Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Long Week

It's been a long week. Monday's appointment seems like weeks ago. Time has a funny way of contorting itself.  It seems the more you do or think during a period of time,  the longer it stretches it out, as if your mind has a hard time believing that all of that activity could have happened in the span of time that it did.

And my mind's been in overdrive this week. Decision to treat on Monday. Process that news on Tuesday and Wednesday. Readjust the plan in my head on Thursday. Needle biopsy on Friday. Throw in a busy week of work and an eight-year-old-birthday, and that's a lot to fit in a short period of time.

Now we wait for the pathology to figure out what the plan really is. In the meantime, I have a bone marrow biopsy at Dana-Farber on Wednesday afternoon. I'm less worried about the procedure itself than whether it'll stop me from playing softball that night.
I've now had two needle biopsies, an ultrasound guided one on my neck with local anesthesia and a CT-guided one with an IV sedative on my abdomen. The ultrasound one was a bit uncomfortable, but a lot quicker -- about two hours all told. The CT one was much more comfortable, but an interminable wait. Three plus hours in the prep room watching the Olympics before the procedure. Add an hour for the procedure and an hour for recovery and it was a long day. It would have been less painful but I couldn't eat or drink anything prior to the procedure -- for the whole day. Since I arrived at work at 6:30 that morning, by 2:30 pm when they wheeled me in, I was starving and severely decaffeinated. 

That didn't bode well for the  doctor who came over to explain the procedure and get my formal consent. (Dana-Farber partners with Brigham and Women's Hospital for their adult oncology so while most of my appointments are at Dana-Farber, any radiology, surgery, pathology, are done at the Brigham.) I might have snapped a bit at him when he said, "So, I understand that you're here because your Lymphoma has come back." 

No, I said, with not a little disdain in my voice. It hasn't come back. I haven't been treated for it yet. And then I thought, but didn't say, "read the damn history or ask me for it."

He asked me. I explained. Much better.

He also said, "You look anxious." To which I said, "No, I'm not." Hungry and tired, perhaps, so stop patronizing me and let's get on with this, I thought.  Because I really wasn't anxious. I wasn't looking forward to be poked in the abdomen, (or belly as he kept referring to it when he spoke to me. Really? Belly? I may not have studied anatomy, but I've got a Masters in Literature. I can handle the big words, like "abdomen.") but I wasn't worried about it. I just wanted some water and a sandwich -- which I finally got at about 4:15, fifteen minutes before they released me.


p.s. On an only marginally related note, as I continue in my efforts to eat healthy, our vegetable garden will certainly help. Today's bountiful harvest included cukes and tomatoes that made their way onto our dinner plate, and some chili and serrano peppers, which will make their way into fresh salsa.

Fresh tomatoes 
Cucumbers from the garden
Serrano (small) and chili peppers (long)
from the garden