Transcript of 9th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Mr.Kester Langford, Tuesday, September 30, 1997 at 1 pm.

Dr. Balis: Good afternoon, Kester.
Mr. Langford: Good afternoon, Doc.
Dr. Balis: How are you doing today?
Mr. Langford: The fact that I'm late and out of breath is an indication.
Dr. Balis: What do you mean?
Mr. Langford: I waited until the very last minute, because I really didn't feel like coming today. The last two weeks have been filled with feeling like shit and going to doctors. Between blood tests and being poked and explored in every crevice and fold, I've had it with the medical profession. Nothing personal, Doc.
Dr. Balis: Nothing personal taken, Kester. What have the doctors found out from all the tests that you've taken?
Mr. Langford: It's so bizarre. I was--and still am--having stomach aches with accompanying intermittent diarrhea and constipation, and so I went to the clinic. My regular doctor was on vacation, so I saw the attending physician. He had me take some blood tests and, believe it or not, an ultrasound. Fortunately for me, the ultrasound technician had studying to do so she couldn't spend much time with me. But she did manage to ask me when I was expecting. I laughed, but I didn't really think it was funny. When the blood tests came back, the doctor said that my tests were in the abnormal range and referred me to a gastroenterologist. I went to that doctor, and he told me that I had a tumor in my liver. Of course, that had nothing to do with my stomach and intestinal problems. The doctor said that he wasn't worried, but the tumor is the size of a golf ball! It's not his tumor, no wonder he's not concerned. Then came the big "but"--just to make sure, he wants me to have a blood pool scan. That's after my sigmoidoscopy. What a ride.
Dr. Balis: It seems like nothing definitive has been determined yet. How have you been taking all this?
Mr. Langford: Not well. I'm still suffering from stomach aches. The medication that the doctor prescribed hasn't worked. I've been feeling like the end is near.
Dr. Balis: The end of what?
Mr. Langford: The end of my life. That's really been bumming me out. I've been drinking carrot juice and fresh orange juice which seem to be giving me some relief, but this thing with my best friend died of liver cancer several years ago, and I was with him during his entire ordeal. The whole process took three months from the time he was told to his falling into a coma and dying. To say that I'm freaked out would be an understatement.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Mr. Langford: I've been thinking about my life and what I've accomplished. I've been thinking that I may not have a chance to succeed in a way that I had hoped. As much as I enjoy being alone, I always envisioned that one day I would get married and have a family. I realize that that sounds strange coming from me, but a lot is surfacing now that I haven't thought about for a long time.
Dr. Balis: What are you thinking about?
Mr. Langford: Although I haven't put much energy into selling my marks, in the back of my mind I've always thought that I would eventually be able to make a living do it. I've been realizing that in a way I've dropped the ball and that now it may really be too late. Something inside of me has wanted to resolve the issues with my brother, even though the letter I told you about seemed to create even a greater chasm between us. Last week, I told you that I wanted to discuss our relationship in greater detail, but the problem is that I don't really remember much about him. He would talk to me over the phone, and that was all right. But every time he would call, my parents would get into a screaming battle. It seems to me that their arguing was about how they had failed as parents. And when I would try to stop them from fighting, they would start yelling at me and I would end up being punished. I blamed my brother more than my parents. But for reasons that I don't understand, I would also blame myself. When one is faced with a possible terminal illness, I guess the mind just goes off.
Dr. Balis: Do you remember what kind of a tumor your doctor said you have?
Mr. Langford: He said that it was a collection of blood vessels--a hemangioma.
Dr. Balis: This a very common type tumor and is usually benign. Most patients are never bothered by it and live long and full lives.
Mr. Langford: That's what the doctor said, but it's still very unsettling.
Dr. Balis: Absolutely. I'm sure that it's the uncertainty that's the most troubling to you. Your response to the preliminary results sounds more like a reaction to the memory of your friend's illness and death and less like what's actually going on with you now.
Mr. Langford: I tend to agree with you. But I'm here to tell you what's on my mind, not what I think I should be thinking and feeling. Isn't that right?
Dr. Balis: Yes, that's right.
Mr. Langford: I may be over-reacting to my physical symptoms, but between the pressure in my stomach and the new knowledge of a tumor in my liver I can't help it.
Dr. Balis: When are you taking your blood pool scan?
Mr. Langford: Sometime in November.
Dr. Balis: Why so long?
Mr. Langford: That was the earliest appointment I could get.
Dr. Balis: That's a long time to be in limbo. It may be worth trying to get an earlier appointment. Would you like me to try to help?
Mr. Langford: Yes. Definitely. I would appreciate any help that you could give me.
Dr. Balis: I'll do what I can.
Mr. Langford: That will be great.
Dr. Balis: I can't make any promises, but I'll do everything in my power to get you an earlier appointment.
Mr. Langford: Terrific.
Dr. Balis: How are you feeling right now?
Mr. Langford: Somewhat hopeful, but It's difficult to talk with the pressure I feel in my abdomen. I was going to ask you if I could leave early. I really have to go to the bathroom. I'm most comfortable lying down and walking. Sitting up like this puts pressure on my stomach. Do you think the pressure in my stomach and abdomen are stress related?
Dr. Balis: It's possible. In fact, it's not uncommon for stress to express itself that way.
Mr. Langford: Oh, I didn't mention that the doctor didn't think that my stomach and abdominal pressure and pain were indications of anything serious. For me that's such a joke because of the pain I feel.
Dr. Balis: Stress could be a factor, but before you get the results of your sigmoidoscopy, it's too early to say. Let's just call it a day for today, and I'll make some phone calls and see what I can do for you.
Mr. Langford: Okay, Doc. I'll see you in a couple of weeks. Thanks a lot.
Dr. Balis: You're welcome, Kester. Goodbye.
Arrow, Straight, Left, Earlier Arrow, Straight, Right, Later

Button to Dr. Balis' Notes Doctor Balis' Notes on this Session

Button to Kester Langford's Transcripts Transcripts of Kester Langford's Communications
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