Baseball games get postponed due to rain. Theater seldom gets postponed because “the show must go on!” (who knew that theater people were tougher than baseball players?).
The chemo we had been dreading and emotionally preparing for was postponed today…due to lack of knowledge.
Carole’s most recent scans were done here in town, and the local radiologist who wrote the report did not have the previous scans from Stanford to compare them to, so he wrote a report that basically said, “yeah, um, there’s some stuff in there but I can’t tell if it’s growing or shrinking.” Of course, I am paraphrasing since I don’t want to blow you away with all the big words I’ve learned over the last eighteen months.
(On a side note, please take note of the length of time we have been battling cancer. That’s two full-term pregnancies for you motherly types, or two years in high school, or four semesters in college for you studious types.
That’s eighteen months straight; there has not been even a single day off for her during this time. If I’ve taken a day off, I can’t remember it.
If at times there seems to be an impatience surrounding us like a fog, it’s because surviving cancer is our sole purpose, our full-time job, and it’s draining. I know I have a new intolerance for broken promises and unreliable people. Honestly, I’m not sure if I’ve ever had much patience for it. If I’ve offended anyone, I apologize, but neither of us has the spare energy to waste. Sorry, but goofy excuses and behaviors don’t get it done, as charming as you may think they are.
Go play with the other dwarves, we’re busy.
I’m done ranting, now back to our regularly scheduled blog post…)
So, as I was saying*, in a moment of radiological professionalism, our local radiologist told our oncologist to get the Stanford scans so he could compare the two and determine if the chemo has had any effect. That led our local oncologist (who is administering the chemo) to contact the most reliable source for Carole’s health information, me.
I am not sure why I was chosen over the likes of Stanford’s doctors or the Stanford Medical Records department, but I was tasked to get the scans, and I delivered those scans to the oncologist at our 9:00 AM appointment this morning, which we thought was going to lead to 9:30 AM chemotherapy.
Once she saw I had the scans as promised, she suggested that we postpone more chemo until such a time the local radiologist could provide a more detailed and informed evaluation of Carole’s treatment.
This was a classical good news / bad news scenario for us, and a scenario we’re all too accustomed to.
On one hand, Carole gets one more week of feeling well and getting stronger.
On the other hand, she and I had steeled our souls once again to endure whatever was to be thrown at us. I promise you that it’s much like taking a long ride into battle. You cannot prepare for every contingency as hard as you try. You know there will be casualties, and the shadow perches on your shoulder to remind you of your mortality. It’s a quiet ride, but it drains at your energy before the first shot is fired.
I noticed she was going through it because she has not been sleeping well lately, and she’s been experiencing a lot of pain from her back surgery that I attribute to tension.
I realized I was going through it when I made a mental note to buy more soup and baked beans for those weeks she would not be able to tolerate the smell of food. During those times, I usually eat my dinner quickly out of the can in the kitchen so as not to fill the house with scents that might lead to her vomiting up whatever food she was able to tolerate.
Even the animals seem to know. I’ve noticed that they have gathered more tightly around her recently, and that they are more protective of Carole when we have a visitor. Even the number of “squirrel reports” we receive daily have been cut back to the barest minimum by our dogs usually so eager to inform us of the enemies hiding in the trees.
So now we wait again. Will the new report show progress from the chemo? Will it prove to us and the doctors that chemo is the right treatment?
Do we have any options if it’s not?
So, as you can see our game is postponed but certainly not cancelled. We will try to rest up and enjoy our unexpected time off, but the preparations will start again later in the week for a game we know must be played, and won.
(* “So, as I was saying…” is a favorite cliche a friend of mine uses in his writing. Please consider my use of it here as a humble homage.)Tweet