Friday, 25 September 2009

Journey starts here

I am starting this blog because it is important for me to write stuff down as it comes. I have a feeling these are going to be a tough few months. A friend a few days ago commented "This seems to be many people's annus horribilis." Fair enough.

The gist is that my father has just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He has been having problems in that area for a while now and had scans done in June and then in August. He has a condition called pancreatic divisium, which is completely harmless. Except when it isn't. The point is that the doctors thought that it was chronic pancreatitis, except one doctor, with whom the whole thing didn't sit right. So he talked to another doctor. An oncologist. And he looked at the scans and said "I think I see something here". So my parents trekked back to Houston, with me in tow this time, and yesterday he had another endoscopy to take a biopsy.

The doctor was slightly shocked. My father is in the completely wrong demographic for this (except for being in the same age bracket as Patrick Swayze). He is young, healthy, strong, and so there is a belief somewhere that he has a good chance. Problem is that, worldwide, pancreatic cancer has a survival rate of 5%. At MD Anderson, the cancer hospital, these odds are 27%, hence the title of the blog. My brother says "that's 27% of crap", but it's what we have to hang on to right now.

I have been supporting my mother and my father over the last couple of days. Badly. I have gone and caught a cold (I blame the air conditioning in this stupid country). However, I think that my next job is going to be going to Israel to bring over my grandmother, who is blissfully ignorant right now. It's going to be a relief not to have to lie to her, but I don't envy her future position in any way.

In any case, this is a blog to chart our progress through treatment (of which we know nothing right now) through the weirdness and to keep friends updated as to what's going on, in case anyone cares. It sounds like the treatment will take six months, although we really don't know right now. Some of this blog will be medical jargon (as far as I understand it), some of it will be just thoughts.

I'm OK, although I am not really sleeping and I feel like I am jet-lagged all the time. In the meanwhile, I have a show that I am supposed to be running. Luckily, I trust my team to get on with it. I know that I was looking to take a break, but this was not really what I had in mind!


  1. Hey Shaz... I know I've been MIA for a long time now, but I wanted to let you know I heard about your dad and I'm here for you if you need me. Sending good thoughts.

  2. If there's anything I can do from here, just let me know. Thinking of you and yours