OK, I am home again, again.
What I mean by that is that I arrived home Wednesday smack in the middle of evening rush hour and by the time I retrieved my car, drove home, hugged the kids, soothed the franticly sycophantic dog, looked at the mountain of unopened mail and piles of unread newspapers, peered into an eerily rearranged refrigerator, dragged my bags full of smelly ski clothes into the bedroom, sort of unpacked, took a shower in an attempt to quell the increasingly annoying itching produced by a mutating and growing rash - I collapsed into bed and found myself paralyzed with the knowledge that I would have to get up about 5 AM, gather my medical records, make the kid's oatmeal, leave it on the stove, and head out the door for a two-hour drive south by southeast to the scene of a previous medical nightmare at one of the nation's premier health facilities.
Then I did so.
The good news is that this time around, my experience was much better. The other good news is that they are doing some studies that I will probably be eligible for, which will give me a couple of treatment options that I did not have before.
There really is no bad news to this unless driving two hours each way for a doctor's visit is seen as a hardship. It's a bit of a pain, but looking at the larger picture, it's something that I am willing to do for a shot at staying around a while longer.
I will have to go back later this month for an updated CT scan, and a couple of biopsies. They will whack out a lymph node in my groin then flip me over and drill a couple of holes in the backside of my pelvis and suck some of the juice out. All of this to see if my lymphoma is still the same low-grade variety I was diagnosed with thirteen and a half years ago or whether it has transformed into a more aggressive sort.
This is a lesson in irony and begs the question if anyone is driving this universal bus. Low-grade lymphoma is almost a hidden disease. I have never felt sick from it. People look at me and have no idea that I have any kind of cancer at all. It moves slowly along until one day, it kills you. We don't know how to cure it.
Aggressive lymphoma, on the other hand, is nasty stuff. It moves and kills quickly. But (get this), it's curable. Isn't that weird?
So, anyway, back the story - depending on what the pathology shows from the lymph node and bone marrow biopsies, I will be looking at a couple of different studies - two for low grade lymphoma and two for more aggressive sorts. In three of the four studies, I will drive south once a month, have blood work done, see the doc, get my supply of pills, and drive home again. Pretty doable if you ask me.
So, we will see. An added bonus to this story is that there is a fellow blogger who works down there and who likes beer and there appears to be an opportunity to meet up for recreational therapy in the midst of all of this serious stuff. I look forward to that.
So, that's what I meant when I said I was home again, again. Thursday night was another exhausting, early to bed night. Friday, I awoke barely able to drag my sorry butt into the kitchen to make the kid's breakfast due to lack of sleep caused by this rash-from-hell. I fell immediately back into bed as soon as the kids were gone to school only to be roused from sleeps sweet grasp by the phone where I was informed that my cleaning person was on death's door and would not be making an appearance.
Bad news. There was a house appraiser coming that afternoon to appraise the house as part of my financing plan for the purchase and renovation of my mother's house up north. The pit had to look good and I had a doctor's appointment in the morning. No rest for the wicked.
I spent the day in a sleep-walking fashion. Seeing the doc in hopes of getting some magical balm to fix the "laying in a fire ant nest" syndrome that marks my nights of late, and frantically dragging vacuum machines around the house driving the dog into a paranoid frenzy whilst picking up the usual flotsam and jetsam that litters any family abode and artfully stuffing it behind any door that would close on it.
The appraiser was a nice guy and I did my best to be charming without actually falling on my knees and begging him to pleeeeese pleeeeeeese give me a good score. He, of course, cannot send me a copy of the appraisal. I'll have to get that from the bank up north that I am doing the financing with. I just keep reminding myself that the universe will keep spinning around whether or not my life goes up or down, so stop worrying about it. Sometimes, it actually works.