Of all the "ists" in the world - artists, motorists, psychologists, anesthetists, equilibrists, whatever - the one type that probably everybody dreads in the very type I am due in just a few hours today to meet for the first time in my life: an oncologist.
Let me say this as gently as I can: no one wants to experience the kind of involuntary system re-boot that is involved whenever something as radical as Whipple surgery is involved. But Whipple patients still have a whole second challenge ahead of them: even if, as in my case, the surgery is completely successful, the recommended Next Steps involve chemo.
While not as debilitating as some other forms of chemotherapy, the drug Gemcitabine (a.k.a. GEMZAR) is most likely to become my new poison of choice. I won't know until the oncologist tells me how long the treatment will last, but I gather it may come in 21-day cycles. Given the proximity of Cloud Expo New York, I certainly hope the chemotherapy is a resounding success!
Meantime, I will continue to work even, if as in this photo, I have had to be creative at times...to avoid creasing my stomach where the scar from the Whipple operation is still knitting together only very slowly. Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention!