Journal: News & Comment

Tuesday, January 30, 2007
# 10:49:00 AM:

Derek's talkin' about cancer on CBC Radio's "On the Coast" today just after 5:00 p.m.

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I've resisted turning this journal into an all-cancer, all-the-time blog, but nevertheless, it does tend to dominate the conversation round here. To that end, I'll be appearing today (Tuesday, January 30) after the 5:00 p.m. news on CBC Radio's popular Vancouver-area afternoon drivetime show "On the Coast," with host Priya Ramu, talking about my cancer blogging. (I had a brief brush with the same show in late 2005 on another topic.)

If you're the Internetty type, you can listen live to the high bandwidth (direct file link) or low bandwidth (direct file link) streams (Windows Media format, argh!). Feel free to record it starting around 5:00 p.m. PST—I'm going to try to automate that here at my office computer, but I can't be sure it will work.

On a similar techie topic, while I was in the hospital the other day for my colonoscopy, I also ended up getting a CT scan of my pelvis and lower abdomen. In the rush of things it didn't occur to me to ask for a CD of the resulting data, but it turns out that if you can get that, it's quite possible to use open-source software to generate your own images.

I do have printouts from my endoscopic ultrasound, so that's something. Maybe when I see my doctor tomorrow about my upcoming surgery, I can find out if the CT data is something I can bring home as well.

During the CT scan, the instructions printed on the big IV syringe attached to the CT machine (I think I remember them accurately) made me laugh:

  1. Risk of air injection.
  2. Air embolism can result in severe injury or death.
  3. See instruction manual. [My emphasis - D.]

Someone with a less wry sense of humour might resent that the manufacturer put that wording right in view of the patient, instead of on the other side of the device. Also, shouldn't anyone running a CT scan machine know about the risk already? Will the instruction manual really help much at the point of putting the patient into the machine?

Cancer of course makes you look at risks like that differently. We're all in danger of getting hit by the proverbial bus at any time. But right now, it feels like every day I look forward to running across a highway full of speeding buses, and I have to rely on my doctors and luck for whether I'll be able to dodge them all.


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