I made one of my quarterly pilgrimages to the medical mecca of Mayo yesterday to be poked, irradiated, and then the shaman read the bones. The news? I am now officially in "clinical remission," a state that I haven't seen for many years.
What does clinical remission mean? It means that there is no evidence of disease in either the scans or the chemistry found in the blood work. This is good news for someone in a phase II study. The drug is doing a good job in the fight against the lymphoma. And while it is a reason to celebrate, I also have to remember that I have been there before and the disease came back, as that is its nature. So, I am grateful to be here once again, but then I am grateful for every day.
It was a long day. We were up at 5 AM, making the drive down to Rochester in the dark to make my first appointment at 8 AM. Because there was a scan on the schedule, I could not eat until that was done. There was a bit of a problem getting an IV in for the dye injection. My veins are so skittish after all of these years that they all run away at the scent of alcohol.
Scans always make me feel weird. Part of it is the injected dye, which makes me nauseous, and part is the massive amount of radiation that bathes my body for the fifteen seconds I am sliding through the donut. Once that was done, we had a six hour wait until I saw the doctor giving us a chance to break our fast and for Risa to do some shopping while I tried to nap in one of the "barcoloungers" on the 10th floor of the Gonda building.
Waiting to see the doc is always a little nerve wracking. You never know what you will hear. Will it be good or will it be bad. Will you once again hear a death sentence couched in medical language that somehow puts you in the position of a piece of data that will be recorded in a ledger somewhere, not a human that will have to process the news into the framework of a living, feeling, fearing person.
On this day, the news was good and relief settled over me. We were not done however. Next was the wait for the pharmacy to produce another 3 months worth of drugs for me to take away with me. When that finally happened, we got the car out of hock and headed for the Twin Cities and home (well, the southern one any way).
There was a bit of celebrating done after that. Perhaps a little too much as I managed to drop a bottle of pink fingernail polish on the bathroom floor where it shattered (don't ask what I was doing with a bottle of pink fingernail polish). No one should have to try to clean up fingernail polish after celebrating the renewal of life. We ran out of polish remover and decamped to the bedroom where I knocked my full beer off the bedside table which caused me to use my one bath towel as a bar rag before the beer stained the hardwood. This presented a problem for me this morning since I needed to take a shower before we could do laundry.
All in all though, I would rather have to deal with these problems than with some others I can think of.
Hope you all have a good Friday the 13th.