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ptcmbcr 10, 1920
Thursday, Septembgr, 18, 1S80
I to the hospital for treatment. "He
s behind a winged-back chair and
!r f ho hrsrital "
me disease and treatment program
s are a problem rather than a help
ins chemotherapy treatment. The
nt the patient is anxious. The day
ck, Crady said. "A lot of times you
cial when you're undergoing
es came to the hospital and it was
to tell them to go away, which
could handle ... I amazed myself
uld do anything."
e took the treatment like it was a
j3 prepared for it the day before by
pything, taking only liquids. During
don't ask about the time because
jitensive treatment with a number
sks. "I had wonderful veins before
aar the end, they had to start using
a minute portion of the medicine
his arm and caused a horrible
his wrist to his elbow. "We were
ve didn't think this medicine was
i t even make me very sick."
jn't know how anyone could make
nent without someone by his side.
it," he said. "She was there the
d she only came close to passing
Underwent lymphangiogram, a test
ph nodes. The doctor cuts into the
.n node and pumps in dye which
jph nodes. "The doctor asked her if
p. She didn't know what was going
J The doctor pulled out a lymph
d she started swooning. They had
f intensive chemotherapy, doctors
her spread of the cancer. They
At Roswell, the operation is done,
ell swoop." Several surgical teams
on the operation. The doctors
St tissue from Grady's body. After
X-rays showed only hundreds of
sutures and markers.
iot over. When the doctors expose
'ungs collapse and the patient has
Jgain. After the operation, Grady
l ing his lungs and was being given
jator. Grady was pulled off the
.xygen gradually so he could learn
jn. "That was a real pain," he said.
l three months later. After he had
I for about three months, Grady
J out how he was doing. "His wife
j and said Patrick had died the day
J because I thought we were both
Vt know him for a lonjj time, but I
I thought I'd heard everything Dr.
trick, and I thought maybe he had
in a life-threatening situation, 'I didn't tell him he
would die, because you never know' is what Merrin
told me. He did say he told Patrick's wife everything.
We asked him to be just as honest with us if I ever
reached that point and I think he would have been."
ERRIN said one of the reasons Patrick didn't
f make it was because he was a smoker and his
I V IJ ungs were in bad shape. Grady, on the other
hand, had very healthy lungs. He had played Club
League soccer and had been a cross country cyclist.
The treatment has made Grady adamant about
"If I could make everyone who smokes have
chemotherapy, for one hour, there would be no
smokers. One of the effects all this has had on me, is
- that when I see students smoking, I really want to grab
the cigarettes out of , their mouths. They don't
understand what they're doing."
Grady also gets angry when talks about nuclear
energy. "I get really mad when something like Three
Mile Island happens and they say there was no harm to
the public except the cancer rate may increase 2
percent in 20-30 years! When you've had cancer
treatment and you know how it is, you would do
anything you could do. to save someone else from
going through that. The use of TV or an air conditioner
that power is going to bring you isn't worth the pain of
chemotherapy. Anyone who has gone through
chemotherapy would give up that TV time to avoid the
the pain for someone else."
By the time Grady recovered from surgery and
treatment, he had lost all his hair, was very weak, had
lost a lot of weight and couldn't walk very well. On
July 4, 1978, he and Katherine began the two-day trek
from Buffalo to Chapel Hill home.
"Coming home was really very good in one way. I
remember we got to our student ghetto house which I
hadn't seen in four months and walked in and cats
remembered me. It was good to be back home.
"But in another way it was rough to be here. It's hard
to be sick m Chapel Hill. Everyone is in gym shorts and
carrying a tennis racquet. They're young, healthy, tan
and happy as far from the eternal verities as could
be. And here I was weak, sickly, bald as an egg and
white with the Big C. You just don't belong here.
"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
"Everybody's young and happy. That's really
Grady said he has a hard time remembering when all
these differenLparts of illness occurred. "The strangest
thing is you lose all track of time because it moves at
two different paces. There are three weeks between
treatments and those go like that (snap of fingers).
But the two years of protocol go so slow you can't
Grady had two totally opposite reactions going
through his mind before the operation, he said. "It
wasn't shock. All my training has been to know how to
take bad news. I had prepared for it being the worst.
But then, I also thought nothing really bad can happen
to me.. This couldn't really happen to me.
"I didn't break down when they told me I had six
months to live. The tumor didn't feel like my body. I
was calm and resigned before the operation. After the
operation I called my sister in Seneca, South Carolina,
and she said 'Come on home and I'll fix you some iced
tea.' I broke down then. I lost it. I don't know why
except that it was the old life and it was so nice and so
easy. Iced tea was the farthest thing from my mind."
mm .HE other time Grady came close to breaking
tj was during some of the testing. "I felt like,
U 'Leave me alone, I just can't take all these
tests I could handle the cancer, but not all the blood
tests, X-rays and scans. I wanted some peace."
Two scares moments when he thought two things
might get worse struck him. It was just before
COT POli1YS C
By MARTHA WAGGONER
rs ESIDES cancer patients, who
must deal with the disease
UJJ itself, cancer treatment
involves medical personnel, such as
nurses, who must deal with the
patients. Hilary Wood, a clinical
nurse specialist in medical oncology
(cancer research at N.C. Memorial
Hospital), works with patients and
trains nurses to work with patients.
Wood said the hardest part of her
job is counseling patients. "This is not
a clock-time job at all," she said.
"You give a lot more of yourself than
in other areas of nursing." She usually
works 60 hours a week.
"It's the patients that drain you,"
Wood said. "The adjavent patients
(those who donot' die of the cancer,
but have a tumor or some part of the
body removed because of it and must
continue to receive chemotherapy)
really lean on you for support. It's
sometimes more stressful to live with
a disease that may come back than to
know you're dying." .
Wood usually talks about the side
effects of treatment and drugs. One
subject that almost aways " is
discussed is pregnancy and sexual
activity. "Whatever the patient brings
out as his problems, you take and
work out with him," she said.
About this time in the counseling.
Wood said she mentions Hospice,
even with adjavent patients. Hospice
Christmas in 1978 when he met Katherine in 'ew York
City on their way to Buffalo for more tests. At Seneca,
he called his doctor who told him they had found
something on his brain scan and he needed to have
another one. The something turned out to be
nothing a smudge on the lens or something similar,
but it scared Grady.
"In a way this was more frightening than the original
news that I was going to die. The idea that the integrity
of the brain was under fire was really hard. I had heard
of people having a personality change or paralysis and
I didn't want that to happen not recognizing
Katherine or lashing out at her."
He was scared a second time when he couldn't eat
because his bowel was blocked. Grady asked his
doctor what would happen if this continued and the
doctor told him he would operate again. "He told me
some of his patients had 10-12 operations." Grady had
the second operation to unblock the bowel.
Neither Grady nor his doctors know today what will
happen to him in the next 10 years. One of the drugs
used in his treatment has caused hearing loss and
kidney problems for Grady. The five-year survival rate
for some forms of testicular cancer is 90 percent, for
others 50 percent. Estimates do not go beyond five
years, but the survival rate for this type of cancer has
increased remarkably within the last five years.
Grady said he is so open about his disease because
he hopes his experience can help others. "Cancer is the
enemy, and I'm willing to do anything to screw the
enemy," he said.
But Grady said he is somewhat optimistic about the
progress being made in finding a cure for cancer. "We
are messing around, as individuals and as a society,
with dangerous cancer-causing stuff, and I don't think
we'll ever be able to prevent or cure all cancers. Our
knowledge is primitive and treatments are sometimes
brutal. But with testicular cancer and with some
others, at least a cancer patient has a fighting chance
not only to survive, but to return to a normal life.
"Just five years ago, the only known cure for
testicular cancer was death." Q
Martha Waggoner is city editor for The Daily Tar Heel.
n be stressful
Hilary Wood and Patsy Schupper et Memorial Hojpitcl
. . .nurses help in treatment, counseling of cancer patients
is a support group for terminally ill
cancer patients and their families. "I
try to put it in a non-threatening
situation so that if they do have to go,
it's not such a shock, it's just part cf
Because their occupation is so
emotionally and physically draining,
oncology nurses at one time were
advised not to work for more than
two years. "You lost a lot of good
oncology nurses that way," Wood
Now, many hospitals have support
groups for nurses and other staff
members. NCMH does not have
support groups yet. but it does have a
psychiatric liaison person for the
patients who also often works with
the satff. "Most of the time you don't
even notice that you're using him (the
liaison person) until he's gone and
you realize you feel better "
Wood said she advises nurses to
relieve some of their stress by going
home, turning on the oven timer and
talking to their roommates about the
problems for 15 minutes. "When the
timer goes off, you shut up and do
what you planned to do that
evening," she said. She also said an
active social life is vital for these
For those who do not have
roommates, such as herself. Wood
advises watching "junk" on TV so
they don't think about the work at the
hospital. "If you don't get it out of
your system, it'll stay with you all
night and you'll come to work the
next day feeling as though you never
left." she said. "It will get to you after
Wood said she tries not to cry in
front of the patients, even though
some doctors think this is OK. "You
can lei a patient know how you feel
without crying." she said. "Crying is a
loss of control and a loss of control
can't be good for the patient.
Sometimes my eyes will water and my
voice will begin to warble.
"When someone tells me how nice
I am . that usually gets to me "
Some patients become more
special than others even though
"there's no such thing as not getting
involved." Wood said "Cut there are
certain patients you get very close
to." Wood has stayed with some
patients the r ight before they cVd "I
couldn't do it for every patient all the
time. I'd be a nervous wreck "
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