Thursday, December 10, 2009


To be perfectly honest, I had been mentally composing a "Lather, Rinse, Repeat" blog entry for the past two weeks. My chest hurts, pains sparking on the left and right sides of my abdomen and my cough is getting old. The Onc appointment today was just a formality to confirm what I already knew, relapse. I have been trying to keep a brave face for Laurie and the kids, often waking early in the morning to roll around and fret about my next round of chemo. Today couldn't come soon enough to relieve me of my stress; at least I would know.

Interestingly enough, a blizzard kicked in so driving to LHCP was exactly like last year, treacherous. We left early to make sure we were on time and fought our way down the freeway with everyone driving very cautiously. After sign-in, they immediately called my name for a blood draw. The phlebotomists are still having some difficulty finding veins. She poked me only to have the vein roll away. She queried, "How's the weather holding up?" while tipping the needle around under my skin trying to snare the slippery tube. Blood finally shot up the tube and we were in business. I filled out the "How are you feeling today?" paperwork and they called me back. The dreaded weigh-in, gained 4 lbs and high BP (145/93). Wouldn't anyone's blood pressure elevate given the possibility of relapse? Deep breath.

In the waiting room, Laurie and I have a laugh about this and that until my Onc enters the room. OK, don't mince words, let's have it...

"CT was clean as a whistle." Huh? Are you sure you have the right results? No Evidence of Disease (NED). What? 100 lbs lifted from my shoulders and suddenly I am in a different world. I'm still cancer free. Yeah baby Yeah!

He did the normal groping for swollen nodes, nothing. Lungs sound clear. I asked several questions about my mental state and the pain which can all be attributed to my Thanksgiving cold. The Onc explained that my lymphoma will take several weeks to present symptoms so I should just relax and only get uptight if strong symptoms arrive (night sweats, fever, extreme malaise, swollen nodes, etc.) but otherwise, enjoy a chemo free Xmas. I will.

"Lose some weight, buy a BP cuff for home use and monitor it for a while. Keep up the good work. See you in 3mos."



  1. No better words ... no evidence of disease.

  2. You scared me with that first paragraph! So glad to hear it was all in your head...have a very merry and stress free Christmas!!!See you at the Christmas party!

  3. Paul,
    I guess I'd missed the news somehow that this was all happening. Or maybe I heard at some point and was too all involved with my own stuff to have it register fully. Anyway, I'm very happy to hear that things are going well and you've been cleared. That's awesome news and I'm sure it will make the holidays much more joyous for you and your family. Best wishes for continued good health and a very cancer-free New Year!

    Take care,

  4. O, Paul I'm so happy. You are too special to be taken away from this earth. We need you. My prayers continue. Besides who would fix my computer. Love Mom and Dad

  5. That "ELEPHANT" is always there once you've had cancer....I've been breast cancer free(??)for 10 years and my husband is going through treatment for Mantle Cell Non HodgekInson Lymphoma 4th stage. He will be going back to the hospital the 1st week of Jan. for the 5th of 8 treatments. so we know what you are talking about! Everything bad that comes up ---> CANCER get's blamed..."that damn cancer"!! Hope you don't mind me checking in!?!!

  6. That lead just sucked me right in -- you missed your calling as a writer -- now go do some shots of Jack and call it good.


  7. No news is good news - Hope all is well..