[Previous entry: "Zotob...and others"] [Main Index] [Next entry: "From the Spoof"]
08/20/2005 Archived Entry: "Upgrade on Chris Tame's condition"
Chris Tame writes...[click on 'more' for his update]
This is the first of regular numbered emailings from me regarding the state of my health and any possible treatments of my cancer. I will also be sending out individual items of information as they pop up (I have
already sent out details of one essay abstract today). These emailings are being sent to friends who wanted more regular and detailed information and those who have volunteered to help on research and to offer advice on angles of attack.
A quick summary:
I was discharged from hospital this Monday following the operation on my right leg. The operation inserted a number of pins to strengthen my leg and pelvis against the imminent danger of fracture. I am now walking with the aid of crutches. I have been told that if I persist in regular - alas painful - exercises I should eventually be able to walk fairly normally without the crutches.
My cancer care has now been transferred from the private Bishops Wood Hospital I had been in for the last few weeks to the Royal Marsden Hospital, probably the leading cancer treatment centre in the UK. My initial oncologist at the former, Dr. Nihal Shah, will also be maintaining an interest in my case.
Name of Cancer
I have been diagnosed as having epitheliod angiosarcoma. The cancer has primarily spread to the bones, largely in my spine, pelvis and right leg, with some minor signs on my left neck/shoulder and the ribs on both sides of my chest.
Prognosis and Treatment
This cancer is apparently incurable. The likely prognosis is that it will eventually move into other organs - my
lungs or kidneys - and it is that which will take me out. Treatment appears to be largely a matter of pain and
symptom control and delay. I have already had some radiotherapy to the most severely affected parts. More
might be considered. The pain is under control and largely suppressed by time-controlled morphine based drugs. I have ample supplies of morphine to deal with any breakthrough pain when it occurs. When the limits of radiotherapy have been reached the next line of defense is Bisphosphonates. Following that the last option is chemotherapy - although I got the impression that the oncologist felt that this was the last resort and to be balanced against their undoubtedly bad side effects.
Unfortunately the oncologists have no clear idea at the moment of when this cancer started and thus how aggressive it is. They are still examining the clinical evidence, scans and X-rays. They are thus largely dependent upon observing symptoms and taking further scans in order to monitor current progression. I have been warned that, at worst, I could have a little as few months left, or, at best a few years.
Scientific Medicine and "Alternative/Complementary" Medicine
I am, of course, a hard-line rationalist and "extropian" and well aware of the difference between scientific
evidence and medicine and anecdotal and unsystematised or dissident perspectives. There is, however, a huge body of well documented cases of thousands of people who have received similar death sentences but who have experienced miraculous cures, remissions or considerable extensions of life span as a result of complementary/alternative treatments. If them, why not me? Whilst avoiding extremes of gullibility and obvious shysters it makes sense for me to pursue whatever such treatments have some credibility - alongside, of course, whatever mainstream treatments exist or may be in the course of development.
All Assistance, Research and Comments Welcome
I greatly welcome ANY information and research findings regarding both scientific and alternative treatments, as well as responses to material I will post to this list.
Although I have no income at the moment the cost of my treatment is fully covered by my private health insurance, via BUPA. I am not sure, however, whether this would cover treatment in any institutions outside of the UK. I will have to check on this. I have a healthy amount in my bank account following the sale of my central London apartment. However, I will need to martial my resources frugally as the likelihood of my obtaining any income in the foreseeable future is slim.
Responding to Messages
Please do not expect immediate responses by return to messages. I have many tasks to complete, in addition to that of researching the condition and possible treatments. There have also been days when I have experienced total exhaustion and have been unable to do anything.
My preferred postal address is the home of my good friends and colleagues Dr. Tim & Helen Evans, who are kindly allowing me to live with them within easy reach of the Royal Marsden Hospital and other London services and treatment facilities.
Dr. Chris R. Tame
c/o Dr. Tim Evans
78 Broughton Road
Tel: 00 44 20 7736 0903 (Land line - Code as it should be
USA) Tel: 00 44 7957 644519 (My mobile - Code as it should
be dialled from USA)
Contact Details 17-30 August
Whilst I am relatively healthy I am taking a brief holiday in Jakarta, Indonesia, with my good friend John Battalana. As well as John's company I will be enjoying the ministrations of assorted dusky maidens. I will be available on both my mobile and my ordinary email addresses. John's mobile number is: 006281 8151791 (If you get a voicemail do NOT leave a message as it doesn't work; just try again later) Time differential: 7 hours ahead of London time (which is 5 hours ahead of New York time)
My Thanks to Everyone
Allow me to express my heartfelt appreciation for all the messages and concern expressed by my friends (including those who are relatively recent ones) and for all the offers of help. It really does help boost one's morale during a dark night of the soul. And, of course, let me thank all of you who are doing your best to research and advise on treatment. When I have licked this disease I will be more than generous with the financial proceeds of my best selling book "How Big C beat the Big C"! Another incentive, should one be needed, to save me!