Cancer Journal 15, 2019

This morning, as I was getting ready to take a shower, I noticed that the red area on the skin on the side of my chest, beneath my right arm, had grown in size. I looked closer and noticed a similar rough, red, patchy area on the underside of my arm. It was in an area that comes in contact with the original red splotch. And then I noticed a much smaller, but very similar pair of red splotches mirrored on my left side.  What I originally thought was a “burn” byproduct of my radiation treatment no longer seemed to make sense. I was getting a series of rashes that looked like they had developed, for the most part, overnight. I decided I needed to ask my health care team what gives.

And so I wrote my oncologist a note and left it with her office when I went for my radiation treatment. The note covered multiple issues. While I was in radiation, my wife texted a message that the oncologist’s office had called with answers to the questions I left for her.  I had already asked the radiologist’s nurse about it and she suggested I visit with him after treatment, which I did. He looked at the rashes and asked questions about whether I had changed deodorants or bath soaps. He then called the oncologist. They chatted, during which it was apparent neither of them had any idea what might be causing the rashes. They agreed I should see a dermatologist. The radiologist’s nurse called a dermatologist to make an appointment with a nurse practitioner. First available date: the afternoon of February 1. So I have an appointment. In the interim, I’ll try my own remedies, using cortisone creams and the like.

The oncologist’s response to my question about why she had asked Caris Life Sciences for “molecular intelligence.” It has nothing to do with current treatment. Instead, it was requested to provide data in the event my cancer recurs. If that were to happen, the data might suggest appropriate treatments from what might then be available.

Nothing else new for the time being.


About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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