especially seeing I have a Frankenstein's Monster stitched up down inside there. The risks are just a teensy bit higher than normal.

And the only coffee I'm drinking at the moment is Dandelion Root coffee. It's not so bad. I notice I'm the only one in the house drinking it though.

Time to start squeezing that trigger...

Tags: ,
Current Music: Underworld "Underneath The Radar" (1988)

43 comments or Leave a comment
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karenmiller From: karenmiller Date: July 22nd, 2008 07:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Your courage is inspiring, Paul. I hope you know how many hearts are fighting with you.
From: cruzhenrotte Date: October 9th, 2008 02:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Tell her to keep fighting, I hope she is OK- Thank you for making this film-I hope you are well too.
chrisbarnes From: chrisbarnes Date: July 22nd, 2008 08:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, not the miracle news we were all hoping for, but at least you've now got a plan of attack. Sorry to hear about the cost, though. (And the dandelion root coffee.)
From: julietteweltde Date: October 17th, 2008 12:32 am (UTC) (Link)
But either way, now we've got a ballgame, and now you've stole your heart back. " There is, one must admit, a certain Zen to such an approach.
taliehelene From: taliehelene Date: July 22nd, 2008 08:20 am (UTC) (Link)
An extremely well reasoned plan of attack - get a-blazin' with the shooters!
angriest From: angriest Date: July 22nd, 2008 08:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Would it be an affront if any of us started raising funds on your behalf for the $20,000? Not all of it obviously, but even a little might help.

I wanted to ask out front before thinking of any ideas in case you would rather people didn't do this.
paulhaines From: paulhaines Date: July 22nd, 2008 08:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Definitely not an affront!
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
alinta_thornton From: alinta_thornton Date: July 22nd, 2008 09:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Keep those bullets comin, padna.
From: ex_benpayne119 Date: July 22nd, 2008 10:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Good to have a battle plan. Kick its arse.
benpeek From: benpeek Date: July 22nd, 2008 10:32 am (UTC) (Link)
good to hear you're not affronted. if you need people drinking that tea with you as well, btw, i nominate andy.
azhure From: azhure Date: July 22nd, 2008 11:08 am (UTC) (Link)
At least you know what you're dealing with, and you have treatment available. I think Dad's oncologist talked about him trying that monoclonal antibody at one stage too - it sucks so much that it's not covered by medicare :( What sucks even worse is that I could make the damn thing for about $100 in a month in the lab.
From: salhosmann Date: October 9th, 2008 02:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's uncanny, but there are at least ten or more people I know I could have sent that email to. I think I could have written this just last week, yet I wrote it over two years ago; about a month after my transplant.
(Deleted comment)
ellen_datlow From: ellen_datlow Date: July 22nd, 2008 05:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
yes--please let us know how overseas people can also contribute...do you have a paypal account?
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 23rd, 2008 01:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Bank account details, to my email address, *now*!
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 23rd, 2008 01:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Bank account details, to my email address, *now*!

Lee Battersby
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 23rd, 2008 09:35 am (UTC) (Link)

Cousin Kate here ...

Hello lovely, that's great you have a new plan of action! Also wonderful idea your friend had, if we all chip in a little.... we all want to help. I personally love that dandelion root coffee, but then I also like brussell sprouts :)Much love x
treehouseman From: treehouseman Date: July 24th, 2008 04:28 am (UTC) (Link)
What about Chickory coffee? Is that any good? Goddam expensive medicines. I'll be around with cash in small unmarked bills...
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 24th, 2008 04:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Paul, I haven't met you but I'm pretty sure I've seen you at cons. I'm quietly cheering for you and sending lovingkindness through the ether. May you be well and happy. May you feel safe and loved under these difficult circumstances. Oh, and may you learn to love dandelion coffee, too:-)
paulhaines From: paulhaines Date: July 24th, 2008 05:19 am (UTC) (Link)
thank you! I can do the dandelion root coffee, no probs.
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