Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Todays results

We were off to Big City today for my six-month checkup with Dr. Hema. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I already had the blood test results in my hand and knew what the report was going to be before I walked in. To cut to the answer, my numbers are just about exactly in line with the last several visits, indicating that my lymphoma is still barely present but not getting any worse, or better, than it has been for the last two years.

This is excellent news, since the generally great health I've enjoyed for the last few years is likely to continue unhindered by lymphoma, chemo treatments, long hours in the infusion chair, etc. It is, instead, likely to be enjoyed to the fullest with my adorable wife and our family and friends.

I took the opportunity to seek out the people that treated me previously and thank them for their hard work and skill. They essentially saved my life.

After a few pleasantries and a thorough examination of my lymph nodes, Dr. Hema pronounced me approved to go enjoy life until my next six-month follow-up visit. Awesome!

I know that my particular strain of lymphoma will eventually return. Dr. Hema and I don't know if it will be six months, six years or even longer. It is, however, great to know that it won't be today!

We then joined friends for a very enjoyable lunch where we toasted, with sweet tea, life, health and happiness. It was a very welcome celebration of my good news.

Thank you, my friends, for all your support. Your well-wishes and encouragement buoyed me when I needed it the most.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

'Tis the season

It is almost time to begin my semi-annual series of check-ups with Dr. Hema, Dr. Cardio and Dr. Primary. Yesterday I went for blood tests so that the results will be available for discussion in a few days with Dr. Hema. As you may recall, I am mailed a copy of the results simultaneously so that I know in advance what to discuss with Dr. Hema. Yes, yes, yes; control freak, Type A and all that. I know. However, I do believe after years of doctors visits, MRIs and, yes, even hospital stays, that the best person to manage my health is me. I don't want to get a call from a technician in the doctors office a few days after my visit saying my results look good. Instead, I want to look the doctor him- or herself in the eye and ask the exact meaning of the result. I also want to know the long-term prognosis and the prescribed course of correction, if any. The technician in the back office doesn't know all this.

Having said all this, I really feel great! Unless I told you, I doubt you'd recognize me as a long-term lymphoma patient or even any serious issue and especially one who has been through some very tough times. I am actually looking forward to my doctor visits so I can see if the measurements match my expectations. I am pretty confident that they do.

I also look forward to seeing all of the great folks who have taken such excellent care of me and giving each a hug and a thank you.

Finally, I look forward to a nice lunch afterwards with my adorable wife and a pleasant drive home the long way!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Another great result

Yesterday, I went for my semi-annual visit with Dr. Hema to discuss my progress and review the results of my regularly scheduled blood tests. As regular readers of this blog will remember, I get my blood tests locally well before the doctor's office visits. I have a copy of the test mailed to me so I can note the progress of my lymphoma and have an informed discussion with the doctor.

As a friend of mine says, "A little bit of a control freak, are we?"

My tests results are excellent! My M-spike number, the primary indicator of cancer cells in the body, is 0.26, or just about where it has been for the last several visits. That tells us that the disease is getting no worse over time. Since it can never be absolutely, positively cured, that is the best result I could expect. Woo hoo!!!

We had a frank discussion of the possibilities in the future. Lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma usually returns after a period. It may be six months or six years or sixteen years or, as in a few cases, never. We will wait and see. Even if it does return, it may progress very slowly with no urgent need for immediate treatment. Accordingly, my adorable wife and I shall work hard to enjoy life to the very fullest.

As usual, we celebrated with a nice long lunch and a respectable Chianti Classico. We shall start planning our next trip. I hope we see you soon!