Anyway, I spoke with my contact at Sloan-Kettering, and I think we'll be able to make progress. I told her, quite frankly, that I needed a little bit more than a one-sentence recommendation. After a month of terribly stressful discussion and debate on this issue, one sentence isn't going to cut it. She seemed to understand, and told me she would discuss the issue with the doctors there (I'm working with two), and see what we should do.
Complicating the issue is Sloan-Kettering's policy of not meeting with patients during treatment - which means I cannot schedule an appointment until after radiation. Which is fine, but it just delays the possibility of having a substantive discussion even more, but whatever. I need to have a face-to-face discussion with a doctor who recommends more treatment before there's any chance of me accepting that recommendation.
For my part, I'm mentally preparing to spend a good chunk of the first quarter of 2011 in the hospital. That would be horrible, infuriating, upsetting, deflating, and any other similar adjective you can think of. But I'm trying to deal with it in my mind now so I'm not crushed by it the day before I'm ready to move out to DC for good. Since I've been diagnosed with cancer, it hasn't been terribly difficult to assume the worst about every single thing that happens. So I figure if I prepare for this now, it won't be as depressing later. I hope it won't come to that.
PICTURES OF MY BODY: The reason everybody visits this site in the first place, of course:
|Yes, Alex, the picture was taken in your room due to the abundance of mirrors.|
These are the things I have on my body at the moment. The "X's" are not permanent, but the little dot in the middle is. I asked the RadOnc people if they could make the dots teardrops like Lil' Wayne, but they said they didn't have that capability. I was disappointed. I might get the dots turned into teardrops later on, but I'm not sure I've murdered the requisite amount of people.
Anyway, the X on the bottom is used for positioning (along with a corresponding X on the other side of my body), while the X up top is the midpoint of the blast zone, so to speak. Afterward, I will tell people the dots are from my time in a cult.
IT SUCKS THAT THIS IS AN AFTERTHOUGHT RIGHT NOW: But I completely murdered cycle 6. I had virtually no nausea, barely felt the Prednisone bump, and completely forgot about the bone pain thing until today, when I realized it hadn't shown up. And I've been feeling "good" since Wednesday. I felt great today.
And after discussing things with Dr. Anderson yesterday, it's apparent that my experience with chemotherapy was not typical. In part that's attributable to my age. But many lymphoma patients do not make it through chemo without being hospitalized, or at least getting sick. I mean, your blood and your immune system are complete messes for roughly three months. So perhaps I can attribute my experience to luck or awesomeness or something. I don't know.
More to come when I get a phone call from some doctor telling me that I have Alzheimer's.