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Page 4 Weekender Thursday, Scptcmbsr 10, 1 SCO Thursday, Sep:
' ' ' " J 1 - ' ' I
in a life-threatening sit;
would die. because you,
told me. He did say he t
We asked him to be ju:
reached that point and I
WW v ' S
From page 1
Grady had the choice of receiving treatment at
NCMH, Duke or Roswell Park Hospital in Buffalo, N.Y.
Fried recommended Roswell because it was the
hospital with the highest survival rate for cancer
patients. There, Grady's doctor was Claude Merrin, a
specialist in urologic oncology.
Merrin recommended treatment with experimental
drugs and aggressive surgery. "He was fairly honest
about the treatment," Grady said. "I would have gone
through with it, even if I had known the details .
because I had no choice. But he sure would scare off a
lot of people if he came anywhere close to explaining
T THIS point, Grady said, he still felt no pain.
A His treatment would consist of chemotherapy,
a surgery and another year and a half of
chemotherapy. He was told the main drug he would be
taking had immediate side effects of nausea, vomiting
and hair loss. He was given thorazine, a drug used to
calm psychotic patients, to counteract the effects of
the main drug. "The thorazine did nothing for me," he
Grady was given cis-platinum, a heavy metal with
anti-tumor properties through an intravenous drip. The
drug was, at that time, still experimental, and the
government paid for that part of his treatment.
At the time of his experiment treatment, the cis
platinum treatment cost about $1,400 each. Grady
received the cis-platinum once a week for six weeks
and then once every three weeks for two years. The
drug is not experimental anymore; it cost patients
about $100 a treatment. It is called platinol and is
being promoted in medical journals as the new wonder
Grady said he was fortunate because some of the
surgery and his drugs were experimental and the
government, the American Cancer Society and the
state of New York bore the brunt of much of the cost.
His total treatment cost about $50,000, most of which
was the cost of the drugs, and therefore, free
treatment. The student Blue CrossBlue Shield
"lf-1 could make everyone who
smokes have chemotherapy for
one hour, there would be no
insurance program paid about $10,000, and Grady still
owes the rest.
"The big expenses were nursing care and
transportation, money you have to pay right away. But
Rosewell Park was very -generous about payment
plans. And I've been encouraged by NCMH not to
worry about it. The only pressure I receive is from the
Grady said the student infirmary was a real godsend
for him because the room there and many of the lab
services were free.
"But no one should avoid treatment because they
can't afford it I still think no one will be turned away.
Dying from cancer can be expensive too, and you
don't get anything from it."
Grady was paying for. treatment that made him
"There's no way to explain the agony to someone
who hasn't been there. It takes everything you've got
just to go in for the treatment.
"I puked my guts out for the entire time for the
treatment. You could get nauseated just thinking
about it. The day before the treatment was the worst."
Patrick, Grady's Roswell roommate, told Grady he
.used to hide in strange places hoping no one would
jkWQi Q&jfy y
find him to take him to the hospital for treatment. "He
said he used to hide behind a winged-back chair and
cry to avoid going to the hospital."
Patrick had the same disease and treatment program
Visitors sometimes are a problem rather than a help
for patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment. The
day before treatment the patient is anxious. The day
after, he usually is sick, Grady said. "A lot of times you
just can't be social when you're undergoing
"Visitors sometimes came to the hospital and it was
agony for me just to tell them to go away, which
sometimes was all I could handle ... I amazed myself
sometimes that I could do anything."
RADY said he took the treatment like it was a
(( marathon. He prepared for it the day before by
not eating anything, taking only liquids. During
the treatment, "you don't ask about the time because
it goes so tortuously slow."
Grady received intensive treatment with a number
of drugs for six weeks. "I had wonderful veins before
all this," he said. "Near the end, they had to start using
the veins in my feet."
At one treatment, a minute portion of the medicine
infiltrated tissue in his arm and caused a horrible
chemical burn from his wrist to his elbow. "We were
surprised because we didn't think this medicine was
very strong it didn't even make me very sick."
Grady said he didn't know how anyone could make
it through the treatment without someone by his side.
"Katherine was great," he said. "She was there the
whole time." He said she only came close to passing
out once, when he underwent lymphangiogram, a test
to find affected lymph nodes. The doctor cuts into the
foot, finds a lymph node and pumps in dye which
detects infected lymph nodes. "The doctor asked her if
she wanted to watch. She didn't know what was going
on, so she came in. The doctor pulled out a lymph
node to show her and she started swooning. They had
to take her out."
After six weeks of intensive chemotherapy, doctors
could find no further spread of the cancer. They
decided to operate. At Roswell, the operation is done,
Grady said, "in one fell swoop." Several surgical teams
work 12-14 hours on the operation. The doctors
removed all suspect tissue from Grady's body. After
the operation, the X-rays showed only hundreds of
metal clips, used as sutures and markers.
But the pain was not over. When the doctors expose
the lungs to air, the lungs collapse and the patient has
to learn to breathe again. After the operation, Grady
had four tubes draining his lungs and was being given
oxygen on a respirator. Grady was pulled off the
respirator and the oxygen gradually so he could learn
to breathe on his own. "That was a real pain," he said.
Grady left Roswell three months later. After he had
been in Chapel Hill for about three months, Grady
called Patrick to find out how he was doing "His wife
answered the phone and said Patrick had died the day
before. I was shocked because I thought we were both
home free ... I didn't know him for a long time, but I
knew him very well. I thought I'd heard everything Dr.
Merrin had said to Patrick, and I thought maybe he had
led Patrick on. Cut Merrin said he told Patrick he was
ERRIN said onef
n ... i
make it was becj
V L'ungs were in hz
hand, had very healthy;
League soccer and had!
The treatment has m
smoking. . j
"If I could make t
chemotherapy, for one
smokers. One of the eff.
that when l see students
the cigarettes out off
understand what they're,
Grady also gets angr
energy. "I get really ma
Mile Island happens and
the public except the
nprrpnt in 20-30 vpar;
treatment and you knd
anything you could do
going through that. The i?
that power is going to brj
the pain for someone el
By the time Grady
treatment, he had lost af
lost a lot of weight and
July 4, 1978, he and Kat!
from Buffalo to Chapel
"Coming home was r
remember we got to our.
hadn't seen in four mo
remembered me. It was
"But in another way it
to be sick in Chapel Hill
carrying a tennis racqu
n n J
trains nurses j
job is counsel
"You give a lj
in other area'
work 60 hoii
"It's the p
Wood said. I
(those who d.
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Wood usu :
effects of trt
discussed is j
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work out wif.
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