Chronology of Major Health Problems
(Continued from March 3, 2015)
14. The long awaited “recommended 44 radiations” to try and rid my body of prostate cancer have finally begun, as you will read at the end of this report.
15. On March 4, 2015 I was x-rayed within the prison for reasons I have not been informed about; nor am I aware of the results of that procedure.
16. On March 6, 2015 I was taken to the cancer hospital that I have received most of my outside treatment at.
17. Once there a nurse and doctor asked me if the prison had provided “prep” the hospital had ordered, and I told them that I knew nothing about that, and in fact I was taken directly from my cell block and delivered to the hospital. That caused them to cancel what they had planned, and I was returned to the prison.
18. I called my relatives and legal team and asked them to try and find out what happened, and more importantly, get things back on track.
19. On March 11, 2015 I had already-scheduled dental work done.
20. On the evening of March 12, 2015 I was placed in the prison infirmary and given antibiotics as part of the prep mission noted at number 17.
21. Still in the infirmary on March 13, I was given another antibiotic and an enema to complete the prep.
22. March 13, 2015 saw me again at the cancer hospital where a doctor whose name slips me told me she was going to implant gold markers in my prostate gland, as directed by my radiation oncologist, the purpose of which the oncologist had already stated was to guide him and the rest of the radiation therapy team in tackling the cancer with as little harm as possible to other parts of my body.
23. I was placed in surgical gowns (still in handcuffs and leg irons, that were only removed in order for me to get into the gowns). A nurse partially sedated me and then the operation was begun and completed while I was barely conscious of what all was occurring. Then I was placed in the recovery area, and provided with lunch. I did not experience any pain during the operation or afterwards.
24. My daughter said she immediately sought answers from the prison about the March 13, 2015 “debacle” and was only told that I would be rescheduled. She and my legal team decided to give that a chance.
25. On March 16, 2015 I was returned to the cancer hospital where another CAT Scan was performed. While I was positioned on that machine, I was given tattooed marks on both outer thighs and just above my navel, which covers my pelvic region, which will be radiated during the first half of the radiation therapy. A sort of plastic cast was also fashioned for my lower body while I was laying there. That will be used to steady my body during the radiations.
26. Finally, the radiation oncologist (I will only use the first initial of his name, as will be the case for all parties who do not visit the prison) “Dr. T” explained what had occurred, and indicated we would begin with the radiation by performing the first 22 treatments on my pelvic region, and the final 22 sessions would be directed at the area in my prostate gland where the earlier biopsy had located the cancer. He stressed that my cancer was “high grade,” as I had previously been told, and it was wise to first cover that area in the pelvic region for any possible spread. Then I signed the papers showing my consent while Dr. T gave me instructions about how to avoid as many related complications as possible.
27. The following day, March 17, 2015, back at the prison, Dr. Klemic gave me another Zoladex shot. After I inquired about whether they were helping lower my prostate-specific antigen (PSA), one way of monitoring prostate problems, he looked in his computer and found that it had been 6.78 before the shots, but was now down to 4._, something I neglected to record.
28. The following Friday, March 27, 2015, I was again taken to that hospital for what I later learned was a procedure called “filming,” which is a CAT Scan-guided mapping of parts of my body that had already had the gold implants inserted and been tattooed. This took place while I again lay in the lower body cast. I was, however, required to drink two 10-12 oz. cups of water that would cause my bladder to better expose parts of my pelvic region. And finally Dr. T. issued me a portable plastic hospital urinal, and wrote in my medical records that I must be able to carry the urinal back and forth in the prison vehicles, because my cancer has made it extremely hard for me to travel that far without urinating, and the guards who transport me will under no circumstances allow me to get out and urinate near the vehicle! This is a cause of intense friction between them and I, which I will record below.
29. With relief, on Monday, March 30, 2015 I arrived at the cancer hospital and was greeted by two more members of my radiation therapy team (the radiation therapist “A.” and, assisting her, “L.,” possibly a nurse practitioner) and Dr. T. I was told that they were going to begin the 44 sessions, and they had me drink two large glasses of water, then wait 10-15 minutes for that to reach my bladder before starting. Afterwards they had the three accompanying guards remove the handcuffs and waist chains so that the jumpsuit I was wearing could be lowered to where A. and L. could see my “marks.” The leg irons remained on as they had me get on a machine that contained the lower body cast that I placed my legs in and laid back while the guards placed the plastic “flex-cuffs” where the other handcuffs had been. Then A. and L. moved my body around until my marks were aligned with some kind of “beams” that were coming from a large machine above my body. Then everyone but me left the room. Finally, for less than 10 minutes, different parts of this machine began encircling my body while I felt nothing, and only heard low noises from the machine before everything stopped, and I was told they were done.
30. The very next day I was again processed by security at the prison for my second radiation therapy. Lo and behold, the lead officer—a lieutenant (“LT” to prisoners)–from the moment he led another subordinate to my cell, started after me with a lot of “tough- guy” crap! And after 43 years in dozens of lock-ups across the country, I can pretty much shrug off such macho crap. He, however, refused to allow me to leave the cell with the portable plastic hospital-assigned urinal, despite my repeatedly asking him to check with prison medical staff to verify my need for the urinal. In fact, after a strip search, hand-cuffing, and waist-chaining, we made our way to be processed out of the prison, and I was resigned simply to urinate on myself during transport, if I could not hold it. The LT, however, got into some kind of argument with the guards at the front entrance, which caused him to order that our party must return to the processing area. He then left and returned later with a plastic urinal and gave that to me; I guess he did go to the prison hospital, because it was not the urinal I had been assigned. So the rest of the trip went like the one the day before, even me having to urinate in that urinal on the return trip.
31. To end this report, I was again taken to the cancer hospital the following two days (April 1 and 2, 2015) without any trouble; while being told that I would not receive any radiation therapy on Friday, April 3, 2015, but would start again the following Monday.
32. At the same time, another one of the guards who escorted me for treatment on April 2, 2015 answered my inquiry about how to get any of the LTs who always supervise my trips to allow me to carry my assigned urinal. He told me to sign up for prison sick call, and a doctor would probably issue me a “Blue Pass” detailing my need for the urinal, and no LT would ignore or try to override that. I followed his advice, and I now have a Blue Pass, so we’ll see how that goes.
Note: My relatives, friends, and supporters are relieved that the treatments that could rid my body of this cancer have finally begun, and I more than anyone (smile). Thanks for all the support, and you can depend on me to follow the instructions given to me by my radiation therapy team in our struggle to rid my body of this cancer.
April 4, 2015