The “Just The Facts, Ma’am” Post.

Kimberly and I have been working on well-written and highly informative blog posts to bring you up to date. But they are just not coming together, and given the fact that the weather in Seattle this weekend is amazingly beautiful, they likely won’t be ready soon. But we’ve gone way, way too long without an update, so here’s a quick and dirty summary of the news since the last post.

Kimberly’s father, Tom McKittrick, died. So we’ve both spent time in Houston dealing with that.

When we got back, we had the appointments with med-onc and rad-onc. I also had a PET scan. The PET scan showed that we have three cats and six chickens. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) Actually, the PET results were that the only active cancer in my body is the stuff we know about in the oral cavity. No need to worry about my lungs and/or any lymph nodes in my neck.

My case was discussed at the UWMC Tumor Board, and the plan is to treat me with a combination of modern, high-tech, computer-guided radiation and chemotherapy, which, while grueling, will have less chance of leaving me with further permanent impairment in speech and swallowing. (I say permanent, because I’ll be getting a feeding tube, because the rads and the chemo will temporarily trash my mucous tissues in my mouth. I did say grueling, right?)

Treatment will last 8 weeks, with a weekly dose of drug and doses of radiation 5 days a week. Before we can begin, there will need to be multiple appointments to do advance dental work including likely extractions, to place the feeding tube, and to get the PICC line that they’ll use for the injections. (The aluminum-foil lining (not quite silver) is that we’ll be able to go on the quick trip to NYC I was hoping to make this month, before I’m too deep into the battle.)

More details and descriptions to follow, but not right away.

Yesterday was such a gorgeous and perfect day in Seattle that it almost made me cry. We have really needed a break, and we were given one. Kimberly and I had lunch outdoors at the Fisherman’s Terminal, and went for a long walk through the neighborhood, and drank delicious limonadas on the patio of our local Cuban-influenced café next to the bookstore. This is the kind of weather that makes me happy to be outside giving the chicken coop its spring cleaning. I am quite consciously and enthusiastically enjoying the gift of these days, storing them up to balance the very crappy ones I know are just a few weeks down the road.


14 thoughts on “The “Just The Facts, Ma’am” Post.

  1. Thanks for the quick and dirty. And your PET scan joke made me literally LOL because I am easy that way. Really glad your lungs & lymphs are OK.

  2. I am so sorry to hear about Kimberly’s father – please give her our condolences.

    Good to know your case was discussed with an entire board of tumors.
    Thanks for the update and for posting the picture. More of those, please.

    Looking forward to pix from NY!

  3. Glad to get updated…will consider the salubrious Seattle weather a good omen along with the NYC trip. Happy to learn that advances in technique permit radiotherapy and chemo in spite of all that you have had in the past, although no cake-walk again for the Paul-Kimberly team that deserves at least a cake-walk if not some dance steps.

  4. Enjoying the gifts of every day is the rioght approach. I hope every day – even crappy ones – has a gift in it. So many folks are pulling for you both.

  5. yeah!!! well I am glad that the universe has balanced itself and Karma is on your side… I know this will continue this route…

    Hang in there!

  6. Only 6 chickens? No dogs? you need a Llama Dr. Doolittle. Keep up the trademark humor and wit and rip up NYC!

  7. Peter & I send both of you love, and hugs, and positive thoughts, and commiserations. And hoping to see you soon, tho I don’t know when …. maybe we can wrangle a trip to Seattle, down the line. GOOD LUCK!

  8. Hey Paul,

    I regret that I have been boycotting Facebook and therefore am only now catching up on all the news. My condolences to Kimberly.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers. I know the whole Tableau family will stand behind you as well. (And it is a family, where we are now the crazy uncles that no one listens to.)

    I know something of Dr Futran and it’s good to hear you are in the best and most experienced of hands.

    Take care and see you soon!

  9. My thoughts and good wishes are with both of you. I did speak with Kimberly yesterday at the end of Cascadia. If there is any way we can help, please know that we are ready to do so.

  10. Thanks for posting the update. I’d be happy to drop by during Folklife if you’d care to have the company.

    Best wishes from Oregon!


  11. Good news about the localized tumors (my IPad just turned that into “localized rumors”) . Enjoy the weather and New York. I hope to zip up to Seattle this summer and want to sneak in a visit to you, Kimberly and the cats and chickens.

  12. Nice photo! May the good weather continue. Enjoy NY. Sending positive energy your way.

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