Remember the enhancement? The incidental finding on my brain? I’d gotten quite adept at not thinking about that. If they were futzing around for so long, isn’t it likely there was nothing to be found? I paired no news is good news with in the world of cancer, taking your time is a good sign (I made that second one up based on experience, assumption and positive thinking) and came up with don’t worry. If you’ve been following my adventures in Lymphomaland you know by now that don’t worry is a prescription I mostly don’t bother to fill, but this time, I did. Albeit late. I obsessed about it for the first few weeks, then ran out of worry pills.
At my appointment Friday, Dr J. and I chatted about how I was feeling. The last chemo. What happened. Why (maybe) I spiked a fever. Nasty virus, pneumonia, eager white blood cells? Dr J’s vote was nasty virus. (A lot of conjecture and ruling shit out involved in this cancer stuff.) What was coming next. We talked about getting it right this time and aligning a good chemo experience with a good post-chemo (PC) experience. We booked chemo #3 for Jan 30, 31. We discussed the fact that I have a CT scheduled one week PC which sucks because PC week is miserable and bed-reliant.
The conversation had moved into the weedy details suggesting the substantive (potentially icky or surprise-filled) material had been covered. I'm always analyzing data he hasn’t said anything about my brain, he hasn’t said anything about my brain, he hasn’t said anything about my brain (I didn’t say it was sophisticated analysis.)
But No. He finally got around to the topic.
Seems I failed the test, or more accurately the test failed me, and the results were inconclusive. Regardless where fault lies, they have to do it again.
Do it again.
Dr J doesn’t seem to mind when I say fuck. I don’t apologize for it anymore.
The explanation goes something like this. They looked through a microscope and didn’t see anything so they sent the fluid to be spun around and looked at with more sophisticated equipment than someone with a microscope. If you tell a scientist that the person whose fluid they are examining has, say, lymphoma, when they see some cells but can’t figure out exactly what they are (lymphoma or T-cells) because there are too few cells to determine anything about the spinal fluid, they will say could be lymphoma or could be not lymphoma. That's where we are now.
The good news is that if there was disease all over they’d know. While I allow myself to take some comfort in that, it’s recycled good news. I knew that a while ago.
But there’s the fact that Dr B is an excellent spinal tapper (not that I have anything to compare it to.) I just hope it’s a guaranteed happy marriage of her skill and my spine, and not a fluke.
So in a week or two we’ll start this whole fucking brain thing over again. The real good news is that I’m handling it better - not exactly rolling with the punches, but not collapsing under them either.