Thursday, October 28, 2010

Check Up X

My quarterly checkups are becoming routine:

Drive under the LHCP
Grab a ticket
Say "hello" to the elevator monitor
Hit the 3rd floor button
Walk down the hall to the office
Start to get a little queasy from the memories
Check in at the front desk, validate my parking, pay my $20 co-pay
Fill out the "how are you feeling" form
Have blood drawn

Yesterday the waiting area was packed full of the hopeful, most with an advocate. I suspect they all play the same game, "whose the patient?" We all trade glances to determine our place in the spectrum of treatment. Wheelchairs, masks and headscarves are giveaways. Generally this can be difficult while everyone is sitting down but when they are called to the back offices and begin to move, the distinctions are more evident. Cancer cannot be generalized. We are all gathered in the same office but all are there for various fights. I wonder if the staff can look at their patients and make an educated guess on our diagnosis. Curious.

All eyes watch my balance as I saunter back to the exam rooms.
Weigh in time...down almost 50#; not a symptom but a concerted, Primal effort
BP...low, again, thanks Primal
Get escorted to an exam room and wait (now almost an hour past the appt time)
Onc arrives several minutes later with normal "how are you feeling" inquiries
We review my Primal eating activities and he acts impressed.
We do the grope dance as he checks for enlarged nodes and listens to my lungs.
"let's move out to 6 mos. with a CT. you are doing very well"

Music to my ears.

We head back to make an April appt and wade through the wounded and hurting. I feel very guilty about doing so well with all the suffering contained in that waiting area.

I am handed my liters of diabolical drink which will sit in our pantry for the next six months as a looming reminder that I'm still dodging bullets. I confirm with the nurse that this BS (barium sulfate) has no shelf life; exactly.

We lurch into the hallway and immediately the mood changes.
Head down the elevator.
Nod our "have a good day" to the elevator attendant.
Climb into the car and ascend into the daylight from underneath the LHCP.

It is a good day.


  1. Awesome news, Paul! So very happy to hear you have won the battle.

  2. Hey, I have diffuse large cell lymphoma... I was looking around (because I just made my blog and I want to see some other blogs before start writing) and I've read your blog.. I just wish you health.

  3. Great article, truly speaking the movie is very entertaining.