Apr 22, 2011 - 7:41 am
To be completely honest, when my death sentence was commuted (the lung thing), it took awhile to get over, to be sure, but I think I came to think of myself as not just lucky but even indestructible, even immune.
Of late, and over the course of the last year or so, no matter what has transpired, and there has been a bit of stuff, as we all experience but don't usually write about as I seem compelled to do, none of it has had any great and persevering impact on my outlook. Even my on-going eating issue has seemed rather minor by comparison to what others are going through, and I have viewed it, frankly, more as a sort of sporting event than anything else. If SASH is eating this, then I need to figure out how to eat it; if Pam is eating steak, the lovely wench, then I must figure out a way to do that too.
That is not to say that, in my own home and in my own reality, it is a game. It is not, has not been. It is a freaking JOB. And not just for me, but even more so for that lovely lady who tries to figure out my quirky abilities and appetites, cuisine-wise.
To be honest, when I read that my friend Pam had eaten steak, my first notion was to ask her a week later if she had eaten it since, because I have been known myself to eat something one time and then discover that whatever made it so easy to get down last time is NOT being re-created THIS time, whether at home or out and about.
I also wondered, and even asked her, if steak, after all of the waiting, was all she expected it to be. I know that some things I have craved over these last five or six years, once I was able to get them down, they were not all that I remembered. That could be a taste issue, perhaps, could be a memory issue, could be a presentation issue, heck, could even be part of my current problem. She, by the way, said "Oh hell yeah!" or something to that effect :).
I am hopeful, of course, that Pam is eating all of the steak she cares to eat and that she is enjoying it as I one day hope to do.
In the meantime, (I do tend to draw things out, I know), my issues with some stabbing pains and bloating and cramping, these were mysteriously brought to the attention of GastroPod, as I have indicated previously, so I was not surprised to hear that an original May appointment was being moved up (my wife has her ways).
I WAS surprised to learn that they had no record of the May appointment.
I was even more surprised when they called me back to tell me they wanted me to go into a place I am all too familiar with, an imaging joint nearby, for a CT scan and a subsequent appt with GastroPod. As surprisng as the CT scan was, the idea that I would go in immediately was rather more surprising. What can be so urgent that I need to get a CT scan on the very day I do my husbandly duties, obey my boss and call them for an update on my GastroPod appt?
This, of course, took several phone calls, as all of this stuff seems to take several phone calls. Again, at first, they had no notion of ANY appointment before one they had scheduled in June that I had no clue about. In fairness to them, they were kind. In fairness to them, GastroPod left the last dilation to one of his cohorts and perhaps there was something lost in translation. In fairness to them, THEY made all of the phone calls to get me hooked up with a CT scan and, they promised, a follow-on appt with GastroPod himself. In fairness to them, they did not hesitate at all, the up-front staff, to connect me immediately to a nurse when things seemed to be getting complicated.
In fairness to me, I was completely blown away when the nurse's return call was about a CT scan. A CT scan? What? I thought it was down to OncoMan and me? I thought it was down to continuing clear scans every six months in my UPPER extremities, to wit, my lungs. I thought GastroPod and I were ancient history, with the exception of the dilation business.
A CT scan? A CT scan scheduled for the very day I received the return call?
It was noon, i would say. She called, I answered, she mentioned a CT scan, and even if it sort of blew me away, as mentioned above, I have been through this long enough that I could be nonchalant and ask, "when?".
When she said "In two hours.", I was mentally nuked, psychically microwaved. What?
"Have you eaten today?" she asked. Have I eaten today? Are you aware of what this is all about? It is ALL about eating. It is NOON, for crying out loud, of COURSE I have eaten! "Um, no."
"Have you had anything to drink today?" Lady, I have been up all night, and it is now noon, and I am a head/neck cancer survivor and you are asking me if I have had anything to drink today? Hell yeah! (Pardon my french. I only thought that. Actually, I said, "Yes. I have been drinking. I am still drinking. As we speak, I am drinking. Why?")
Turns out, for CT scan to the middle regions, you need about four hours of all clear. Or so I was advised.
So the thing is scheduled for today, at 10AM, instead. Have I mentioned that I was starting to feel immune? I am sure that I have not mentioned that all of that was shattered like a piece of crystal hit by a sledge hammer at the moment of that call.
What do you do? You hang up, you move on. Had one of my more energetic days of late.
By the time wife arrived home I was already in sleepy land, deep sleepy land. Keeping odd hours of late, some of it related to this mess, some of it not. I get into what I call the 'vampire cycle', where I am awake all darned night and sleeping during the day. I did well yesterday, worked in the yard, in the house, probably deep-sixed just before she got home.
The problem with that is that she learned nothing about this until about an hour ago as I write this, about 6AM. She says (and for newcomers, I must say she is a nurse, although not the kind that does CT scans) that, yes, they will be looking for cancer. Of course they will be looking for cancer (as in: what idiot wouldn't be looking for cancer in a two-time survivor of, oh, I don't know...CANCER???).
But also, she says, it is more likely they are looking for fistulae (holes), maybe from the dilation but probably not, probably some pre-existing thing (although I would argue that prior to this dilation there WAS no pre-existing condition...don't tell my wife, but nurses can be as, um, stupid, as doctors). They will be looking for blockages, a euphemism for her ideaa that I am and always have been full of it.
I had an emotional moment or two, I did. I admit that. I thought with the exception of OncoMan confirming every six months that I was healthy, I was past this. As I mentioned to a friend this morning, I was cocky and immune.
I do not think I have cancer, by the way. I don't even think I have a fistula or a blockage.
But the thought that I needed to get a CT scan so immediately, that brought back some dark memories, folks. As I remind others, the scan itself is no big deal: the fun times are in the follow-on, result-oriented, appointment. I am not even worried about that.