To review our lesson from last post, I will view today’s overly frigid weather as “Winter Solstice is quickly approaching,” rather than “It’s only November and I dread five more months of frozen extremities.” There, I feel better already.
I have been given an unexpectedly long winter break from my patienting job, starting tomorrow. When I was at the Cancer Centre last week, Stephanie sent me off until the New Year, but first she arranged for an abdominal ultrasound. It’s been six months since my last, and almost 5 since I started on my miracle spleen-shrinking hip-enlarging chemo. In the interest of reframing, I hoped an ultrasound might enlighten me on the positives of my new chemo, in addition to my newfound healthy appetite.
Experienced patient that I am, I was a model subject for Angie the ultrasonographer. I breathed in and held it repeatedly as instructed. Angie explained that breathing in moves the organs lower so she can see them more easily. After all these years, I had no idea how full lungs assisted this procedure. Another day, another piece of medical trivia.
Sadly, Angie could not tell me that my recent weight gain was due to fluid retention in my burgeoning buttocks, but only because she did not assess said buttocks. She was scrutinizing my belly, remember? She stated that my spleen has indeed shrunk, from its high of 24 cm to its current 19 cm. Sadly, she provided no explanation for my unchanged waistline.
There was another reason Angie was taking a peek inside: I hoped she could explain the nagging discomfort I’ve been feeling around my spleen. Maybe a shrinking spleen hurts, or maybe there’s something else going on in there.
I don’t know what the final report will say, but Angie acknowledged that my spleen and my left kidney are getting a little too intimate. They are so close, in fact, that Angie had trouble seeing my kidney altogether. Since Angie offered no additional insights, I’ll share my naive layperson’s interpretation.
In the past, I’ve been preoccupied with how my liver and my spleen were getting along. When one was unhappy, the other often followed suit, as in any lover’s spat. I’ve needed them to be copacetic for my body to be happy.
But it turns out my slimmer spleen, seeking a little illicit excitement, has been sowing her wild oats with my left kidney. I figure the twinges of pain I’m feeling occasionally crop up when the two of them are getting it on. They smooch, I cringe, they hug, I wince, you know how this ends.
Now I’m worried that liver may get jealous if she ever finds out spleen’s been two-timing her. I’m sure to hear about it from liver. When liver ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.
Come to think of it, an angry liver may not be such a bad thing after all. When my liver’s out of sorts, that healthy appetite of mine vanishes. So for now, maybe I’ll encourage the two-timing. Anything to get back into my size M yoga pants.