[cancer] Field notes from Cancerland, Maryland follies

Weird tests

The fecal occult blood test is one of my favorite medical test names ever, edging out even Western blot. Yes, there was poo flinging around here this morning at Nuevo Rancho Lake Oriente. The things we do for medical science.

Slotting in with an NIH team

I appear to be slotted in with an NIH team. I won’t know formally until Monday, and even then there are several major choice points looming ahead. Once I am formally enrolled and understand the public profile, I’ll report in more detail. Suffice to say it has been an incredibly productive week. My head is practically overflowing with information. I think we’ve taken 20,000+ words of notes, not to mentions charts, spreadsheets and selection criteria matrices. Also, I apparently continue to distinguish myself as self-directed patient man.

Time here in Maryland

Due to the major choice points referenced above, my time here in Maryland is still a nebulous quantity. At this point, I expect to be here most of the next two months, through the end of February, but my exact comings and goings back to Oregon and in-patient hospital time are still subject to considerable revision. When I know more, I’ll say more.

Stuff to do next week

We’re staying through next Saturday at a minimum. I have a surgical clinic appointment next Friday, and prior to that probably at least one other clinic appointment as well as a handful of screening tests and assessments focused on both the proposed surgery and on the subsequent treatment protocol. In other words, intermittently and unpredictably busy.


We’re not hoping for a cure here. We’re hoping for a meaningful halt or reduction in tumor growth. If we can achieve that, we can look at the next steps. As I’ve said before, hope can be very poisonous for me. But the fact that we’re doing interesting things at the cutting edge of medicine fills me with an emotion not unakin to hope. It’ll do, for now.

5 thoughts on “[cancer] Field notes from Cancerland, Maryland follies

  1. Stevie says:

    Jay, again this is very welcome news! I do empathise strongly with the dangers of the two edged sword that is hope, but as the saying goes it ain’t over till the fat lady sings. You’ve written some amazing space operas so I think we are entitled to extend the metaphor…

  2. Cora says:

    Keeping fingers crossed as always.

  3. I’m glad it’s been such a remarkably productive week. “Doing interesting things at the cutting edge of medicine” sounds exactly like you.

  4. Ilsa says:

    While you’re there, and if you’ve got time, try Yetka: nice Persian place in Rockville. Or Bombay Bistro.

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