Yesterday was quite the whirlwind at the Cancer Centre. We visited two floors, saw two doctors in two different areas, and were inundated with new information. I should have taken notes. Thank goodness J. was there with me.
First off, Dr. Blood told me that, despite the pathologist’s searching high and low, my malignancy count remains at two, not at three as I was fearing. The doctor may soon be ready to name a new diagnosis after me because I am such a stellar example of atypicality.
Although others have expressed concern, I’m not sure how much I was fearing another cancer since I’ve got two malignancies already and they haven’t killed me yet. I feel a bit invincible on the cancer front, whether rightly or wrongly. For a long time, I’ve thought that some health issue other than my leukemia would kill me. As I’ve said before, cancer is the least of my worries.
I was more keyed up about the possibility of radiation, to be honest. We found the crowded waiting area for the radiation oncologist in the basement of this filled-beyond-capacity building. The few chairs were full to the gills with people who looked very unwell, and me. I just look pregnant. I’ve determined the sicker you are, the lower you go into the bowels of the Cancer Centre.
The doctor, whom I have yet to name–Dr. Zap, Dr. Glow perhaps? I’m open to your input–was very nice, direct, and realistic. He plans to administer low-dose radiation three times one week apart, and to follow up at 6 weeks to see whether the procedure has worked. If effective, this procedure can be repeated a few times if needed without any major organ damage. The doctor informed us that zapping reduces spleen size about 50% of the time. I’m just hoping to fall in that 50%. If it doesn’t work, Dr. Blood has some other possible chemotherapies to shrink the spleen, but let’s not even consider that yet.
Dr. Buzz, Dr. Burn–I need your help here–also summarized possible side effects, including lowered blood counts, nausea and vomiting, and tiredness. I perked up at the thought of a little nausea; I could benefit from a brief aversion to food. (Sometimes I really shouldn’t share my inside eating-disordered voice.)
Because it was a long day hanging out with other cancer patients, I came home and practiced the tiredness side effect by sleeping soundly for 1-1/2 hours on the couch. And, after a quick dinner and a few more hours of inactivity, I had no trouble falling asleep last night for another 8 hours. I was out cold, so thanks for not calling. I want to make sure I master this exhaustion thing before I really need it.
Why was I so pooped? To all outside observers (except J.), I was cool as a cucumber leading up to this day. What, you think I was a little bit stressed? How could you tell? Usually I just let things roll off my back, don’t I?