Posted tagged ‘radiation Therapy’

Tough Guys and Masked Men

June 12, 2011

        The first week of Rad Onc Rx was great. They treated me better than a long-lost brother and the prodigal son; the care far exceeded excellent.

         I must give you some back story to prepare you for today’s post. And one more thing. This piece is classic physician bluegrass fiction. It shows the truth but tells no facts in order to protect privacy.

         First off, let me tell you I was never a tough guy. I was OK in basketball and baseball, and had a little touch for golf, but wasn’t much at football. One time I broke a boy’s arm and I wanted to set it. The Coach was not impressed. I just had zero killer instinct and when they tried to beat it into me I’d just laugh, and they finally gave up. (it mad some of ’em mad they couldn’t break me) But, But I was smart enough to compensate for my weaknesses and by instinct surrounded myself with tough guys. Barry Graylord was a farm raised West Virgina mountain boy. When he  moved to Harvey County I became his first pal. We met shooting hoops on Chestnut Street. If he hadn’t broken his femur in his senior year of high school football, I think he’d have become a catcher for the Braves. They were scouting him, but the injury cost him about a half step on his first base jump.

         When I set up medical shop one of my first patients was a bearded fifteen year old fast-picking banjo kid named Moose Dooley. He rode his bike to the office, announced he’d graduated from the Children’s Clinic, and wanted to be  a patient at the new office as he now needed a Board Certified Family Doc for his Medical Home. Bright kid, huh? He was already on the rasslin’ team and a became a star Lineman for the Harvey High Mad Hornet State Champion football team.  We became instant picking buddies and he and Graylord soon became my dynamic duo personal body guards. The only game I could handle them in (or at least could before this illness) was golf. They are tough to this day.

         So, this story will not surprise you. On day two of treatment, two burly men showed up at Rad Oncology. “We are here to see Dr. B.”

        “Excuse me sirs, do you have proper identification?”

         “Tell him its the Masked Brothers. He’ll understand.” Moose then handed her a paper. “Here is our signed HIPAA form if you gotta be formal about it. He won’t sweat the formalities.”

        “So we’ve learned.”

         SHe looked it over. “OK. Your role?”

         “Personal bodyguards. You can send Security to Hardees. Here are the rules in Harvey County. They hold just as true here in the home of Earl Scruggs. “You don’t tug on Superman cape; you don’t spit in the wind, you on’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger and you don’t mess around with Jim. But above all, no one, and I mean no one, messes with Dr. B, and sure as hell ain’t no one gonna take that Bolo mask off him. Anyone tries to touch him, we take over. He never had enough meanness in him; that’s our job. And now he is weakened state. We will protect him at all costs.”

        “Can you handle it?”

        “Ma’am, we whupped Haystack Calhoun and The Kentuckians. We even kicked good guy Johnny Weaver’s a^^ one time when it was indicated. We were undefeated. No one took the mask off us. See that little man in the cage with the cane and the chair? Name’s Governor Homer O’Dell. He started with us as a Colonel and moved up the ranks.”

      One nurse appeared she perhaps might be older than 37. She moved over to take a look. “Hey, I used to watch World Wide Wrestling reruns after the Fred Kirby Little Rascals show. You guys are a but more pudgy than what I recall, but by chance are you the Bolo Brothers?”

       “Ma’am, if anyone demands an answer to that question, we are not allowed to answer but are honor bound to put the Eagle Claw hold on that individual.”

        “Would it kill me?”

         “We’d stop short of that but it’d make you wish you were dead. We seek no trouble though. Follow our rules and there will be no violence. The mask never came off us and no one shall remove the mask off Dr. B until approved by Dr. Angel H. Maddux.”

        ” Yes sirs, I appreciate your assistance. You are welcome in our institution any time.”

        The masked men handed her a card. “We are at your beck and call.”

         Moose turned to Graylord. Hey pal, better let Homer out of his cage. The way he’s flailing away with that cane he looks like an octopus trying to break his way out of a phone booth.”

“Got it.”

“Dr. B, you ok?”

(From behind the mask) “All cool guys, and feel even better with you on my team. I never was a tough guy.”

Yeah you were Doc. You’ve got a tough brain and the good sense to surround yourself with all the right people at every turn. You were always there for us and we’re with ya all the way.”

I have the best family and friends in the history of the world, and they are a major part of my hope for a cure.

Dr. B


When a Man Loves a Woman

June 8, 2011

        First day of combo aggressive treatment went well. My Rad Oncologist is the most modern as is her staff and equipment. The big Medical Center said, “They can do you just as well as we can.” At the first consultation my Doc and her Staff corrected that assertion. “We can do just a touch better, ’cause we know ya. You’re’re in the home of Earl Scruggs, and that gives us extra power. you won’t have quite as long as ride back to Harvey County from here, so you’ll get back to prescribed nap time quicker. Wait and see.”

         It started out with chemo of course, and then some very cool non drug induced (except chemo) laser light show.

         Then they put on my Bolo mask. “We’re gonna put on some music for you before we start. The song was “When a Man Loves a Woman.” Percy Sledge. “Do you have any questions?”

        “Okay, how did y’all know I played horns in a soul band  way back wwhen? That was one of me and Marfar’s theme songs when we met.”

        “You know a Snookers Molesby?”

        “Sure. Ace of the Harvey High Mad Hornet golf team. How do you know Snook?”

         “Doc when take a history, we take a history. We promised even more personal care than the Medical Center with equal high-tech.”

        I gave ’em a thumbs up. They hit all the co-ordinates. Spot on! More to follow somewhere around Monday.

Dr. B

D day today

June 8, 2011

        This is my first day of all out concomitant Radiation oncology and  chemotherapy. Pretreatment and early preparation was an unqualified success. My hematologist chose my Rad oncology Center (and with my 100% blessings because he trusted the docs, knew the staff,and knew of their state of art equipment, but also because he knew of special attributes they would bring to the table for this old bluegrass doc that would bring extra power to my plan and improve my odds. Look for his report in the NEJM someday, but you will be able to read it here on my blog long before that. (You will always hear it here first, even before the Enquirer, thank goodness) I plan to post on Monday and update you at least every week. Look for that Monday post;I anticipate it will be extra good (and not too long) 

           And as always I promise only here will you be able to get the true inside physician bluegrass story on the world of Radiation Oncology. As always I promise you can count on me to write physician bluegrass fiction to show you the truth, but also tell no facts to protect the privacy of the other patients.

        I enter the battle with concern but no fear . I have Jesus, family, and music in my heart, and so many friends by my side. They all ask have asked what they can do. This is all I need: Keep the music going. If you ever drift thru my area sit down with me for a meal and play me a song. And go to MACC and or send ’em money. That’s it. Play “Long Gone” for me every so often. (My tumor’s theme song until we kick it out of its unlawful residence) Go Bluegrass. you’re part of saving me every day you play.

        And say a prayer for those who suffer and have no relief in sight. They have it far worse than I do. Let’s never forget them.

Dr. B

I Saw the Light

June 2, 2011

        I saw the light a long time ago, but today I start Radiation therapy, so I reckon my headlight ‘ll burn a little brighter for a while. Don’t worry, I’m not a radiation to risk to friends and family and safe to be around.

         Bless all of you. No matter what I’ve had a great life and a secure reservation in Eternity, but God says not to cash in my Railway to Heaven” pass yet; He still has plans for me.

         So many cards and letters I can’t to ’em fast enough. It has been like Jimmy Stewart in “A Wonderful Life” but I didn’t have to jump off a bridge to get to see it. 

          However this plays out, I want to be a witness. I ain’t perfect but I did my best and asked forgiveness for the rest, and I think that’s all we are asked.

        The docs have cleared me for one set of a gig to fill in on mandolin with The Leonard McSwain band at Bethel Baptist in Shelby, N.C. for a church supper and Mission fundraiser; just my kinda gig. It starts at 6:00 Saturday. For details call them 704 482 8922. If you live to far away and can’t make it, or want another cause consider a donation to MACC. (Musicians Against Childhood Cancer) All that money goes to St Jude. Go see it if you can. The docs won’t let me go that far this year.

       This illness has slowed my steps, but not my spirit. I am determined it will not rob me of my of my dignity or my opportunity to serve my people in some way even if somewhere down the road it does me in.

         If it lets the world know of the Grace of Jesus, the love of devoted family, the healing power of music and, of the wonderful talents of all my bluegrass friends, then the beast was defeated even if it takes my physical body in the end.

        I saw the light a long time ago, and it has been a wonderful life for it, and I believe I still have some miles to go, though I may walk them a little slower from here on.

        God bless every one of you. Luv u all. If you see a little light bobbing along in some old Southern doctor’s hypertrophied brain, know  I just want to try and be a beacon and I’m not dangerous to hug.

 Dr. B