Where everybody knows your name
Today was a big day. After six weeks of no oncologist visits I walked into the office for an appointment with my doctor. I am sure it seems funny to some. Honestly, what is the big deal about six weeks between doctors visits? You have to understand this morning was kind of like a homecoming. For months Nancy and I were in their office multiple times a week. It was a rare week when we had only one appointment. The front office had kind of become my personal “Cheers“. We walked in and the woman working the front counter shouted “Norm”, or in my case, “Dan”. We have our normal banter about getting a “fancy bracelet” and then if there is time talk about life as if it is normal.
Today there was a line when we walked in. When it was my turn she picked up like I had not been gone for six weeks. “Welcome sir, you want your fancy bracelet?” “Sure” “How are you feeling?” “Feeling more like myself these days, kind of forgot what that felt like.” We both laughed. Then the conversation moved to tissues and toilet paper.
Nancy and I sat waiting for the doctor longer than we ever have. My mind racing. Maybe he does not want to come in and tell us the bad news. Could it be that he is delaying having to speak hard words?
Weeks 2 Months
Finally the door opened and he came with a smile. He asked how I was feeling. I was moving a little slowly and he noticed that. “Why, what is your problem?” We talked about my neuropathy and how it does appear to be getting better. Finally he took his seat and turned his attention toward his computer. “Your blood panel looks un-remarkable.” His language for good. Starting at the top he went through the most important numbers found within in the blood panel. Sitting there listening to him talk I wanted to scream, “There is only one number I want to know about…can we get to the main event!” I relaxed and in a few minutes he got to my CEA. 1.8!
1.8 is actually lower than the last time I was there. Statistically it is a meaningless change. My oncologist reminds me each time we measure it that as long as we stay below 5 he will be happy. For me, someone who likes excel and tracks numbers closely, any change is important. It was especially important for this to be lower than my last reading. It gives me hope that we can stretch this break from weeks to months to years. [Read more…]