CSN Login
Members Online: 8

"Gotta feeling I've been here before"

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

(Steely Dan reference)

I had an appointment with OncoMan yesterday, one I only found out about the day before by calling to ask when I was next scheduled to see him, since I had just had this CT scan of the chest done, the one that would probably determine whether my 'opacity' was permanent or a mere aberration, frankly the one that might determine whether cancer was going to kill me sooner rather than later (or never).

For one of the few times I can remember, especially for one such as is this that might have a significant role in what our future would hold, my wife would not be able to attend, due to the abruptness of notice and work schedule. I did not have a problem with this. The last time we got really bads new, I had to soothe HER on the way home, even if I was the one with as little as ten months to live.

And as I indicated to her, it is what it is and your presence will not change that anyway. Still, she was disturbed and, of course, made me promise to call her as soon as I had news.

I, of course, agreed, although there came a point while driving or waiting when I considered that it would not be a good idea to call her at work with bad news: might not be good for a patient she was dealing with if she suddenly began sobbing uncontrollably, for instance.

I decided I would not call her if the news was bad, even though I knew she would call me over and over again. It's just not the kind of information you want to parlay over the phone.

So, I arose early, scraped off my boxers with a putty knife and put a new pair on (hey, you never what's going to happen when you go to these places!), showered, shaved, brushed, gargled, all of the things you do to make the doctor think you aren't hanging out like a homeless dude, even though there was little I could do about that haircut my wife gave me with the hedge clippers except where a hat, put on clothes and the cowboy boots (in the old days cowboys always wanted to die with their boots on for some reason although I would think it more comfortable to die bare-footed, but OncoMan had admired them previously and I was beginning to consider them a good luck charm, which also led me into this dilemma about whether I should stretch the karma to thin and maybe go relaxed in some sneakers instead, a philosophical debate that the boots eventually won since they are more intimidating and would help me weigh more), and, deciding to end a run-on sentence finally, hopped in the car and headed off to the Chemo Palace.

Driving somewhere alone, I usually crank up the tunes, but this time I Wanted to roll down the windows, hear everything, smell everything (most everything, anyway), and see everything. This leads to contemplation of course, and at a stoplight I watched others whizzing by (not peeing in the pedestrian walkway but rather driving quickly, that other use of the word 'whizzing') and wondered how many unknowingly already had cancer and were but circumstances away from finding out; I wondered what others would think if they knew that I was a survivor on my way to find out, in a very strong sense, whether I was to live or die. I wondered if I had turned the stove off. All sorts of questions ran like, well, questions (if they run) through my mind.

I suppose that in this contentious age in which we live there will be some political or theological debate about whether questions run or even have legs.

In the meantime, I made it to the Chemo Palace with a minute or two to spare, and why, I don't know, as I DO know I am waiting regardless of when I get there.

Interestingly (to me, anyway), while I am normally the type to sit in a corner reading a magazine that Chemo Palace thinks will interest me (they think all survivors/caregivers are mainly women, the occasional jock, people interested in the entertainment industry, or those principally rich enough to own sail boats with a desire to redesign or rebuild their homes). Oh, and, of course, that we want to read about cancer.

I am sure this is largely true (or that the doctors are getting write-offs for their sailboat, architecture, decorating, and sports magazines). I am not complaining: reading of any kind is a good way to get through the waiting, after all, and books would be impractical owing to the rather impermanence of our visits.

Wow, lost that sentence completely, even fell into a new paragraph! Point to be made: I was gregarious. I always say "hello beautiful' to one of the young ladies at the desk, and not just because she remembers my name. But, again, after that I usually go into a corner and read some innocuous thing until called into the blood extraction room. On this day, I did not. Fueled, perhaps, by a notion that the news might not be good (that was my strong suspicion: 'opacity' doesn't just show up on a whim) I was talking to everybody that moved and even some that didn't, smiling, giving thumbs up, helping nurses by calling out names for which there had seemed no response, and, ultimately, when herded toward the blood extraction facility with several others, allowed all of them to go ahead of me, only to discover that they were two seats short of a cancer quorum and me, and this other lady, would have to wait in the foyer or whatever word they used to call the place that had I known I would have had to wait in by being a gentleman, I would have avoided by pushing past everybody.

Finally called in, I had a further wait while one of the nurses could become available after working with one of those nasty ladies who accepted my kindness and went in ahead of me.

To make a long story longer, once blooded, I went out into OncoMan's waiting room and decided to weigh myself. I expected a hefty increase, maybe 10 pounds or more, but it was merely four pounds and my cowboy boots probably weigh that much (although I HAVE worn them for past weigh-ins, so let's go with the four pounds). I was bummed in a small way, but also intrigued when the nurse did not rise from her chair when asking me what I weighed. I guess I had no reason to lie, but was surprised, nonetheless, that she assumed I would have the expertise to handle a weight machine.

For whatever reason, despite truly believing that bad news was coming my way, I was not worried. I do not know why.

I have a suspicion that it is because I have been there, ridden it, surfed it, and was completely prepared to deal with it in whatever way was necessary.

In any event, I saw PA Lady first, and she introduced me once again to the realm of possibilities by indicating that as far as she could tell, while there were 'anomalies' on the scan (I hate that word, now, by the way, so ambiguous), I seemed to be in good shape.

And then OncoMan strode in, shook my hand, mentioned that he had seen my wife lately in the halls of the Grand Healing Center, to which I replied, "Yes, she is optimistic about this because you acknowledge her while you didn't when things were not going so well", eliciting a chuckle from him before he said, "The scan looks great!"

The opacity is gone. Cancer, I don't think, simply disappears. There are new spots, but since I offered to PA Lady that I am eating more and may be aspirating, he was inclined to conclude this was 'micro-aspiration.'

It appears the pancreatic pseudocyst has once again risen its ugly head and will require a scan soon, I am back to six months on the lung scans.

I am NED.

Ex_Rock_n_Roller's picture
Ex_Rock_n_Roller
Posts: 267
Joined: Mar 2011

Forget about legs; that post has pants. Smiling onco-docs: long may they wave. Go forth and enjoy, sir!

AlanRinHBG
Posts: 120
Joined: May 2011

Congrats all around (you and Ned). So, does it take an entire pot of coffee to start your day? That was great reading. We've been there done that. It could be called a day in the life. Did you pitch that putty knife? I'm happy for you Joe, and thanks for a dose of humor. Humor is good medicine,,as good as it gets.

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Actually, it is not coffee but rather, to paraphrase Hank Williams, Sr., if you ain't laughing, then you ain't living. :)

Take care,

Joe

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Thsnks for the kind words, the brisk words, my friend. May we both keep on rockin' in the USA.

Take care.

Joe

Dapsterd's picture
Dapsterd
Posts: 291
Joined: Jun 2010

Well Soccerfreaks, It seems that if is not one thing now, it is another ! Keep up all the humor...and wisdom of your responses and will talk at you soon!

Dave

catcon49's picture
catcon49
Posts: 388
Joined: Aug 2008

U had me on the edge of my seat but that's great news .

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Didn't mean to do that, Cat (okay, i probably did :))...No worries, and hope you can say the same.

Take care, my friend,

Joe

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

I am following your own journey and wishing you the very best.

With respect to 'if it not one thing then it is another' I suppose everyone can say that about some aspect of their lives...it is just a matter of degree. This pseudocyst thing seems rather benign (pardon the pun) as something to worry about at the moment.

As far as I can tell, it's all good. No worries.

Take care, Dave,

Joe

dennycee
Posts: 644
Joined: Mar 2011

That NED? Man. He just turns up at all the best parties. Hope its a long, long time before he leaves!

Tim6003's picture
Tim6003
Posts: 1490
Joined: Nov 2011

Soccerfreaks ....I am delighted you are NED!!! That is fantastic.

I also will add that it took quite some time ...but when I started reading yor Bio ...I just could not stop....onto the blog :)

I'm a newbie here so I have nothing to give more than you can, in my opinion ..but at this post I did say a prayer for you and your wife (she seems to be a great wife) that the good Lord will continue to keep you NED ...hope that does not offend, I gather prayer is not your thing but it's all I can really give and give from the heart I promise you that.

Keep up the posts! Truely I enjoyed every word.

Best,

Tim Cogdill
timcogdill@yahoo.com
208.630.4842 cell

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Once upon a time, a lady friend on this site advised that I should warn people to bring the extra large popcorn and the extra large soda when trying to read my profile and blog. :)

It is an honor that you have managed to get through the profile, frankly :)

With respect to prayers, Tim, I have said in the past that while I am an unknower, they cannot hurt, may help, and I slways consider them a special expression of concern on the part of the conveyor. No offense taken, in other words, but rather appreciation for the thoughts.

Thank you for the kind words and the generous thoughts.

Take care,

Joe

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Would like to invite him to everybody's party, denny, but we haven't been friends all that long.

I certainly hope he comes to your own party. And soon.

Take care,

Joe

lekkerone
Posts: 199
Joined: Jan 2011

You had me on the edge of my seat also. I really really like the ending. I think Joe that you should write a book. Great news, Diane

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Thank you, Diane. Your critique is greatly appreciated and I, too, really enjoyed the ending :)

Hoping that all is well.

Take care,

Joe

cabbott
Posts: 1046
Joined: Aug 2006

I am so HAPPY for you! My last scan was unchanged so I can dance with you (as long as your wife doesn't object!)

Cabbott

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

I am sure she will understand....how big is your husband? :)

annie60
Posts: 56
Joined: Feb 2010

I am so glad you are NED! You mad me feel so hopeful when I was first told I had cancer. Annie 60

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Thank you, Annie (I love that name, and I don't know why unless it is that song by The Band). It is really uplifting to me to hear that I helped you find some hope. You cannot begin to imagine what that means to me.

Take care,

Joe

annie60
Posts: 56
Joined: Feb 2010

I am so glad you are NED! You mad me feel so hopeful when I was first told I had cancer. Annie 60

cabbott
Posts: 1046
Joined: Aug 2006

Ummmmmm I considered replying to this question but it might be blocked. . .

cabbott
Posts: 1046
Joined: Aug 2006

Of course you might have been referring to his height!

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Naughty, naughty girl!

You made me smile wide and long, my friend.

Take care,

Joe

3Mana
Posts: 829
Joined: Aug 2010

Hey buddy,
It's been awhile since I've been on here . It's been 2 years in March since I lost my beloved husband and I found so much support on this site that I do check back occasionally. You of all people always have had such a good sense of humor so maybe that's why you're still hanging on. We need you because of the great person you are. Hope you keep getting good reports cause you sure are a fighter.
Hang in there and don't scare me again!!! "Carole"

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Thank you, Carole. Very kind words. I will do my best. And I will try to keep you posted.

Take care,

Joe

monty
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2012

why did i read that

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

I have no idea, and it seems you don't either. Please remember that nothing is stuffed down your throat. If you don't want to read it, don't read it. That's how adults deal with these matters.

Take care,

Joe

Ex_Rock_n_Roller's picture
Ex_Rock_n_Roller
Posts: 267
Joined: Mar 2011

... to read everything you post, Joe. Does this mean I need some kind of a professional intervention?

;-)

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Maybe I'm the one that needs the intervention, someone to stop me from writing.

I'm really happy to see that you are taking a major role in the Lung Cancer forum, my friend, the new Yoda of the forum, as it were. Can't think of anyone better suited for the task.

Take care, and keep on rockin',

Joe

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network