May 22, 2020
Dear Friends and Family,
The good news is that they have found the cause of my ear, neck and head pain.
The bad news is that it is cancer.
What started out as a painful ear infection, after several CT scans and MRIs, has been diagnosed as lung cancer.
Given my 30 years of Camels and Lucky Strikes, followed by more years of cigars, along with hundreds of chest x-rays at the VA for my kyphoscoliosis, and exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam, I think I got off lucky to have it happen so late in life.
I am now getting radiation treatment to shrink some tumors on my spinal vertebrae and brain. This, along with several opiates, allows me to sleep fairly well even if it’s sitting up. Prior to this sleep was impossible. I am also hooked up with Palliative Care and they monitor my pain medications. Next week I will be talking with my oncologist about further options. I have been clear that I prioritize quality of life over quantity. I am quite pleased with the quality of care I have been receiving from Kaiser. All the staff has been highly professional and empathetic.
Because of the current Covid situation, it is difficult for us to meet as easily as before. I look forward to meeting you as restrictions are lifted.It may be different than we did before but I value your friendship.
The cancer is treatable to some degree but not curable so I hold no unrealistic expectations. Feel free to contact me by phone or email until we can visit. The radiation has given me a sore throat, so it may be a good idea to stick with email for now.
Marcia has created a Caring Bridge account for me.You can view it at:https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/waltkuciej
Feel free to add to it.Take care of yourselves.