Today is Victory Day in Rhode Island, our annual August day off. I have enjoyed a weekend, and still have an extra day. Of course, the list of things to do today is long, but first on my list is a visit to Fain 3 to return my chemo pump. I was supposed to return it on my last visit in July, but forgot to bring it with me. Somehow, I haven't found the time to return it yet.
Steven walks over to the hospital with me, and we take the stairs up to the third floor. We pass by registration since I only want to return my pump, so there is no need to sign in. I find my way to the nurses station, and it seems very quiet. A Monday holiday is not the busiest day for chemo. The only person I see from my team is Jen, the rest of my team is off today. I tell her I need to leave my pump. She is happy to take it for me, and congratulates me on not needing it anymore. We have a short discussion about my backpack, I ask her if she thinks anyone else might find it useful. She says she will ask around and takes it.
On my way off the floor, I decide to make an appointment to see Dr. Safran, to find out if he has the results from my PET scan. As I am sitting at the desk, who should be walking across the reception area, but Dr. S himself! He smiles and gives me a hug. "I was looking at you PET scan last night, and I have some good news for you," he says. He looks around the reception area, and suggests we should set up an appointment right now, rather than talk about this in public. He tells Steven and I that he will see us in a few minutes, and heads off toward his office and the exam rooms.
We wait only a few minutes before being called in by Bess. This is an official visit now, so I have to get weighed and have my temperature, blood pressure and survey about meds taken. Once that is done, we are shown to one of the exam rooms to wait. Things are quick and easy around here today, Dr. Safran stops in to visit us almost right away.
The scan revealed that there is no cancer growing anywhere in my body. It is what they call in complete remission. This is such good news. We talk about what this means and how I can keep things this way. There are no guarantees with anything I am told. Many people do everything seemingly right, and it still can still come back. A diet low in animal flesh, and no charcoal grilled foods are two things that definitely seem to help. There is a high likelihood of recurrence, but for the time being, everything is clear. There is a small irregularity with my thyroid, but he doesn't think it looks like anything serious.
He asks me if I have thought about taking part in the aflibercept study, and I have. I have decided I would like to take part in it, if I qualify for it. It will be my way of honoring all of those people who came before me, who helped research the drugs that I took to get me this far. It seems like the least I can do.
Dr. Safran brings me a folder full of information about the drug I may get, the frequency of administration, side effects, all of the usual stuff. Two out of three people will be randomly chosen to take the drug, the third will be monitored closely. He tells me he has one other person who is participating in the study and they did not get chosen to take the drug. If I think of any questions, there is a phone number on the folder I can call.
I have just received the best possible news. I made it through everything, and so far, it has worked. On the way home Steve tells me how proud he is of me, for getting through everything, and for choosing to take part in the study.
|The way I do mini golf.|
|The way Alex and Steven do mini golf. Maybe this is why I never win?|