Tuesday, June 12, 2012


My follow up CT scan on Monday showed the tumor was gone, so it's back to work for me tomorrow.

I didn't sleep well Sunday night so I was exhausted Monday morning.  We slept past the alarm, so when I finally got up at almost 8 am I had to shower quickly, fill up a thermos with coffee, packed a few small items for breakfast and got on the bus headed to Sibley Hospital where the CT scan was taking place.

I didn't get barium ahead of time so I had to be at the hospital by 9:30 (an hour long bus ride) to drink the barium, then I'd have a 2 hour wait before the test at 11:30 am.  I made it to the hospital, quickly drank the barium, then headed outside to have my coffee and breakfast sitting on a bench on a very pleasant day.  I was nervous and exhausted, but the coffee helped a little and I sat outside reading for a few hours.  Julie met up with me just before 11 am, she'd had to stay behind for a while to take care of Bica.  About 11:15 we went back inside to wait for my name to be called.

They were running behind so it was 12:30 before I was called back.  I got another barium to drink while they pricked my finger to test kidney function, then put in a IV line for the contrast.  Passed the kidney test and finished the barium, the tech took me back to the scanned and performed the test.  

I was nervous, almost shaking nervous.  I was worried that when I had to lie still and hold my breath that my knees were knocking (I really don't know if it was in my head or they were actually moving), but since the scan was of my pelvis and abdomen I guess I was still enough where I needed to be.  The entire process was over in a matter of minutes.

Julie and I took the bus back home where we had lunch then napped for a while.  Just before 5 pm I called the doctor to see if he had received and reviewed the results, and that's when I got the good news.  No details but he said the results showed exactly what we wanted and he couldn't be more delighted with the outcome.  Julie and I breathed a big sigh of relief, made dinner, and went to be early.

I wish I could say we woke up bright and early and went for a run; instead we again slept past the alarm and didn't get out of bed until around 8.  I have been craving peach pie and had bought peaches over the weekend.  So I got up and started on the pie, first making the crust in the mixer while pealing the peaches and creating the filling.  Took me a while, but the pie went in the oven about 9:15 and is out cooling now.  I suspect Julie will come home at lunch to have a slice with me.

My next appointment with the doctor will be for sometime in mid-August.  I have another month of these lovenox blood thinning shots and then I get to stop on July 12th.  4 to 6 weeks later (not getting blood thinners) I have to get a blood test to find out if I do in fact have that blood thinning disease, the Lupus Inhibitor.  So I'll see the doctor at that time.

I'm much better now overall.  I still have blood clot issues but they're no longer severe or painful.  My hands and feet still swell and have circulation issues as well, very annoying but I hope this will go away over time.  I have occasional bouts with depression, these never last more than a day at a time but this is new to me.  I have to think that getting back to a normal schedule and working will help with this.  It had been getting a little worse at the beginning of June so I picked a big project to give my days some structure:  I pained the living room, kitchen, and entryway (all kind of one big room).  It was probably too big a job for me, especially with the swelling in my hands and feet.  I started when Julie was out of town and then we finished it this past weekend.  Probably too big a job, as I said, but now that it's done I'm so glad I did it.  The place looks fantastic, we had so many cracks in the walls from the building settling (we bought our condo new from the builder) and I always hated seeing those things.  I got much better at filling cracks and took my time with the work, letting the plaster dry overnight before sanding and re-applying where necessary.  In fact the first several days were spent doing the crack repair, cleaning the walls and baseboards, and taping off all of the areas not being painted (ceiling, window sills, floors, etc...).  It was slow, miserable work.  I downloaded numerous books on tape from the public library and listened to them hour after hour, day after day.  Many of them were stories I was familiar with but had never read (Treasure Island, Tarzan of the Apes, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde), and I also started on a series I'd always been interested in but could never get myself to start, the Master & Commander books.  I listened to the first three of those, and I've since read the fourth.  I don't know that I'll make it through all twenty or so anytime soon, but they're very fun books so far.  Both Tarzan and Treasure Island were also excellent, very fun adventure stories that were both darker and more humorous that the TV/Movie versions I'd seen as a kid.  Both were more adult than I expected as well.  Jekyll & Hyde was good, but not as good as I'd expected, a case where I might like the movie version better than the book.

Well after that literary digression, my main point was that the painting & books on tape seemed to combat my depression and that otherwise I'm through with cancer, I hope forever.  Both my primary oncologist and the specialist in Indiana say I'm cured forever, but I have to admit I'm more cautiously optimistic.  I feel like I've heard this all before a few times now, but I definitely want to believe it's finally, really true.

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