Right, well, I suppose I owe my regular and faithful readers an update.
First off, the doctors tell me that I’m not going to die from cancer before I pay my bill. No, seriously, the tests all came back clear. Now, there was some more to this one, if you recall, than just the cancer check. They noticed some time ago that I have an irregularity of some kind on or around my adrenal gland. So, there was an extra visit Monday to have a chat with an endocrinologist about what that all meant, if anything.
As far as we can tell, the blood work is all pretty normal and, since the alleged abnormality was pretty well unchanged for the past two years, the verdict is that it’s not a problem at all. But, since they like be thourough, and I still have pretty good insurance that keeps paying out, I’ve got one more test to go through. It seems they want to test whether or not my adrenal gland is functioning correctly. To do that, they want me to take a pill around midnight that will flood my system with artificial cortisone. That should keep my adrenal gland from making the naturally occurring amount over night. Then, the next morning, I have to get to a testing center between seven and eight so they can take my blood and test the levels. Now, the nice doctor told me that this was mainly a double-check and almost a formality, but, when it comes to cancer, and my life, you just can’t be too careful.
In fact, the only really bad news I got this time around is that I was wrong about how often I’m going to be scanned over the next three years or so. See, I thought I was about to get on the annual scan plan, but apparently that was wishful thinking. For at least the next three years, I’m going to have to get CT scans every six months. I have to tell you, that really screws up my plans both financially and personally when it comes to spending my vacation time. And, frankly, I was hoping to get a few less radioactive enemas!
Of course, all things considered, these are some pretty high-class, champagne problems. I mean, I’ve got a job, so I can pay for all these tests, or at least the parts that insurance doesn’t cover. And, frankly, I have mostly everything I need in the way of neccessities, like clothing, shelter and the like. I even have enough disposable income to run this site, and several others, for the fun of it. Not to mention the other fun toys I have, like the laptop I’m typing this on and my camera and my iPhone and other totally extraneous things that many people I grew up with think of as a bare minimum standard of living. But, then, I was always the poor kid in a rich neighborhood who always sort of wondered at the opulence that so many of my peers seemed to enjoy.
Most importantly, of course, I’m alive.
Yeah, let’s stop here for a moment, in the middle of the most commercial season of the year and consider that for a second. People say that they’re “lucky to be alive” or that they’re thankful “just to be alive and healthy”, but I wonder how many really get what it means to almost not have that?
You see, years before I caught a mild case of near-fatal lymphoma, one of my favorite musicians died from cancer. As he was slowly being eaten away by that hideous disease, he was frantically trying to record one last CD. A legacy for his fans and his family. Along the way, he did an interview with David Letterman who asked him what this process had taught him. That artist, Warren Zevon, replied, “I know just how much to enjoy every sandwich”.
So, here’s what I hope you take away from my blog and my ranty little bouts with medical testing; enjoy every sandwich, because you never know which one will be your last.
Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"If the minimum wasn't acceptable it wouldn't be called the minimum."