Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The start of an ordeal??

I have decided to document the events that have lead to my possible ordeal.

We never know the cards that we will be dealt. I think the measure of a human being is whether one copes with and overcomes the hand we are dealt; or whether we put our hands over our eyes and sit on the side of the bed and cry, "Oh, poor pitiful me."

I believe, if the ordeal proves to be an ordeal, that it will be worthy of tears. But I will chose to wipe away the tears and get up and cope; to make my life enjoyable, to make my wife's life as enjoyable as I can and to get out of bed every day and live. It will be interesting to see if my intentions today translate to results later.

I am now 66 years old. Since I was 50, my doctors have urged me to endure a colonoscopy to gauge my colon health; polyps, prostate, bleeding, etc., I assume. I put it off until this year but finally agreed. About 8 weeks ago, I had the test, which was not as bad as I had built it up to be. I recommend you have the test if it's recommended by your physician.

I have also been diagnosed with anemia for many years.

After the test, the doctor reported that the test was perfect, no issues to report....except...he noticed an enlarged mass in my upper abdomen. He scheduled a CT scan. The scan showed two enlarged lymph glands. He sent me a letter telling me that I would be contacted by a hematologist for a consultation. Many days went by without any call. I faxed both the doctor that did the colonoscopy and my primary care physician to ask if I had fallen between the cracks. I was referred to a hematologist on July 6, 2009. To make a long story a bit shorter, he estimates that the chances are 75% that I have a slow growing lymphoma. He recommended a bone marrow biopsy. This is done with a long, fat needle and not enough anaesthesia.

He says that the results may take as much as a week to come back. This will be the longest week of my life.

My very supportive wife is taking, as I am trying to do, a hopeful attitude; that is, don't assume any particular outcome until the reports come in. Then, assume that you can overcome anything.

Today, I spent time doing what I never thought I would have to do for either of us: figure out the easiest way to get off the interstate to the offices of the cancer doctor.

I will blog my progress, hopes and fears. Until I have something definite to report, I will not worry my family and friends.

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