Risk and Reward

February 22, 2006


I talked with my dad this morning. It appears Little Rock, Arkansas is not such a bad place and mom and dad are very impressed with the Center there. There is every support system you could possibly need to get you through being treated for myeloma. (I even read on the website that they will send people to your hotel room to do blood work so you don’t have to come down to the hospital. Now THAT’s service.) And everyone is really, really nice. G-d bless the South.

I know they’re wrestling with some very big decisions. If they decide to get mom treated there, it looks like they’ll have to move there for six months. They both cry at the thought of being away from their kids and grandkids for that long (and the ones still to arrive). And I know it would be hard for us and especially The Swimmy, but Jesus, if six months can buy you 10 years – GO!

Mom’s oncologist here is the best in the city. Hands-down. But she told them with her treatment they were looking at five years. So, that’s not really acceptable when with other treatments they may double that life expectancy.

Now they have to talk about “at what risk”. There are exciting (yet aggressive) treatments in Arkansas that are getting good results, but we haven’t heard the “risk” side of the equation yet. For instance, you can do treatment X, but there is a 6% chance of death. Well, that’s too big a risk that may take 10 years down to only 6 mos. Again, not acceptable.

I know my dad wants to do what is best for my mom. We all do. And if moving to Arkansas is what needs to be done, then they need to do it. We’ll get dad a laptop and a web cam and buy a cam for ourselves. Planes still fly to Arkansas last time I checked. We’ll come visit. We will cheer for the Razorbacks. And eat lots of barbeque and chicken.

After a long day of testing, they’ll get to rest this afternoon. Tomorrow they’ll meet with the doctor for two and a half hours to talk about his views on her disease, her options, and his recommendations. And, of course, the risks around those treatment options. Then they’ll get on a plane and come home. To a million Swimmy kisses.

There’s no better greeting than that.

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One Response to “Risk and Reward”

  1. Husband Says:

    Yes, we will do whatever it takes to make your folks feel more like home, but don’t ever make me root for the Razorbacks. That, my dear who I love, I can’t do. Everything else..no problemo!