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2. M.D. Anderson

It's been over 5 weeks now since I had my Whipple surgery for pancreatic cancer.  I've been very lucky in that I've experienced no complications, and my recovery has moved along more rapidly than what is the norm for this procedure.  I'm now walking the dogs 2 miles every morning, I'm back in the gym every other day for an hour, and I'm eating anything I want.

Prior to starting chemotherapy, I decided to go to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston for a full 3-day work-up.  We Texans are blessed for many reasons, not the least of which is we have the foremost cancer facility in the country right here in our state.  While there, I met a cancer patient from South Dakota who had been receiving treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.  After Mayo had done all they could for him, he was referred to MDA as a hospital of last resort.  And, the man told me he was doing  better and wished he'd come to Houston much sooner.

M.D. Anderson is known for its multi-disciplined approach to each patient.  A surgeon, radiologist, and internist review each case and decide on the best treatment.  MDA is also famous for going overboard on diagnostics, especially imaging like XRays, CT scans, and MRIs.  So, when I arrived there at 7 a.m. Tuesday, I was hardly surprised when the tech started an IV and pulled blood right off for a panel.  In fact, the drill each morning was to place a catheter and draw blood before any further diagnostics were performed.

The CT scan is the preferred procedure at MDA for searching out pancreatic tumors as well as determining if metastasis, or spread, has occured.  Happily, my CT scan showed NO evidence of cancer, neither at the original surgical site nor in any distant organs.  This does not mean I'm cured...far from it...but it does mean I've got a much better prognosis going forward.  No doubt, there are likely some rogue cancer cells hiding inside, and four months of chemotherapy will hopefully eliminate them.

I will start chemotherapy here in Tyler next week.  I plan to participate in a clinical trial where an additional drug, erlotinib, will be administered with the preferred chemo drug, gemcitabine.  Then later, radiation will likely be used.  In August, I will return to Houston for a follow-up CT scan where, again, they will look for tumors.  Further treatment may, or may not, be required based on the August findings.  Going forward, I will be monitored periodically based on my response to therapy.

I have to say that I've been truly humbled by the prayers and good wishes by all who have written to wish me well.  With support this powerful, I surely will prevail!  Thank you all,  David Baxter  

 

Emergency After-Hours Treatment

The Emergency Animal Clinic is the only emergency clinic that provides us with detailed, complete records of your pet’s treatment.

This continuity of care is critical.

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Mon-Fri: 8:00 am - 5:30 pm
Sat: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
(by appointment)
Sun: Closed

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"You become responsible,
forever,
for what you have tamed."

Antoine de Saint Exupery

Latest News

  • We love our senior pet patients! +

    You can help improve and extend your pet's quality of life!   Cats and small dogs are considered "seniors" when they reach the age of seven, and large dogs as early as six. Consider the following as your pet ages: HEALTHY WEIGHTMaintain your pet's waistline and mobility with plenty of Read More
  • Pre-Adoption Checklist +

    Before adopting a new pet, there are many things that need to be considered.  Make sure that you have fully considered and planned for your new family member to make the addition as easy as possible:     Are you looking for companionship or an animal to compete in agility Read More
  • Do You Know First Aid? For Your Pet? +

    Maybe it's time to take a course to help all of the members of your family -- while you're at it, you can learn about first aid for your pet.     Know what to do.  The American Red Cross has a First Aid app for pets!  It provides information that Read More
  • Help Your Pets Have a Happy Fourth!! +

    Here are some helpful tips to make sure your pets are safe when the fireworks start popping!    Make sure your pet's ID tags and/or microchip information are updated -- pets in a crowd or startled by the sound and flash of fireworks may try to escape or break free from Read More
  • Stay Cool, Holt Pets! +

    It's time for some summertime basics:    NEVER leave your pet in the car -- even for a minute (even with the A/C running).  The temperature inside a car can reach 102 degrees in 10 minutes.  In less than 30 minutes, the inside of your car can reach 120 degrees.  Heat Read More
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Dr. Baxter's Blog

  • 9. You Do the Hokey Pokey +

    My last two CT scans have both been negative for cancer re-growth, so I am very thankful and humbled over these good reports. I hope everyone will continue to keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I continue my journey. My radiation colitis, which is a common side-effect from Read More
  • 8. On Cruise Control +

    I must apologize for it being almost 6 months since my last update, but the cliché that No News is Good News certainly applies. I've undergone two CT scans (May and August) since my rhubarb with the occluded stent last winter, and both tests were negative for metastasis. For this, Read More
  • 7. A Stent Pulls a Stunt +

    The Christmas and New Years Holidays were relaxing but eventful with family getting together and sharing our blessings. Then on January 3rd, I went in for a check-up and injections according to the protocol of my clinical trial. My weight was 186 pounds and all was well, especially in light Read More
  • 6. Christmas Update +

    There is no Christmas gift that can compare with another negative CT scan. This good news was received Wednesday just as my farflung children began to trickle back home in preparation for the holidays. Back in September, I finished my 6-month course of chemotherapy and promptly entered into the first Read More
  • 5. September CT Scan +

    After finishing five months of weekly chemotherapy, Karen and I returned to Houston's M. D. Anderson Cancer Center on Sept 12 for my second CT scan. The first scan in April was negative for tumors but there were a few odd anomalies noted then that needed to be rechecked to Read More
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