Friday, July 10, 2009

Is it too soon to be nervous?

By my reckoning, and I could be wrong, today, Friday, is the first day I might expect a call from Dr. Hema's office with results of the bone marrow biopsy. By the way, my lower back is still black and blue and tender from a test that was done last Tuesday!

As I understand it, if the result is that there are lymphoma cells in the bone marrow, then I do have a lymphoma that has spread. It will be bad news, but there are treatments and options. If the result is that there are no lymphoma cells in the marrow, it doesn't mean there is no lymphoma; it means that either I don't have it at all or I do have it but it hasn't spread. Further diagnostic steps are called for.

Everything I have read about lymphomas speaks about the likelihood of survival for ten more years. A slow-growing lymphoma caught at Stage 1, that is, no involvement in nearby organs, is supposed to be survivable for ten more years in 70% of cases. Ouch.

Of course, I am quite hopeful that I don't have a lymphoma, however, if it must be, I feel quite confident that I will survive longer than expected. I am healthier than most 66-year-olds. Low cholesterol, low blood pressure, low weight (maybe that's not so good!), and, best of all, almost no stress. I am also motivated to follow the doctor's orders and do the exercises or take the pills or get the rest.

Having said all that, the normal life expectancy for a male in the USA is about 77. If I get there, I can't really feel too cheated.

Today's weight 162.5. I feel that is significant for two reasons. First, I have been concentrating on getting a nice high calorie, high fat lunch every day. It seems like it's paying off.

Second, Dr. Hema said that if I had a fast-growing lymphoma, I would be losing weight rapidly. Instead, I am gaining weight slowly.

Today's exercise: 1.9 miles with photos taken and friends met along the way. I took my ancient GPS to actually track the mileage. It was a bit foggy this morning. It was, and always is, good to be out in the sunshine and the fresh air.

Perhaps not so coincidentally, I am watching the Tour de France. I am stunned by the accomplishments of Lance Armstrong, cancer survivor. At age 37, he is kicking some butt. If things get tough for me, I shall touch my yellow LiveStrong wrist band and believe that if Lance can do it, I can do it!

Off to see the grandchildren and, obviously, their parents tomorrow; about 3 1/2 hours away.

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