Saturday, August 26, 2006

I Don't Frikken Believe This. [C]

OK. Before I Start I owe some stuff that I promise to post later.

7/8/06: Dani and I got Married

7/12/06: Our Honeymoon in the Adirondacks.

It's been a busy Month or so. I hope everyone got our Thank You's regarding the Wedding.

On to the Bullshit.

My last Post ("I Won") was Tuesday, 8/22/06. before my CT scan, no? I was worried. That post was a reflection of my worry. My drinking is getting a little borderline and I need to cut back. Soon. Very soon. :p Anyway, I'm paranoid. I try not to dwell on Cancer and I do a good job of it. Until an appointment for a scan draws near. So this past Monday & Tuesday I was a little itchy. I had been spending lots-o-time in the backyard with the Wild Kitties.....................have I talked about the wild kitties here? If not then I'll post something regarding that. Later. So I thought the itchiness was due to Skeeter bites from the backyard. We seem to have 1000's. Still, it was making me nervous. If you recall, I had ignored itching for many Months before I was diagnosed with Hodgkins. Itchiness being a prime indication of Hodgkins. So I was getting nervous. I think that's quite common.

Tuesday, 8/22/06. Night.
Boy did I get wasted! It was nerves. Some people think I'm brave. My bravery comes from a bottle. I'm so paranoid that I have trouble sleeping. Some of it is my anxiety regarding death. Most of it is worrying about Dani. I hate to see her suffer. I hate the pain and anxiety my health can cause her. You could prove to me that Paradise awaits me after I die but I would not want to leave her because it would devestate her.

Wednesday, 8/23/06
I wake up a little hung over. I need to fast before the scan so I stopped drinking around 1AM(?). I can only have water 4-6 hours up to the scan. No food but worst of all, no coffee. Dani wakes me up, I slink into the shower and soon we are out the door and I'm driving to the Hospital. I'm discombobulated, to say the least

We get to the hospital and I head to the PET Scan Floor. Dani stopped me and we squabbled over which Scan I was getting. She shoved the order in front of me: CT with Contrast. It's a Full Body scan, of course. Fuck! What a horrible "surprise". For a review: a PET involves radioactive Sugar injected into a vein. Piece-o-cake. Full body CT scan with contrast means I have to chug @ a quart of chalky "berry flavored" Barium, get a Barium enema, and a Barium IV. All on an empty stomach.

Although the technician was a Jamaican Hottie, I had a hard time relaxing my butt muscles. I was so psychologically unprepared. Of course, after the 30 minute procedure I need to find a restroom and it's not gonna be pretty. I pass on the one right outside the scan rooms because of all the "activity" around it. The next one is a little more secluded and has been my room of choice before. And I think I've had 3 or 4 trips to our bathroom in a few hours of getting home. Just spewing radioactive garbage out my bum. It's a nice, milky-whiteish/yellowish fluidish substance. TMI? :D

On Wednesday I notice my legs itch around my ankles. It's diffuse and there appears to be no exterior source. Fuck. Now I'm concerned. I'm hoping it's psychosomatic. I try not to itch in front of Dani. She notices, with concern, everytime I itch. Again, I don't want her to worry. I try to ignore it. I kind of block it out.

Thursday, 8/24/06
I wake up and I fight the urge to itch my leg. Fuck. Sometimes it's the left leg, sometimes the right. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. All my life I've ignored potential medical issues until they becom serious issues and I end up in the ER or under a Dentists tools and scowl. I'm done taunting death. I resolve to call my Doctor. But I don't want to tell Dani, yet. I want to hold out. Why make her worry if it's nothing? I wait nervously for her to leave. I hope she doesn't notice but she does. She can't put her finger on it, I can tell. When I first woke up she asks "What's wrong?" I explain it away that I'm tired. As soon as she leaves for work I look up the number for Lombardi Cancer Center.

They Patch me through to my Doctors Nurse Coordinator. I explain my itchiness, telling her I'm kind of freaked out about it. She is unaware that it is a symptom of Hodgkins and repeats "But I'm no Doctor" several times. I wonder if she's gotten in trouble before. Her lack of knowledge regarding Hodgkins Symptoms reminds me that She's "No Nurse", either.

How come Nurse coordinators can be so Fucking Ignorant? The one that worked for my first Dr. wasn't this stupid. My scheduled appointment after the CT was for the 5th of September. The Nurse asks me if I would like to come in tomorrow for peace of mind. I say yes and thank her. They squeeze me in for 1130-1145. Now I have to tell Dani and hope she doesn't freak out.

Am I Fucked?
Do I need to reinforce that this is kind of a major issue? That if they didn't kill all of the Cancer the first time around then my survival Stats plummet? That we are talking about a potential Bone Marrow Transplant with Chemo & Radiation.

Emotionally, I'm barely keeping it together. Cancer Sucks.

Near 5PM Dani calls to tell me she's walking home and was hoping I would meet her half way. I agree, reluctantly. I'm not gonna tell her about this while we are walking. So I meet her and we walk home. I ask her if I can get her a drink. I never ask her for a drink and later she tells me that this was a signal to her. I guess I need to over her a drink more often.

So, I make her a vodka/lemonade and I get a whiskey on the rocks. Damn I'm nervous. I'm so worried. We eat, we talk. We enjoy ourselves. God I love her with all my heart. At some point, right after Dinner I blurt it out:

Me: "I bumped up my appointment to tomorrow." (My voice is weak and cracks)
Dani: "Did they call you and ask that you come in?"
Me: "No. I'm worried so I called them."

Her response came without hesitation. I explained everything to her. Dani did not freak. I was surprised but it was obvious she was holding it in. I have never taken this type of initiative and called my Doctor with my concerns. And certainly not without telling Dani. She must know I'm extremly worried. This, of course, will cause her great worry. I knew at some point She would leave the room and call her mother. I hate upsetting her.

The rest of Thursday is kind of a blur to me.

Friday, 8/25/06
Dani wakes me and off to the Hospital we go. I hate going to G'Town Hospital. It brings back memories of Cancer and nothing else.

We get to the waiting room. SOP is for a tech to come get you from the waiting room, take your vitals and draw blood, then you wait for the Dr. Today, when the Dr. saw us in the waiting room, she came over and escorted us to a room. Vitals would wait. Fuck Fuck Fuck. I was worried before going in. Yes, part of it is paranoia. But again, I ignored my itching symptom for months prior to diagnosis. More months then I care to confess to. For once I would like to be worried and have my Dr. tell me I'm crazy. She grabbing us was not a good sign.

So in the room I described the itching, showed her a tiny fluid filled blister I found Thursday morning on my left wrist and described the pain/sensitivity of my left nipple. She informed me the CT scan showed abnormal growth in my Bone Marrow. This did not cause her concern. Most likely it was my cells still rejuvenating/recovering from chemo. Plus The Bone Marrow biopsy was negative. However, the itching was causing her some serious concern though.

She had me disrobe for an exam and told informed me she would schedule a PET Scan. Just as a precaution. Fuck.

it was a blow to my, and Dani's psyche. I was trying to keep my composure. Dani was having a little more difficulty. The Doctor turned to Dani, saw her wipe a tear, and said: "don't worry. He'll be fine." I just wish I could stop causing her pain. I'm not blaming myself, of course. But it breaks my heart to se Dani so upset. I don't know how to explain this to someone who hasn't gone through it. It sucks. You try not to worry about recurrences but you can't help it. And a recurrance is way more deadly then the initial battle. You kind of live in fear of a recurrence. To say it sucks is the ultimate understatement.

The rest of the day Dani & I kind of drifted through it in a state of semi-shock. I think. She went to work and I went to meet a friend for drinks. He lives in Towson, MD., just outside of Baltimore and came in to hang with a friend of his.

Dani & I were gonna return to the Adirondacks on Monday and backpack for 3-4 days. But we canceled. We need to know when the PET scan is scheduled before we can leave town. This shit fucking sucks.

Cancer sucks beyond fucking belief.



Stacy said...

Simon and I are praying for you and sending you strength, Phil. Dani--skype me. Love to you both, Stacy

Stacy said...

Simon and I are praying for you and sending you strength, Phil. Dani--skype me. Love to you both, Stacy

Phil said...

Stacey - thank you so much, it means a lot. Dani probably already told you but i I think we might have overreacted.