Thursday, July 26, 2007

7/24

I returned to Sloan early Tuesday morning for a consultation with Dr. Joachim Yahalom, the radiation oncologist. Honestly, it was really a consultation with his assistant because the meeting with Dr. Yahalom lasted no more than 3 minutes. It was very, very brief. Basically, he entered the room dressed very dapperly, explained to me the purpose of the total body irradiation (TBI) as a part of my treatment, and left. I did manage to ask him about possible side effects from the TBI before he exited the room to which he responded confidently, "There are no side effects." OK. There it is.

Clare and I were able to get a lot more information from his assistant, who was very pleasant, and the nurse. They told me that the TBI dose is very small and that I will be feeling lousy not from the TBI but from the chemotherapy that I would have received during the previous days. The aim of the TBI is to not kill the cancer cells but to allow for the engraftment of the donor's stem cells. Following the consultation, I was escorted to a nearby room where some quick measurements of my body were taken and that was it. I had planned for the appointment to last at least for three hours that day but it turned out that I was out of there after an hour and a half. The three-hour consultations, I was told afterwards, are for those patients who will receive multiple treatments of radiation not one dose of TBI like myself.

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