I’m not going to die.
Well, at least, I’m not going to die of cancer. Not this year, anyway.
Today, the oncologist told me my lymphoma is in full remission still. In fact, the scar tissue has shrunk even more, from 14cm to 11cm, which I think is kind of amazing, but didn’t seem to illicit any special notice from the doctor. Some people are just impossible to please, I guess!
He was a little worried because my blood pressure was high, but, then again, I’d just driven though rush-hour traffic to wait around for more than an hour for results on whether or not I was going to have to let them poison me for another six months. All things considered, I think it’s pretty normal that I might have a slightly elevated BP! But, I will keep an eye on it and make sure it normalizes again.
He did say, also, that I’ve made it to the point where less than 10% of the people have a likely recurrence of lymphoma. And, according to his Physician’s Assistant, the five-year mark is where I can be officially considered “cured”, which is the first time anyone has actually told me that. Everyone else keeps telling me that I’ll never really be “cured”, per se, but always in remission with a smaller, and smaller, and smaller chance of reoccurence every year. So, today, I got a little more hope than I had before, which is actually pretty nice.
All in all, a pretty good result. I’ll go back in another 10 months for another scan, which is not quite as long as I’d like, but, better than going again sooner because they found something to be concerned about. At that time, they will start me on a course of annual visits for this scan, which I’m not incredibly happy about, but will do until a better option comes along. And, based on what his PA told me, I think it will be something negotiable. The doctor may not realize that, but, well, I suspect he’s not quite used to dealing with a patient like me. My last doctor and I joked about the fact that I wouldn’t pay my bills until I knew she was going to do her job and save my life. We agreed that it seemed only fair! Of course, she did, in fact, save my life, so I did pay those bills. That is, however, one concern I have for the long-term; paying those bills. This gets to be a pretty expensive process and if I don’t really need to keep doing it every year, I may chose to opt for a slightly modified plan.
The doctor may not be excited by that, but I have ten months to sharpen my bargaining skills, while he’s completely in the dark about my plans. It’ll be interesting to see how that turns out!
Until then, though, I continue to work on my general health and wellness. I was pleasantly surprised to weigh in at a mere 216, fully clothed and laden down with my ridiculous “daily carry” of keys and flash drives and over-stuffed wallet and all the other pocket litter, as the spies call it, that I usually have on me. As I mentioned, my blood pressure was a bit high, but I’ll work on that. A little Zen meditation, and maybe some yoga, ought to bring that under control again.
Oh, don’t be so shocked by the yoga! No, I haven’t started doing it yet, but several people have suggested it and I decided to start looking into it. I’m getting older and starting to tighten up some. My knees in particular seem to get stiffer faster than they did. Besides, I hear yoga class is a great place to meet women who are physically fit!
I do still struggle a bit with depression. Nothing too bad, but, well, it is something that cycles around on a semi-regular basis. I figure the yoga and meditation would help with that, too. Speaking about my psychological well-being…
My oncologist tells me I should get married. I thought it might be better to start with dating, but I’m pretty sure I can work the “doctor’s orders” into a decent and semi-original opening line. I think a bit of laughing in the face of death might help some, too. I hear chicks dig that. Of course, I also hear that magnets can cure joint pain and people pay huge money for the kind of rough treatment my poor colon got last week for “health reasons”. Frankly, I find it hard to believe that a regular course of high colonics could possible be good for me, so I’ll take the things Men’s Health tells me about women with a grain of salt. (Though, I have started to edit my Match.com profile again in preparation for stepping out in the wild world of dating again. Seriously. Lock up your daughters! Seriously!)
So, yeah, after all my angst last week about the physical side-effects of chemotherapy, I’ve been spared that. I even got better than expected news, frankly! So, I admit, I do feel a bit foolish for getting so worked up about it. I mean, I should have more faith than that, shouldn’t I? Well, that’s something else I’m still working on.
Thankfully, it seems I have the time.
Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"When written in Chinese, the word 'crisis' is composed of two characters - one represents danger and the other represents opportunity."