By Monday we had contacted a therapeutic yoga instructor, an integrative medical physician with a specialty in oncology nutrition, and Dr. Tran-a great researching mind in glioblastoma trials at Siteman Cancer Center in St Louis. With a great day trip to the Gateway City we found promising clinical trials to keep in our back pocket for plausible battles later on down the road. For now, we plan to continue on with the "standard of care" practices which include chemotherapy and radiation in tandem with the DCVAX trial at KU and the most intriguing element, a ketogenic cancer diet. This diet operates under the premise that cancer cells need sugar and carbohydrates to function and grow, therefore if you starve them of these things, they will not function and grow. On the days he went to work, Dow's stellar diet previously consisted of Dr. Pepper, a Snickers Bar, 2 bottles of 5-Hour Energy, and a package of gummy bears...if he was lucky. So the new found passion for clean eating, low carb-no sugar diet is nothing short of a miracle! Including yoga, meditation and visualization has also become a piece of this very complex puzzle.
Dow is hoping to do some positive work in the medical field while he undergoes treatment. Realizing his current work situation of 12-14 hour night shifts is no longer an option, he plans to do some administrative work for the critical access hospital that currently employs him. Having been on the other side for so long and now being thrust into the patient aspect his eyes have been opened to the flaws of the way healthcare is being provided and has many ideas and processes running through his busy mind to better patient care and healthcare worker environment. He is literally chomping at the bit to build a great medical team and practice at Cass Regional Medical Center that provides top level doctors and nurses with a great environment to provide cutting edge Emergency Medicine to the deserving people of Cass County.
For those of you who know Dow personally, things have always been very black and white for him. You never have to guess his opinions, moods, emotions, or where you stand with him. With diagnosis has come self-introspection, intellectual and emotional clarity, prioritizing, and a new found passion for work and all paths to healing. Suddenly life has become several shades of gray.