Whitesburg KY
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Why this column is shorter than normal

Points East

It’s called immunotherapy. The shortest definition I can find is from Wikipedia and it’s about twice as long as the one your editor will allow me to use in your paper, so here goes an abbreviated version that I believe will make a little sense. If you are still sitting there shaking your head, Google it and spend the rest of the night reading all about it.

Immunotherapy is a treatment option used on patients, particularly cancer patients, who have not responded well to anything else. It seems to work better on folks who have bladder and prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body such as bones and lymph nodes. The body’s normal immune system simply stops working the way it is supposed to and allows the cancer to spread to places it would normally prevent.

That’s an oversimplification of the dilemma I am in. Surgery and medication seem to have the bladder and prostate cancer under control, but my immune system is doing nothing to keep it from spreading and causing practically unbearable pain. In fact, if you had told me two years ago that I was going to be twice as worse off as I was back then, I would have laughed in your face and told you that would be impossible but here I am.

Anyway immunotherapy is supposed to make my immune system commence working the way it’s supposed to and simultaneously ease the pain. I will be taking 30-minute infusions that are not nearly as severe or painful as regular cancer chemo. As I understand it at this writing, the duration and frequency of these treatments will be adjusted depending on how well my body responds to them. We have been advised that investing in a good wheelchair might be a good idea because this might take a while. Hopefully we can get that done this week.

In the meantime, I have no idea what’s going to happen to this column. I can tell you, unequivocally, that it is the most enjoyable thing I do to take my mind off a host of troubles and woes but it also requires a functioning mind for several hours each week. There are those who doubt that I’ve ever been able to pull that off but I certainly intend to try.

I can also tell you that there may be times, like this one, where I simply don’t have the attention span required to produce a piece of writing the way I am accustomed to making the column happen.

I will try to keep you posted. In the meantime, if you were expecting a column this week this is gonna be all she wrote. Dear John, I sent your saddle home.

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