jenny's belly

Friday, November 24, 2006

Crazy people

Besides the insanity, here's something else I have in common with Napoleon:
"In 1961, a flurry of conspiracy theories were launched when high levels of arsenic were found in hair samples taken posthumously from Napoleon. But a manuscript
discovered in 2005 supports the official medical report from 1821 that he died from stomach cancer."

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Another All Clear

I got another all-clear (phew) and though I return to the doctor in 3 months, I won't get another CT scan for 6 months. I don't really see the point of seeing the doctor in 3 months without another CT scan, though. I really don't. Seems like a waste of time.
Oh, I'd forgotten when I had the scan that I signed up for a study. I always sign up for anything they ask me to, just as a matter of course. I figure if I can help someone else, I'm happy to do it. So they scan you once, then inject you with some kind of dye, and then they scan you again. Well, they were studying whether they should change the type of dye to the same kind used at Brigham & Womens. That was were I'd had my first CT scan, so I knew either way I wasn't going to have a reaction (I always feel sucky, but neither one was terribly bad). ANYWAY, so when I signed up I agreed to a phone call to talk to the doctor about any side effects.
Fast forward from monday to friday, where I've forgotten all about this, and I get a call at work. I can tell by the number its someone at Dana Farber, and so before I've even picked up the phone I'm leery. THEN the person identifies themselves as a doctor from the radiology department at Dana Farber. I think I stopped breathing. If I'd been a cat, I'd have lost a few of my 9 lives. Even knowing this isn't how you find out your cancer has come back, it still scared me to the point that I TOLD the doctor he'd scared the shit out of me. "Do you know how I am now?" "Yes, I do doctor, I'm sorry..." GOOD times.
Fabian, my rogue lymph node, is still in place. Thankfully he hasn't moved or enlarged at all. I was surprised to learn that its near my liver though, because last time I was told it was near my surgery site. I kind of think my new oncologist got it wrong. He's very close to me in age, but acts a good 30 years older.
My blood is really in good shape now. I've squeaked into normal range on the important markers, and though I'm still "extremely low" in some things, they're not as critical. Oddly, my white blood cells are still low, which doesn't make much sense. The size of my blood cells are teeny tiny.
Anyway... I'm doing pretty well and AMAZED at how far I've come. Thank you for checking in on me. :)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

CT Scan Time

I've got another CT scan coming up on monday. Not too nervous about it. I've been going every week for the past few months to get a shot and often an infusion of iron. I'm really noticing a difference. I had a busy day at work, for example, and I'm not asleep right now. I can definitely do more than before. I love that I'm starting to think of things to do with my free time, and cleaning my condo doesn't seem insurmountable. well, I take that back, it still seems insurmountable, but I no longer feel I should move as a result. Yes, I'm still living with my parents. I was sick over the weekend and dissolved into tears on the bathroom floor. My mom came into the room and gave me a hug, then brought me into my room, changed the sheets, lifted the mattress up (it always slips down because I have an inflatable pillow under the head of the mattress) and then she made me some tea and gave me some oyster crackers (sweet old friend). I think I'd just have sat on the floor crying all night had I been alone at my condo. Some of it is definitely feeling sorry for myself. I do know that I do it, and its because I felt sorry for myself all the time last year. But some of it is also just feeling shitty sometimes.
My nurse told me last week that I'm not the only one out there with terrible blood. "It hasn't even been a year since you've been off treatment," she told me. "Your blood will be bad for awhile longer." Basically, think of how incredible it is that the body can repair itself after being poisoned. I need a little bit more help than maybe the typical patient, but I think a big part of that is because there aren't a whole lot of survivors out there with stomach cancer. 50% don't make it. How do you like THOSE odds? I never felt I had a 50/50 chance, but those are the stats.
I'm getting a new medical oncologist. Fortunately, not a new radiation oncologist. I only see my radiation oncologist twice a year but I have a patient crush on him. :) Much of it might be his voice, but whatever the case, I get to see him next month. But as for my medical oncologist, I see him in 2 weeks to go over my CT scan results. It will be interesting to see how a new person steps into my medical circle. I have a billion nurses and several doctors, and they all manage different things, but it leads up to my medical oncologist. The one thats leaving at the end of this week, Dr. Bhargava, should never have let me return to work as soon as I did. True, it didn't do any damage, but I should have given myself more time. I think it might have been good for me mentally, but physically it wasn't good.
ANYWAY, I'm doing better now. I'm not as nervous about my CT scan (like, maybe things will be okay).