Last Friday, I reported by phone to Dr. Clancy’s Emily that I have gained about 5 lbs since the good doctor prescribed me some pancreatic enzyme pills on Christmas Eve. This was great news for me, since my weight had plunged from 205# in mid-summer to about 163# just before Christmas. This caused our nutritionist to panic a bit and both she and I are pumped at the turnaround.
When I made the Christmas rounds, everyone told me how great I looked but I noticed the kids eyes were as big as saucers when they saw how cadaverous I looked. Now I have my appetite back, I am finally putting on some weight and I hope to look like regular Jeff in a few months.
I don’t want to get back to 205# though. I hope to stop at about 185# and join the gym to fill out some of this turkey skin that has emerged all over my spindly arms and legs. I have to cover the full length mirror in the bathroom when I shower as it was getting just too depressing to see that wrinkly, skinny old guy staring back at me. Now I can see a bit of difference even with just 5#.
I also reported to Emily that my drain was a) seeing less than 5 ml per day and 2) broken away from its “anchor stitch” and slowly sliding out of my abdomen. I had hoped to have the disgusting tube removed on Christmas Eve and failing that, at the next scheduled Dr Clancy appointment on Jan 21st. But when he heard that the damned tube was practically falling out on its own, he had Emily pull up my appointment to this Wednesday coming so that he can (finally) remove it.
This will mark the official end of my operation, with all of my insides once again contained inside and all vents to the outside plugged. This will allow me to do things like wear pants with a belt and sit comfortably in an automobile for the first time in six weeks. The infernal apparatus exits right at my belly button, right where a belt irritates the hell out of it and where one folds when one climbs into a car.
I so look forward to putting this drain crap behind me.
The big news today came during my consultation meeting with the Medical Oncologist at SS Hospital/Dana Farber who informed me that I will be having chemo, probably starting within a couple of weeks, for three Wednesdays in a row, the next week off, and then continue three on and one off for a total of six months.
The six month part was a bit of a blow. I was hoping for six weeks and then clear sailing into spring and summer, but it’s not to be. The way it was described to me, the early months will be low impact, but the last two can be difficult.
She kept referring to me as the perfect patient (“so young and healthy!”) who should sail through without any adverse effects, not even hair loss. If she thinks I am young and healthy, who is her typical patient?
But what are you going to do? She claims that the chemo increases my 5 year chance of non-recurrence by 30-40%, so I guess I should go along. The “smart money” and all. And I have done well so far by entrusting these people to do the right things for me.
The chemo doctor also spoke of a possible follow-on regimen of 6 weeks of chemo plus radiation that would better the odds by what seemed a more nebulous amount (no number given), but that Dana Farber generally recommends.
We will discuss that in the spring as I have a dread of radiation and have seen the cosmetic damage that it has left on others. Vanity, thy name is Jeff.
But, again, whatever. We will cross that bridge when we come to it.
Cat Health News.
In other news, we spent about $1,000 on tests to determine our beloved (at the time) cat Sammy had lymphoma and the decision was made to remove the inflamed lump on his neck that had first sent Betty to the vet with him. The operation was scheduled for the following Monday morning.
Of course, by Sunday night the offending lump had vanished and the vets sort of threw up their hands and said “Well, Sammy dodged a bullet, I guess. Keep an eye on him and see if anything else develops.” They didn’t charge us for whatever work they did on Monday to determine that the cat had undergone an inexplicable cure.
I now have much greater faith in my medical team than I do in Sammy’s. I only wish I could get him on Medicare.