Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Radioactive Man

I am suppose to start radiation treatments today.

Some of you all may remember my saga from way back in January when I under went an operation to remove an acinic cell carcinoma from my parotid gland (that's the spit gland for all you who are physiologically challenged). I blogged about finding the cancer here, and then followed up with a post-op entry found here.

When I went back to my surgeon for a post-op check-up and to have my stitches cut loose, he told me he wanted me to see a radiation oncologist. Even though he was convinced he removed all of the tumor and my suspicious looking lymph nodes were clean; yet, because of my young age for having a tumor such as this one (normally it is guys who are 50 plus who get them), he thought it would be wise to see a radiation doctor just to get a second opinion.

My wife and I held off seeing the radiation oncologist for a few months, because my surgeon's recommendation was more precautionary than insistent. Moreover, when I returned home and began up-dating friends and family about all the details of my surgery and hospital stay, they would ask about me getting chemo or radiation and I would tell them of what my doctor said about seeing a radiation oncologist. Practically everyone to whom we would mentioned radiation launched into a story about some obscure relative or in-law who was really young, had radiation, and then died a slow, lingering, torturous death.

"Yeah, my sister-in-law had a cousin back east somewhere who had radiation. After he puked up the lining of his stomach, that dissolved his esophagus, he died about 7 weeks later. Well, I am sure the Lord will direct you."


So after listening to all these graphic horror stories about the dangers of radiation, I wasn't too thrilled about radiation.

On top of that, the food pharisees started pestering me at church and via email.

"Why do you want to subject yourself to such unnatural procedures? You know, if you would just give up eating foods processed by man, you know, stuff like ice cream bars dipped in chocolate and smothered in almonds from Costco, all Italian foods and Southern fried chicken, and hamburger helper; and then start a steady diet drinking wheat grass juice, and only eating the foods God tells you to eat, you would be totally cured of any cancer."

Oh, I am sure I would.

Needless to say I wasn't too keen on visiting an radiation oncologist. Seeing that radiation was only recommended as precautionary, My wife and I thought we would take our chances, so I wasn't going to pursue any radiation treatments. Thankfully, however, good reason won the day. I also had help forming my decision with some research I did on the recurrence of acinic cell carcinomas, and in those patients who had them recur due in part to not getting treated with radiation, the cancer did return, but in other parts of their body. One subject I read about had the cancer spread to his jaw bone and lost his hearing because it got up into the ear canal.

So, I made an appointment with the radiation doctor and began the process of preparing for the procedure. I had to visit a cancer dentist who examined my teeth to see if they were fit to receive radiation. Apparently, if you have cavities, or even gum problems, radiation can cause you to loose your teeth. My teeth were in excellent condition. I even have good spit flow according to this dentist, so all I will need to do is brush with a special toothpaste. I may also loose a patch of sideburn hair, and it may be white when it grows back.

I also had to have a face mask made so they can line me up to the exact location of where I am going to get zapped. That is probably going to be a rather discomforting part of the daily process, because I have to lay my head down on this block shaped head rest, and they screw the mask down tightly against my face. I am not claustrophobic, but it is sort of weird to have your head totally immobilized even for just 5 minutes. And I am suppose to do that everyday for the next six weeks.

However, my oncologist doesn't think the radiation will activate some mutant X gene that will give me the ability to fly and hurl lightning bolts from my finger tips; or better yet, the ability to synchronize the traffic signals with my mind so the traffic will flow better. It would also be cool to have the ability to levitate the cars of teenage girls talking on their cell phones so I can drive past them at a normal rate of speed.

I can only wish...

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Blogger Frank Martens said...

Ok, so I'm a little confused (maybe I read over it)...

Is the cancer spreading?

12:08 PM, September 05, 2006  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

No, its not spreading, this is all precautionary based upon "could happen" circumstances. The doctors were concerned that I only had about a milimeter of good tissue between where the cancer was and the unaffected tissue in my neck. There could be a possibility that cancer cells got into the good tissues and thus they could spread. They of course would not show up or make themselves known until two or three years. By then, it could be a bit too late.


12:14 PM, September 05, 2006  
Blogger surfer boy said...

I'll pray for you, Fred. I guess you wouldn't believe me if I told you that a conspiracy existed to give people cancer. You wouldn't believe me if I said that many foods are genetically engineered and prepared with cancer viruses, cancer genes and carcinogens. From now on, eat only organic foods-eat only organic meats.

Cancer fits into the UN's depopulation effort. That's why they don't want to cure it--they want it to be a "managed disease."

The Church-growth movement is just like cancer--when it first enters your church, it is small and goes unnoticed because it doesn't affect the general body-- and that is the time when it can be eradicated. But just like cancer, once it gets large and the head pastor finally wakes up, it will be too big to be stopped and it will be too late. It's not too late for you. It's getting late for Grace Church though.

12:58 PM, September 05, 2006  
Blogger Hayden said...


I will pray for you brother. Let me know if you do develop any cool superpowers like "split second speed reading" (I think Al Mohler has this power) or something really useful like that.


7:24 PM, September 05, 2006  
Blogger Peter D. Nelson said...

Fred thanks for the update I'll keep you in my prayers. BTW I know all about the food pharisees I was diagnosed with adult onset diabetes and I've heard all I care to on how it would go away once I go organic.

Keep eating the stuff you love my friend .


7:25 PM, September 05, 2006  
Blogger thomas4881 said...

Fred I often wonder when God allows things such infirmities to strike us if it's a test.Maybe God is using it to direct you in some way. I will pray for you.

11:24 AM, September 06, 2006  

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