”Want me to get the Crisco from the supply room?…Or do you think he will fit?” These are not the words you want to hear from your Imaging Services Technicians as the Siemens Computerized Tomography machine warmed it self up, readying to gently pull me into its cold, yet somehow still warm, circular embrace. With as much weight as I have gained, and/or the size of the tumors have increased by, I didn’t feel comfortable complaining of their insolence. Besides, as young and fit as they(2 of them) were, and as old and UNFIT as I am, opening a can of whoop-ass would not have gone in my favor. Much to everyone’s relief, I slid unimpeded into the miraculous technology of the Cancer Peeping Tom, with room to spare.
The process took only 20 minutes, with the injection of contrast media that did sting a bit, the pain factor was near zero. The only part that hurt was my ego. A small price to pay.
The weekend was spent with family, Peggy’s Mom, Joy (“Mame” to those that know her theatre and grandmotherly background) and her sisters, Pam, Polly, & Joy, who all helped in every way they could to keep our minds off the tension of waiting until today to hear the results of the imaging. We did get real relaxation from them being here, laughing over old family stories, teasing each other mercilessly, and of course they had a few cocktails that helped their memory of family stories where I was the butt of the joke. I really don’t remember any of that crap. Nonetheless, Peggy laughed like I haven’t heard in a long time, which she needed more than anything, great therapy for a great woman. I do love her so.
There is an online service Johns Hopkins provides, (all providers do this, I know) their JHM Patient Portal. On this service they post billing documents, blood lab results, Rx refills and imaging reports from the radiologists that read the imaging results.
Dr. B is right to keep the Radiologist’s report from being posted to the JHM Patient Portal until he has a chance to review them with us in person. Peggy & I went to see he and Marissa today to get more blood lab work done and meet with them. We have done this enough now that we try and read their faces when they walk in, looking into their very smart brains, not unlike the CT imaging machine from Friday,…“are those happy thoughts in their heads,…or are they going to unload grim news today?” Neither of us could get a read.
We started as we always do with them asking how I am feeling, how have I felt since our last meeting, anything I want to report in the form of pain, new pain, old pain, pain that has changed, am I pooping normally, am I peeing normally, Yada, Yada, Yada,…get to the fucking point.
And of course he did, with a sly grin he said the results from the CT were very positive. The largest tumor in the lungs had decreased by half. The other tumors in the lungs were static, no growth at all. The 2 large tumors in the abdomen were static as well, no signs of any growth and no evidence of any new tumors. Believe me when I say that my eyes welled up quite full of tears. This is great news from where we were when this began.
It makes sense that 2 people that fall in love are opposites in more characteristics than even they may be willing to admit. When tragic news is delivered, Peggy is a fountain out of her tear ducts, I grow cold, ready to confront and do battle, slaying any ‘bad news’ dragon that might approach. When exceptionally good news is delivered, when my wife, children, or besties are honored for great things, or when good news about my battle with cancer is delivered by a professional I have great respect for,…”Boo Hoo”, I cry like a little baby.
Dr. B was quick with the large tissue box, and joked that they had plenty more of those. We discussed the next steps of treatment, which are summed up by, ‘Keep my foot on the Gas’. We continue the MAI treatment regime. This Sunday we will complete Session 2, 1-Chemo Week and 2-Rest Weeks. Session 3 will begin on Monday, 8/19, and we will continue with Sessions 4, 5, & 6. The goal is to kill as much of this as possible, and since I am tolerating the poisons as well as I am, there is no reason to take my foot off the gas. (Leigh & Tom have heard that expression one or two thousand times in their lives!)
Even with my (almost) difficulty getting into the CT Scanner Tube, Marissa said the strength of my heart, and my overall condition & strength was why I was tolerating the chemo as well as I am. They are confident and hopeful the full application of the MAI treatment regime will prepare me for other treatment options down the road. The important part now is getting the tumors stopped from growing and get them shrinking.
We are on the way, foot on the gas. Love you all, thank you for reading my crap.