Thursday, July 21, 2005

IU Redux

Well, I think we've made our last medically related trip to Indianapolis. I like the city, to tell the truth, and I could see myself living there -- there's lots of things to do and it's not as crazy as the "big" cities out there. Anyway, we had one more round of visits with the gurus at IU Cancer Center. Dr. Foster said I was healing very well from the surgery. We also met Dr. Einhorn (the man, the myth, the legend) for the first time. What a nice guy! Very friendly and unassuming, although I will say that his picture on the IU website is a bit out-of-date. Sarah resisted the urge to prostrate herself and kiss his feet in adoration and was content to thank him profusely for pioneering the chemotherapy regime that saved my life.

We also took some pics at the Richard & Annette Bloch Cancer Survivors Park next to the IU Medical Center. As I was making this entry, I discovered that there are multiple versions of this park all over the country! All of the parks have been made possible by the R. A. Bloch Cancer Foundation which is based in Kansas City (Mr. Bloch was the cofounder of H&R Block). Who knew?

We were told that I had maybe a 10% chance of teratoma returning, and a very small chance that the cancer itself would come back. Dr. Einhorn also suggested I could get rid of "Harry the Bastard" (my port-a-cath) if I wanted. I'm giving serious thought to the suggestion. It's not like I need a constant reminder that I'm not out of the woods yet. If I do have a recurrence of the active germ cell cancer that requires additional chemotherapy, I can always have another port put in. I think I'm willing to take that risk if it means asserting my freedom from cancer.

We returned from Indy to find a letter from the FAA telling me that while I couldn't get a regular medical certificate because of my history of cancer, I would be able to get a special issuance certificate. This basically means that I can return to flying, but will need to update the FAA annually on my condition for the next five years or so. I think I can handle that! I'll be scheduling my first post-cancer solo flight as soon as I can.


Andrew Molenda said...

I found that memorial very moving, it gives you a very good perspective on cancer. Glad to hear you are recovering well from your surgery.

I like Dr. Einhorn quite a lot too, he has been with me throughout my 2-year battle. His work on literally turned a near-terminal cancer into one of the most survivable. Sending positive thoughts your way that no teratoma rears it's ugly head. Stay vigilant on your surveillance.