A Letter I Fancy Writing

Dear Dr. Lewis,

My name is Sheryl McCurdy and my Dad, Larry Paisley, your patient, was diagnosed with non small cell lung cancer, grade IIIa in November 2005. We have seen you one time in your office...the initial visit. Thereafter we have been seen by the chemo nurses and your Nurse Practitioner, all of whom are very nice.

My dad's regime included 33 radiation treatments given concurrently with Taxol/Carbo q 3 weeks, and the order was for 6 treatments. Each time the Taxol would start, almost instantly, my dad would have difficulty with his breathing, but after a healthy dose of Benedryl and a dose of Solu Medrol he would be fine and tolerated the treatments quite well. After the fourth dose, again, the same thing occurred, and the nurse did something different...an O2 sat was taken which was <85. An O2 sat had never been checked before, but my dad reacted in the same manner each time. Anyway...side note to this...dad also had blood clots in his right lung at this time (which we knew by receiving phone calls from your nurses and eventually...you)

To make this long story even longer...here goes. After dad had that reaction, the fourth time, the nurse came up and said,

This will be your last chemo treatment...it's too dangerous.

Well, it felt like, and I admit I was a bit crabby with the slowness of the giving of the Benedryl, that it was not because of dads reaction...it was because of me and the way I reacted to things. Because there was no difference in dad's reaction this time than the very first time...except the giving of the benedryl was slower and an O2 sat was taken.

Dr. Lewis, we don't want to feel like the treatment was stopped because it requires a little bit more planning or because I was impatient or crabby to anyone...if the treatment is working and tolerable we feel we need to continue.

I did ask the nurses who made the decision to stop the chemo and she said it was, you...Dr. Lewis. We never saw you that day...where you there? Did you stop by and check on my dad? His family? Reasure us that something would be done to continue to fight the cancer, maybe not this particular drug but something else?
Can you please tell me what the future plans are? Will you use a different chemo? Will you try the Taxol again? The CT scan seemed good...or am I crazy. How was the X-ray? Are the clots there yet?

I know we were supposed to have an appointment on Monday, and due to a horrific snowstorm those plans were changed, but time becomes something very important for all those involved in an illness that includes the word cancer.

If you have an extra minute or two in your extremely busy day we would appreciate any information pertaining to the above questions.

Thank you,
Sheryl McCurdy
(daughter of your patient Larry Paisley)


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