Saturday, November 7, 2009

November 2nd post

I saw my ONCOLOGIST today for my tri-monthly checkup.

Per usual they took blood; looked good (no red-lines); took a chest X-ray and nothing new showed there; and had a long chat about having cancer @ this point in the process. All in all went pretty well. He prescribed an antibiotic to take for the next 7 days for my cold (and stated in the future to just call and they'll prescribe over the phone - he had to cover his entire body with a gown, face shield and gloves to see me - I also was sequestered from the rest of the cancer populace while @ SCCA because of my sniffles / cough; with a mask on - they really don't mess around).

I asked him about any new treatments on the horizon and he was fairly tight-lipped. I asked him about supplements and he said, sure, whatever you want, go for it (with a look of you're wasting your time/$ shone through his eye shield). I asked him about joining a cancer survivor group and he said, 'No' (they had pamphlets on the counter for this through Fred Hutchinson). I asked why and he said he doesn't want me hanging around other cancer patients (thinks they'd bring too much cancer reality to the situation). I told him I am using a life coach these days...he asked 'What's that?' So I told him. He thinks its great. He also wants me to up my Prozac by an extra pill / day. But he stated, he can't tell me that the cancer is not active in my body, just that he can't see it.

As I've stated in the past, I really like this guy. We covered lots of ground today and for the most part he pulls no punches. We went over my X-ray and my last CT in detail. He pointed out the entire thing and explained all that's going on and compared the two. He holds his cards tight to his chest however and really only gives me information that he wants me to have. As in he holds back the full story, I can tell. He does say, the longer I stay cancer free, the better my long term prognosis. That sounds like a 'DUH' statement but what he's saying is, the first 6 months following treatment is the most critical; the next 6 months less so and so on and so forth. It seems they work in 6 month increments for whatever reason. In case anyone lost track, I'm @ month 14. My next scheduled appointment is in January and they'll do another full blown CT.

As a part of our conversation, we got on the topic about death. Renato got somewhat philosophical and shared the history of the worlds philosophers view on existentialism and the contemplation of death and beyond. I told him I wasn't afraid of dying. He didn't believe me and stated, "Everyone is afraid to die." I told him I guess I'm not everyone as I really do not fear dying. After all, we're all going to 'die' sometime and it's up to God to decide when and how. He went on to say what if this is IT and there isn't anything else (thus the fear). If that's the case, then this is IT and we're all going to be in IT. However, I stated to him in no uncertain terms my belief in God and Jesus as our Savior. I'm very comfortable with my frame of mind around God and our Savior and left it as such with him to ponder. He didn't want to go past the what if this is IT and living in a state of being afraid of what if this is IT.

Once again, I want to point out that I believe having cancer has helped me tremendously in my state of mind. Mind you, I'm saying I'm grateful to have cancer and if it were up to me, would never had entered my body. However, I do look at it as a blessing and know that it's God's will and His will be done. That I am very comfortable with and accept in this life as such.

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