Friday, May 14, 2010

A visit to Dr. Cardio

Last Tuesday, I visited my cardiologist for my annual check-up. As some of you may know, I have suffered from cardiac arrhythmia for many years. Many years ago, I dragged myself to the doctor's office and I was told my resting pulse was 220 bpm. I asked the doctor if you could die from it and he responded, "Usually, you do." A few hospital visits and several experiments with various medications and I am now fine.

I had a nuclear stress test which took about 2 1/2 hours. I then saw the cardiologist and he reviewed my results. After about ten minutes with him, he said, "You are doing great; see you in a year."

It is great to know that the rest of my system is working well. I am looking forward to a long and happy life. I hope that God and my M-spike numbers concur.

Wow, I sure miss those pecan waffles! Today's weight 182.5.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A visit to Dr. Hema

We traveled to Big City today to learn the results of the CT scan and Dr. Hema's interpretation of the blood tests. Dr. Hema said that since my M-spike number had been as high as 3.16 and was now 0.35, that I had achieved about 90% of remission. He said that, while this is not complete remission, it is a very substantial success. He further said that if our goal is the resumption of good health and the enjoyment of life, we have achieved our goal. I am feeling very well and, according to my friends and relatives, look very good. I have energy and look forward to enjoying travel and leisure.

If I were to insist on further treatments to try to squeeze out every last particle of lymphoma and reduce my M-spike reading to 0.000, then I would have to undergo further infusions with unknown side-effects and be tethered to Big City. That, in my opinion and the opinion of my adorable wife, is a reduction in quality of life. Such extraordinary efforts might not even be effective. I shall therefor enjoy the renewed health that I have and be very grateful for the 90% remission that I have, rather that regret the 10% I lack.

He said the CT scan shows a very slight remaining area of lymphoma cells in my abdomen. He said it was slight before we started and is very slight now.

We will be seeing Dr. Hema in two months and probably every three months thereafter. In the meantime, we shall try to enjoy life to the fullest!

I continue to be alarmed by my weight. When I first saw Dr. Hema, it was 165. It got down to 157 in the darkest days of rituxan. Today's weight was 183! I am reducing my calorie count and I am increasing my exercise. Boy, do I miss those pecan waffles!

An open letter to Dr. Hema

May 3, 2010

Dr. Hema
and the entire staff

Thank you all for the wonderful treatment I have received for my lymphoma. My treatments have, at times, been very difficult for us all. Throughout all of it, you and the whole staff have treated me with the utmost professionalism, compassion and a bit of humor. I firmly believe that if we didn't find a way to chuckle through all of this, that the ordeal would be too sad. You and your staff have achieved, in my opinion, just the right touch of humor to make a tough process tolerable.

It is tempting to single out a few members of your staff that I feel did an extraordinary job. However, I believe that every member of the staff did their utmost to see that my care was given in a very professional manner. To the contrary, it would be impossible to single out a single person whose care was less than excellent.

I am very grateful to have such a skilled team working very hard to make my life healthier, happier and longer.

Please pass my thanks to each and every member of your staff.

I know that the Big City Medical system is concerned about customer satisfaction, as they should be. Please feel free to pass my comments on to anyone in the system.

Thank you again.