Monday, March 29, 2010


I had my next monthly checkback with my oncologist this past Thursday. Previous to that I'd gone into Group Health's downtown office and had a blood draw. She only took two vials worth but I didn't inquire. But by the time of Thursday's appointment it was clear that no CBC (complete blood count) had been done. My symptoms of late have been mostly same ol' same ol'. Meaning not much of a voice and in fact it seems to be going a bit downhill. Newer symptoms were a persistent dry cough and increasing breathlessness upon what, to me, used to be slight exertion (read: walking back to the office from a Board hearing in Pioneer Square which entails going up one of the Seattle hills Garrison Keillor joked about in his broadcast of Prairie Home Companion this past Saturday at the Paramount Theater in Seattle).

So the oncologist put in a new order for a blood draw and ordered a chest xray. The next ct scan is set for the end of April. I had inquired about additional surgeries to try to repair my voice further, and to remove the 9cm cyst in my pelvis, but Dr. N thought that it would be best to wait til after the ct scans to see where I truly was with respect to the lung cancer. My daughter, who was participating with us on our phone conference, agreed that this seemed the best plan.

Friday I went to Group Health Central for the blood draw, to pick up my next month's supply of Tarceva (which seems to still be working as I've developed acne on my legs--if you can believe it?), and to get my chest xray. Afterwards, while I was waiting for my youngest son to pick me up, I received a call from my oncologist telling me that the chest xray showed everything was the same. Which was good, but I admit to being a bit disappointed. I wanted things to continue to shrink, dammit. He also told me that he was leaving Group Health effective the end of this week. That was a bit tougher to take. In fact despite all of the issues that I had with him in the past 4 months, I felt that we had reached a really good place in our doctor/patient relationship. It's slightly (ever so) like breaking up a marriage.

Family is doing fine. Sarah, my oldest, finished her surgery rotation at the VA and drove to Pocatello, ID on Saturday where she will be on a pediatric rotation. She decided surgery was not her bag. I think she will enjoy pediatrics. It was a 12 hour drive and there are no direct flights there, so luckily she is spared a parental visit, though it would be fun. We went shopping last weekend, which is unusual because she hates to shop. But she put up with me and was rewarded for her patience with a dress and skirt from Anthropologie. It reminded me of going shopping with my mother when I was a kid for an Easter dress. And I am definitely an old fart now, because I just don't get the current fashions for clothes. But everything she tried on looked lovely and I hope she has a marvelous Easter in a new place.

Oldest son Seth has decided that teaching is not for him and after the school year is ended, will be moving from Rhode Island back to the Twin Cities. He's going to go to the Univ. of MN to pursue, eventually, a graduate degree in engineering. He's also flying to Kentucky in late April to join me and one of my sisters, in a visit with my mother in Lexington. He's a very good kid to do this.

And the youngest, Matthew, is working part time at two city indoor pools in Seattle and attending North Seattle Community College. He recently moved into a house with four other young people and the next step is to get him his own transportation. It is getting a bit old to share my car with him. Though, of course, he seems to like it just fine!

The dogs are good to me. I haven't been up for much dog walking lately, and know that should change but the usual stern talking to that I give myself isn't working yet. The little one, Truffle, has learned not only how to use chairs to climb onto the table, she can open containers. I've lost a tub of parmesan cheese, a package of Cadbury easter eggs (foil too!) and this morning she got into my purse and made off with the chapstick and a plastic round filled with Ice breaker sours! Obviously she needs to be run and run hard. So time to gear up for spring and dodge the raindrops...

A happy Monday to all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know a physician who closed her family practice after a few years because she felt like she wasn't practicing medicine so much as operating a franchise for drug and insurance companies. Ultimately, she found a job as a rehab counselor, and seems to enjoy it. I told her a while back that if I break my leg, I'd want her to set it.
She replied that I'd have to have had a few brushes with the law as the result of being juiced too much or too often.