Cancer Update, Doctor’s Visit 4 Feb, 2010

I had a doctor’s appointment on Thursday last week. The objective was to get another blood test and to get another MRI of my head to see if I was ready to get some low dose follow-up chemo. I got there a bit early, around 9:30am (considering I live 3hrs away, that’s early). I had them print my list of appointments before I got my labs drawn. Ugh…10:30am blood draw and 10:30pm MRI. Who does this kinda crap? So I go to get my blood drawn an hour early while my wife attempts to get my MRI rescheduled later. She has to work Fri morning and leaving Houston sometime after midnight (the MRI itself takes ~45 min) is not cool. My favorite nurse ever, Nurse Glenda pulled some strings and I got my MRI done before noon. Way to go Nurse Glenda!

After lunch, I saw my doctor. My MRI looked great. Whatever it was they’ve been seeing for the past several months (the after-effect of my brain stem swelling) is now being considered the effect of treatment. So basically they’re now saying that whatever WAS there has been treated and what they see now is just what it looks like as a result of the treatment. Last time I had an MRI, they were still saying there was a FLAIR response on the MRI…basically a spot with increased fluid compared to other nearby tissue. They aren’t calling it that anymore. This is very outstanding news. My doctors once considered radiation on my brain for that spot. I’m glad they never gave that to me. Considering the side-effects of radiation, I probably would have had a really hard time completing graduate school if I could make it at all.

One thing that bothered him were my platelets. My red cells and white cells looked pretty good. But my platelets were not rebounding how he wanted. So, he ordered another bone marrow biopsy so he could see what my marrow looks like. These things aren’t as bad as a lot of people expect. But they’re still not exactly pleasant. My hip was sore for 2 days (by far, worse than the actual act of taking the biopsy). I have to go back this coming Thursday to find out what my bone marrow is up to. Hopefully nothing looks abnormal and that I’m just really slow at recovering fully from the chemo.

After my day at the hospital, I made a trip to the nearby REI. I had an old Highgear watch I bought in 05, and the backlight had gone dead. I was hoping for a repair, but no go…so they gave me a refund, which my wife and I promptly spent in the store (plus some extra). I got some MSR Groundhog tent stakes (Ti nail stakes don’t work so great in the sand, and the X pattern of the Groundhogs should do better) and a Camelbak bladder to replace the one that I allowed to get moldy and had to throw away a year ago. My wife bought a dress to wear on our Hawaii trip that we booked awhile back (with travel insurance in case of a relapse or something). I have to say, she looks quite hot in that dress.

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