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."