This is the CAT Tracks that I put out detailing Julie's experiences with "Dr. Sartin"...figured after dealing with that first health update post of 9-9-07, I could at least give Julie her equal time. I'd rather remember this "update" than the other...


Many of you know the reason that CAT Tracks has been idle for the past couple of weeks.

My wife, Julie, has suffered a relapse of the cancer that was first diagnosed in March 2006. Ironically, that news came barely a week after Julie's local oncologist had pronounced her "cured" following the completion of her scheduled chemotherapy. We won't go there!

The prognosis given to Julie by her doctors is devastating...

Those of you who know Julie know that she is a fighter. Years ago, she had me put an affirmation on the screen of her cell phone..."I will fight until I drop." Julie is living up to that creed...in a fight against all odds.

As evidence of that claim, I offer the following true story...

The surgery that revealed the return of Julie's cancer was on a Saturday night. Her Carbondale GP was out of town...not knowing that she was going to give the surgeon the go-ahead. Therefore, on Sunday morning, a "substitute doctor" came to Julie's room..."making rounds". The substitute doctor...I'll call him Dr. Sartin "to protect the guilty"...must have skipped Bedside Manner 101 to practice his golf swing. Dr. Sartin proceeded to tell Julie that she needed to avoid denial, accept that she had cancer, and plan on dying...soon. Needless to say, this approach did not set well with Julie. However, Dr. Sartin made his escape to visit another day.

Well...that day came exactly two weeks later.

After being discharged from the hospital, the "transition" home did not go well. Julie's blood sugar went over 600, she became severely dehydrated, and she developed serious infection. I called the ambulance and back to the hospital we went. That night, hospital personnel had me call the family...we do not expect her to make it through the night. Well...she did...the second time in a month that she had stared down the Grim Reaper.

Two days later...on a Saturday morning...Julie's brother Paul and I were in her ICU room. Julie was lying in her bed with various tubes running out of her...not being responsive to either me or her brother. As Paul and I were talking, this fellow that I did not recognize entered. Without acknowledging us, this fellow said: "Julie, I'm here to visit." Julie half opened her eyes...then raised her head from her pillow...completely opened her eyes and said in a loud and clear voice..."Dr. Sartin! Yes...you can come visit me. And you can come visit me next year...And you can come visit me in 5 years...And you can come visit me in 10 years...And you can come visit me in 20 years..." I think she got up to 60 years before she stopped. Then, without missing a beat, she announced: "I do not want to talk to Dr. Sartin...Dr. Sartin needs to leave the room!" Since Dr. Sartin had not bothered to introduce himself to us, he did not know who "the audience" to this incident was. Dr. Sartin was obviously uncomfortable and started trying to make doctor sounds...like what her progress had been. When no one responded, Dr. Sartin stated that he was going to move Julie out of ICU. Well...THAT got Julie's attention! Julie promptly announced: "Dr. Sartin is punishing me for speaking up...going to move me out of ICU." Dr. Sartin literally stammered and stuttered before finally getting out an explanation that he was not punishing Julie...that Julie had improved dramatically and no longer met the criteria for being in ICU...that THAT was the reason for the move. At some point in time, Dr. Sartin posed a question that I felt deserved a reply. Well...hush my mouth! Julie rolled her head toward me and said: "You are not being very supportive!" I raised my hands in (somewhat) mock surrender and said: "You are absolutely correct...I will not say any more to Dr. Sartin!"

After some more squirming by Dr. Sartin, he finally asked if there was anything he could do. Sticking my neck out, I said..."How about a private room?"...a request that we make every time we are in the hospital...and get turned down every time we ask. Hey, he asked...and...nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Yep...you guessed it...Julie got her private room!

As they say on the TV commercial...a day in the hospital...$2,000...a bandaid...$12...the look on Dr. Sartin's face...PRICELESS!

So...my girl is still kicking butt!

To one and all..."Thank You!"...for your continued support and prayers.