Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Hubris & Nemesis

En français ci-dessous.

2nd edition with French translation. Warning: Using the French translation for academic purposes could be dangerous for your grades and ambitions.

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I've been bragging on the French health system. Well, everyone's got problems. I'll try to keep to the short version.

As near as I can figure, another hospital is having staffing problems and the oncologist from my hospital is spending half her time there. Or something. Whatever, she has not responded to any of my phone calls for 3 or 4 weeks, so that I haven't been able to complain, yet again, that the current chemo protocol is totally ineffective.

In addition to being able to feel the tumours with my fingers, I am losing control of my bladder. To empty it requires pushing on my stomach and there are occasional leaks. I believe, but may be wrong, that the sciatica that is crippling me is not caused by my usual back problem, but the tumors pressing on the nerve. So, finally, I arranged for a scan elsewhere, had a series of blood tests and, yesterday, saw an oncologist at the cancer institute in Avignon.

The bad news: My CA-125 is over 2000, again, the tumours have about doubled in size (I knew that without the scan) and have probably invaded my kidneys. I have an appointment with a urologist in Orange tomorrow afternoon and there is the possibility of radiology or surgery following that. He'll do the evaluation.

The good news: I have an appointment at the Léon Béard Center in Lyon next Friday. It is "the reference" for research/treatment centers in the region.

How I feel: Angry, leg in constant pain, not very mobile, pissed off, not exactly frightened, but somewhere in there, tired (platelets down to 35), annoyed and vulnerable.

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Mauvaise traduction du blog:

Je vantais le systeme des soins en France. Or, tout le monde a des problèmes. En court:

J'entends dire que l'hôpital de Montpellier manque des médecins et l'oncologue de l'hôpital de Montélimar passe une partie de son temps là-bas. N'importe. Elle n'a pas répondu à mes coups de fils depuis 3 ou 4 semaines, donc je n'était pas pu me plaindre, encore, que le protocol actuel de la chimio est completement inefficace.

Je peux toucher les tumeurs avec des doigts et je perds la mâtrise de la vessie. Il faut pousser sur la ventre pour la vider et, des fois, il y a des fuites. Je crois -- mais peût-être en erreur -- que la sciatique que me fait estropiée vient de la pression des tumeurs, pas du disque. Enfin, j'ai eu le scanner ailleurs, a fait faire une prise de sang et, hier, a vu un oncologue à l'Institut Sainte Catherine à Avignon.

Les mauvaises nouvelles: Le CA-125 est à plus de 2000 de nouveau, les tumeurs sont deux fois la taille qu'ils ont eu en mai (j'ai le dirais sans scanner) et ont envahi les reins. J'ai un rendez-vous avec un urologue à Orange demain soir et il y aura la possibilité de la radiologie our la chirugie après. L'urologue déciderait.

Les bonnes nouvelles: J'ai un rendez-vous avec un oncologue au Centre Léon Bérard à Lyon, la réference des soins pour la région, vendredi, 7 aôut.

Comment je vais en moi: fachée, jambe douleureuse, pas très mobile, fachée, pas exactement peureuse, mais un peu, fatiguée (plaquettes à 35), fachée, et vulnerable.


  1. Well crap, Margot. I think you're entitled to feel any damn well you please these days. Good luck with the Orange urologist :) and I hope they figure out how to deal with the kidney tumors. That does not sound at all fun.
    (((hugs))) Wish I could do more.

  2. Well, shit and merde, Margot. Did the oncologist have anything to say yesterday, or just waiting to hear from urologist and your referral next week?
    I wish you were closer, and not way the hell over there (or I wasn't way the hell over here). It is unconscionable for an oncologist to not answer phone calls for that long, no matter how busy. Hopefully you can get some answers when you go to Lyon next week.

  3. I'm sorry French Health Care S-U-C-K-S. Pack a bag. I know you hate surgery but I hope you get operated on ASAP - in Lyon if you can swing it, or get there soon as you can. I'm writing a letter of complaint on your behalf. BAH!

  4. Hugs is good. :-)
    The oncologist said the first thing to do is to tend to the kidneys. He also was pleased that I'm going to Lyon and knows -- or knows of -- the oncologist I'm to see there.
    No, it doesn't, Doobie. In the States you have to get lucky. Here, I just got unlucky.

  5. What Carina said for sure. I hope they can fix it. I wish they could fix it forever, though, just by cutting it out.

  6. Bel effort de traduction, Margot! Nous comprenons que tu abordes une phase délicate et tes prochains rendez-vous sont importants. C'est bien que tu ailles à Lyon, là où sont les grands spécialistes. Nous sommes de tout coeur avec toi. AgnèsMax

  7. Oh dear, I'm so sorry about the doctor about the chemo and about potential for more surgery. At least anger should be a great motivator to kick some doctor butt. I can send you ass kicking boots if you'd like. Boots filled with chocolate and hugs.

    Olga, cheering for team Margot