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WebCafé home arrow Tales from the Trenches
Paul S. Morton Jr. PDF Print E-mail

My full name is Paul S. Morton, Jr. I am 78 years old. Born in Virginia. Lived there for the first 12 years of my life, then to Kentucky for five years and then to NJ for 3 and then back to Virginia. Went in the army on February 15, 1942. Was wounded over Padeborn, Germany on Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945. Spent next 15 months in Army Hospitals in Germany, England and Walter Reed (USA). Retired on June 10, 1945 with a wound still draining. Fortunately a civilian doctor in Kentucky, Arnold Griswold, performed two additional operations in 1945 & 1946 and corrected the "butchery" that the Army doctors had done on my left hip (ironical, he was chief of surgery at Walter Reed when I went there in July 1945 but left soon after).

Anyway I had an unpleasant first marriage (no children) for two years and when the money ran out she did also (not quite that bad but she couldn't stand reverses). I moved to New Jersey in 1949, met my wife on May 13, 1950 and we were married on April 28, 1951 (celebrated our 48th just last week.- Hope we make 50). We have two children a daughter and son ((lost a child in between, born dead) and they in turn have two children (our daughter) and three for our son. the five range in age for 6 to 18. I have had various jobs, worked for a brewery in KY (assistant Personnel Manager) a small machine shop in New Jersey (Personnel Manager) a Chemical Company (Thiokol-Personnel Manager) Chamber of Commerce Executive in Montclair, NJ and Red Bank, NJ and final job, Personnel Director institution for severely retarded (State of New Jersey). Retired to this area 11 years ago and thought all was fine until the damn cancer occurred in February 1995.  I asked my urologist if my old war injury had anything to do with the cancer as it was in the same area. He feels strongly because of my heavy smoking from 1936 to 1948, exposure to chemicals (1956 to 1967) and history of cancer in my family (mother, her sister, and my three first cousins (two of whom died of colon cancer) and my brother with leukemia) it is surprising that it took as long to develop as it did. What do you think.

In November of 1993 I had pains in my lower abdomen and went to a local urologist who is suppose to be the finest in our area. H e put me through all kinds of test and for some reason or another was convinced that I had a kidney stone. Had me strain my urine and made all kinds of X-Rays. Finally in early January he decided to do a cystoscopy and while nothing showed in the initial exam transitional cells did show in the urine sample. I asked him what that meant and his reply was I don't know but we better find out.

I then had another complete cystoscopy of the bladder and both ureter at the Ambulatory center of Moore Regional Hospital (now called FirstHealth). He did say that something had shown up in the left ureter and until he got the biopsy in a week or so he could not tell whether it was malignant or not (you can imagine what my wife and I went through until we heard from the doctors secretary about ten days later. She said that the doctor would like to see us on Friday, three days after she called. My wife and I went to the doctor's office and he put us in a small examination room, really only big enough for two, and then brought in the X-Rays and showed us the lesion in the left ureter which he stated unfortunately was malignant. We asked what should be done and his reply was it should be taken out and to be on the safe side I will also take out the left kidney. We said slow down, we want a second opinion. He reluctantly agreed and made an appointment with a doctor we had suggested at UNC. I had a friend who had gone to this same local urologist and had been told the only solution for him was bladder removal (that was six years ago and he still has his bladder). He had gone to Dr. Mohler at UNC and suggested that I go also. We saw Dr. Mohler On February 11, 1994 and were so impressed with him (he spent time with us, drawing diagrams of my problem and making concrete suggestions at to what had to be done and why) that we asked him to do the operation. On February 20, 1994 he removed a 4cm long poorly differentiated carcinoma in my left ureter. Dr. Mohler also removed the left kidney. I went to Dr. Mohler for 18 months and then at his suggestion (he felt it was foolish for me to make the 130 mile round trip for routine cystoscopy) he recommended that I return to my original urologist. When I contacted him he told me that he was not going to do Mohler's work. If he took me back he would decide what treatment I should have. Of course I was shocked and asked my primary care physician (Dr. F. Simmons Patterson) and Dr. Mohler what to do now. They made arrangements with another local urologist to have him exam me every six months. I had cyst o every six months and three times periods of hospitalization for more detailed examinations of my right ureter. Last September while nothing showed in the ureter atypical cells were found in the urine. The local urologist felt that I should start BCG then. Dr. Mohler felt after talking with the local urologist that I should wait until the first of the year. I contacted Dr. Mohler in January of this year and he saw me in early February. A small malignant tumor was found in my bladder and three other areas which he describe as like jelly were also found. The tumor was removed and nothing was found in the ureter. Dr. Mohler felt it advisable that I start BCG six weeks after the surgery and as you know I completed my six sessions on April 28th. I am to have another cyst o on June 3rd but tentatively am scheduled for monthly BCG for six months from that date.I had a stent placed in my right ureter which after the first week has caused my little or no trouble. Now you know my whole story of transitional cell carcinoma.
 
June 3, 1999

My cysto showed No new cancer. There was an area of inflammation on a region that had showed precancerous cells in a prior cysto but Dr. Mohler felt it was a reaction from the BCG. He felt so confident that he was ready to remove the stent from my ureter. When I reminded him that he had originally told me it would have to remain through the monthly BCG treatments he asked if I was having any discomfort. Outside of the first week I have had little of no discomfort. Do have discomfort the first 24 hours after the BCG treatments but if it will help make sure that the BCG gets up into the ureter I wanted it left in. I also had my first monthly BCG treatment and have had some discomfort this afternoon. Anyway for once I can say something nice about the Japanese as I believe they were the first to use this type of treatment.


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