How many people in the Bay Area know that the one of the best views of San Francisco – stretching from ocean to bay (looking west in posted photo) – is from the neuro-oncology/neuro-surgery clinical offices at UCSF? More poignantly, how may people have had the opportunity to enjoy it as many times as the Dual Gs? The female DG wondered these thoughts this morning, ensconced in her favorite cube on the 8th floor of 400 Parnassus (complete with great WiFi access).
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and lethal form of brain cancer, so many of the patients who make their way to the 8th floor have, even with the world-class treatment offered by the team at UCSF, a limited life span. Unlike the male DG, they aren’t as lucky to find themselves still sitting in the waiting room three years after diagnosis (albeit the still serious but less lethal “stage 3 glioma”).
By the end of the day, she also knew within every bone and muscle, that being a patient (or the spouse of a patient) is exhausting. The Dual G’s totally agree on that. Today it was all about the male DG’s brain – MRI, appointment with neuro-oncologist Dr. Susan Chang and then Avastin infusion. For the record, the news was good; the MRI showed that the edema “cloud” (that is the female DG’s word for the liquid that had been surrounding the male DG’s largely quiescent tumor) had disappeared. They were pretty much aware of that, thanks to the male DG’s increased left side functionality, but it’s always good to get clinical validation.
What continues to surprise the female DG is the inconvenience of being a gimp, which she remains about 10 weeks after surgery to repair her left Achilles tendon. The conveniences of life – dropping the male DG off and parking the car blocks away and easily walking – is now an inconvenience of life. She hates that the tendon continues to bark. She is not a patient person. She knows there is no alternative but to continue healing a day at a time.