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« Jeff Zaslow's Last Lesson | Main | Be a Good Patient; Study Up - Part II »

March 16, 2012

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Bill Kleine

When I first was diagnosed I went to a medical library and spent a long day reading Urology citations. I learned a great deal but did not get the "control" that drove me there. When I realized what I was trying to do, I changed my goal. My new goal focused on using knowledge as a tool toward effective communication with my doctor.

Friday my doctor informed me that the interleukin, while stopping growth, had not shrunk either tumor. My understanding of that treatment and the circumstances under which it can lead to a complete remission enabled me to hear what he was saying: "I don't think I can cure you with this and I have far less toxic ways of stopping tumor growth."

In our discussions we've talked about death and my desire to take a balanced approach to treatments. I understood and appreciated his recommendation that we look at surgical management at this point. While the loss of the only "cure" for my disease was disappointing, it does not dimminish my hope. My hope is to live with cancer if I cannot kill it; living gracefully rather than dying by inches.

Wendy S. Harpham, MD

Dear Bill,
Your sharing your experiences, thoughts and feelings with me and readers of this blog is a gift that touches me deeply. You are teaching us all. Thank you. With respect and hope, Wendy

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