One would think that with only one thing on the daily calendar, one could make that appointment. Right? Wrong.
I am such a bonehead. I looked at my calendar (more than once today). I knew I had an appointment. I reminded myself as I did paperwork this morning. Then I went off to do errands and completely forgot about it. DOH!!!!
It was an appointment with a physical therapist to see if I can reduce, or eliminate the symptoms I am experiencing due to a compressed disk in my neck. I hate it when I do that. I hate it when someone does that to me.
I am always a little uncertain when it comes to talking about my physical condition, but I suppose this would not be much of a record of my journey with this disease if I did not, from time to time, talk about what was going on with the part of me that moves, hurts, cuts, and bleeds. In other words - the meat.
I mentioned the pinched nerve in the neck. That makes my arms go numb when I lie in particular positions. I wake up often in the night with wooden hands (one or both), or pins and needles in my hands and fingers. This makes sleep difficult once I wake up and contributes to a day-time sense of fatigue.
When I am not laying down (most of the day), I sometimes feel an ache or stiffness in my neck which makes for interesting merging situations when I have difficulty looking over my left shoulder. Actually, I think the PT stuff has made it better, but it is not gone.
Then there is the mysterious case of the "itch." About two weeks ago, I started getting little marks on my skin that, were it summer, I would say were chigger bites. They look like that and they itch like chigger bites (which is more like chigger bore-holes where the chigger crawls into your skin and starts to decompose - the little buggers). But it's not summer. It's five degrees (F) below zero outside.
Then, I thought that maybe one of my children had given me bed bugs, but there is no sign of critters sleeping with me. Still, once I thought of that, I have had crawling sensations whenever I snuggle under the sheets.
Finally, I went into the dermatologist's office yesterday and saw whomever had an open five minute slot. This guy tried to take skin scrapings using two glass slides. Now, what I haven't said was where these "bites" were located (or at least started). Let's just say that if he had slipped, you could just call me U. Nick (I know, misspelled).
After fiddling around down there with bits of sharp glass, he left the room (to look at my nut fudge I guess) and came back with some kind of light that looked like it was stolen off of one of the early Star Trek sets, flipped the switch, turned the overhead lights off and jammed it down between my legs. I wonder what he saw. Whatever it was, he said "Oh, it's positive."
Who knows what that means. This guy was not big on explanations. Anyway, he gave me a script for something that I'm sposed to roll on where ever it itches over the next two weeks. Other than that, he didn't explain anything. Just left.
So, I have a fifties cure for UV sensitive jock itch or whatever it is. We'll see if it works.
Then there are the lymph glands that are growing at a noticeable rate. This is not a good thing, but not surprising either. We know that the chemo stopped working and that the lymphoma is active. Still, it is disconcerting to be able to feel them as I go about my daily business.
It feels so unusual because over the last thirteen plus years, ever since being diagnosed, I have never felt sick or uncomfortable from the disease itself. All of the unpleasantness has come from the various treatments I have undergone. The lymphoma itself has been almost completely transparent.
I have always known that this would not always be the case. There would come a time when we would not be successful at our fight to keep the dragon away. I don't know if that day has come or not. I do know that we have depleted the treatment cupboard with the exception of a couple of options that come with their own issues.
My hope is that the Mayo Clinic has some magic smoke up their sleeves. I'll go down there early in February and see what they have to say. They may be doing some studies that I could get in on with some treatments that have not gone all the way through the FDA approval process.
There are a lot of unanswered questions right now. I'll keep you posted (but maybe not about nut cheese).