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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 verify that they weren't serious.  So, the same radiologist that analized the first scan also read the second, and he was able to compare the two scans to look for possible progression of the cancer.

     Fortunately, this September scan was completely negative for evidence of cancerous lesions.  All of the "issues" seen in the first scan were either reduced in size or gone altogether.  But as the oncologist warned, this does not mean that my cancer is cured or even in remisssion.  It simply means that there is no metastasis at this time, and it is impossible to predict when or if it will occur.  Pancreatic adenenocarcinoma is notorious for producing many hundreds of micro-metastases that are microscopic in size and cannot be detected by traditional imaging techniques.  These scattered islands of cells tend to lay dormant, sometimes for years, until they decide to suddenly begin growing and causing trouble.  It is my fervent hope that these rogue cells remain happy and quiet for many, many years to come.

     So what do I do now?  The oncologist said that I should do nothing, other than get re-scanned every 4 months or so.  But doing nothing and just waiting goes against my nature, so I'm looking at some other options.   I still am involved in a clinical trial where, depending on the coin flip, I may receive a one month course of radiation directed at the old tumor site.  But when this trial ends, I think that I may volunteer for another clinical study.  New Link Genetics out of Iowa has developed a vaccine that is currently being tested on pancreatic patients to see if it can stimualte the body's immune system to fight and destroy tumor cells.  Other similar cancer vaccines have generally met with disappointment, but a new melanoma vaccine has found modest success and has earned FDA approval.  So, maybe this pancreatic vaccine will show some promise too for treating future generations who get pancreatic cancer.

     Meanwhile, I am enjoying my retirement here in beautiful east Texas.  Karen and I walk the dogs early every morning, weather permitting, and you can find me in the local gym every other day.  I volunteer locally with a group of retired Methodist men for Habitat-for-Humanity-like work repairing and updating homes for disadvantaged families.  Since way back in my high school days I did some summer work wiring houses, my job in our group is electrician.  Happily, no one has been electrocuted and nothing has caught fire....so far.

     Today, September 17th, is our 35th wedding aniversary.  Karen and I have a reservation tonight at a small fancy restaurant here in town.

     Life is good......  

                                                  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.


Clinic Hours

Mon-Fri: 8:00 am - 5:30 pm
Sat: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
(by appointment)
Sun: Closed
Phone: (214) 361-2834

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

Antoine de Saint Exupery

Latest News

  • Will you give your pet a treat in order to save its life? +

    Dallas pets are at risk of heartworm infection. Even 100% “indoor” pets can become infected because mosquitos often make their way indoors. Even the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises pet owners to give year-round preventative instead of the risk and expense of treating infection. The early stages of heartworm Read More
  • Fit Pets +

    More than half of all dogs and cats are overweight! You may cringe at the thought someone would call your pet "fat," especially when you love their little squishy rolls. It may be cute, but it's not healthy.You can help to give your pet the healthiest life possible. Obesity contributes Read More
  • It's Common Sense, and it's right under your pet's nose! +

    A veterinarian should examine your pet annually – a full medical exam includes an evaluation of your pet's teeth. Benefits from proper dental care for your pet are similar to the reasons you keep your own teeth clean. Reasons to keep teeth clean include:• Prevention of painful dental disease and damage Read More
  • New Year, New Clinic +

    If you haven't been by to see us since November, you're in for a surprise: we're at the same location, in our new building! The design of our new hospital pays homage to our roots in the 1940s, while giving us a bit more room to practice state-of-the-art medicine. It's Read More
  • 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
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Dr. Baxter's Blog

  • 10. Still Ticking +

    Well, next month it will be 3 full years since I began showing symptoms of what would eventually be diagnosed as pancreatic cancer. And here I am, still free of new tumor growth, which puts me among a very small minority of patients suffering from this cruel incurable disease. I Read More
  • 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
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