Betrayed by my spleen

You’d think that after all these years of having doctors palpate my belly, I might be able to do it myself, despite the fact that I am not that kind of doctor. Well, sadly, it turns out I can’t. I thought I had some idea of what those three doses of radiation were doing to me, but it turns out I didn’t.

I haven’t gotten the official word from Dr. Radi-O yet–I don’t see him for another 5 weeks–but I did have a check up with Dr. Blood at the Cancer Centre yesterday. I told her I thought my spleen was shrinking, and that I was certainly feeling better than I have in a long time, so she decided to check it out for herself. Is this what they mean by “laying of hands”? Turns out my self-assessment was only partly right.

Dr. Blood’s careful manual examination suggested that my spleen has indeed shrunk. But I thought my magnificent organ was now shopping in the Petite section, when it turns out it’s just as tall as it always was but it’s gone down a few dress sizes. Yes, my spleen has gone on a diet without informing the rest of my body. Kind of fits with my mysterious low-fat bone marrow, doesn’t it? Yet another body part that seems to have more success on the self-control front than my brain.

Picture of truncated body apple vs. pear shapedI guess smaller is better, whatever form it takes, but I’m a little annoyed that my prized internal organ is skinnier when the rest of me seems to be, well, not. A few people have even commented recently that my belly is less prominent than it was. Turns out they’ve been fooled by the oldest optical illusion in the books: my hips are bigger so my belly just looks smaller, even though it hasn’t changed all that much. My non-medical opinion is that my spleen, in an effort to lose a few, has deposited its excess on my hips. Good thing I’ve only been measuring waist circumference these past several weeks.

Despite my self-assessment inadequacy, I received fantastic news from the doctor. Rather than sitting around here until I see Dr. Radi-O–a watched spleen never shrinks, you know–I’ve been granted the all-clear for travel. Yes, J. and I are taking two of those credits we have with the airlines and going to warmer climes for a week. Striking while the iron is hot, seizing the day, no time like the present, and all that. In 10 days, we will be on a plane to California and staying in a beautiful suite with an ocean view. Since we’ve had a bit of trouble depleting our vacation budget this past while, and our flights were already paid for, we’re going all out on the lodging.

It’s J.’s first real break from work (the paid kind and the taking-care-of-me kind) in months. Boy, has she earned this. Maybe I have too. It’s exhausting to be sick, you know. Now, could you please cross your fingers and toes, maybe even your eyes, until we actually get on that plane? Much appreciated.


6 thoughts on “Betrayed by my spleen

  1. That is the best news EVER!!! Congratulations!!! A very well deserved vacation to the most well deserving people. I am so happy for you both!

    Please have a fish taco for me, my favourite food in California.

    Big hugs. xoxo


    • Marnie: I’m assuming you feel the vacation, not the spleen fat migrating to my hips, is the best news EVER. It is indeed great news, so thanks for your excitement for us. And I will have no trouble having a fish taco for you, since I am a fish taco lover too. XO Annie


  2. You’re not going to believe this but I found your blog, I hardly believe it myself. I have read every post (I think) and I now know more about you than you do about me even though I recently shared some private information with you, and only because you asked. I know that you are a master punctuator, comic relief blogger and one of the bravest people I have ever had the privilege to know. I’m sending you and J cyber hugs, oh and don’t forget Jelly, the fittest dog in the neighborhood.
    yoga and neighborhood, Lisa.


    • Thank you for making the effort to find the blog, Lisa, and for all your kind words. In particular, I’m so glad to hear that you appreciate my punctuation skills. I am grateful for all your kind words. Back at you, friend. XO Annie


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