Thursday, May 12, 2011

A visit to Dr. Cardio

We traveled to Big City yesterday for my annual follow up visit with my cardiologist. To refresh your memory, dear readers, I have been a cardiac arrhythmia patient for many years. My heartbeat has been irregular and fast for most of my adult life. It has, at times, been controlled by medication pretty well and sometimes pretty poorly. I remarked to my adorable wife at dinner a few nights ago that the current medication has done a great job for several years. I have been essentially symptom-free.

I was taken to an examining room and, in addition to the usual tests, given an EKG. Dr. Cardio appeared and remarked at once, "Gee, you look great." We discussed my general health and I told him that the medication was doing its job quite well and that I had no discomfort or other cardiac symptoms. After he studied my EKG, I asked him how it was; he replied that it was perfect. He stood up, shook my hand and said, "See you in a year."

Needless to say, we are very pleased with the result. As usual, we celebrated with a very nice lunch in Big City, put the top down on the convertible and cruised home the long way.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Follow up with Dr. Hema

Last week I had a follow up CT scan and blood tests. Yesterday, May 4, I met with Dr. Hema. The results are very, very good. In January, my M-spike number was 0.21. Now it is 0.18! It continues to trend down towards zero, the reading for a person with no lymphoma cells at all in their system. For comparison, the M-spike was 0.30 one year ago.

My IgM number is now 180, which is in the normal range! One year ago, it was 359, having fallen from its high of over 5,000.

Dr. Hema also read part of the CT scan interpretation. The two areas of enlarged lymph glands have decreased in size. The report quoted the size in centimeters; the best I could determine, it sounds like they have decreased by about 1/3.

All of this points to continuing steady improvement. I asked Dr. Hema if anyone was ever cured completely from my particular lymphoma: lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma. He said that lots of cases go many years without a recurrence; five or ten years and more. Obviously, if a person is 68 years old and goes more than ten years without a recurrence, he might as well consider himself cured.

My adorable wife and I are very happy. We celebrated by putting the top down on the convertible and enjoying a very nice, leisurely lunch.