Everyone is always after results: test results, harvest results, weather results, sports results. The results we received from the oncologist were, I must admit, those I had suspected would be the case. The sample was negative for the markers for which it was tested, as I knew it would be – after all, if the primary sample had tested positive for those same markers at the time, it would have been quite simple to point to an actual cause of the original occurrence rather than it being a grand mystery. But it didn’t, and neither did this one, which leaves us in the same position with this one as with the first. No one knows why someone with no risk factors at all amongst the various possibilities wound up with not one but two rare (for my category of risk) cancers.
Our next step, after meeting up with the radiation oncologist who developed the treatment plan for the first episode, is another PET scan. A baseline, if you will, of the state of my system, post-surgery, to make sure that everything that needed to be cut out was cut out, and that no other hot spots appear. That will be next week, and I have to say that I’m not looking forward to it. Not because the procedure itself is scary or painful, but because you can’t eat anything for a period before the test. During my week in the hospital, I lost about eight pounds, leaving me tipping the scale dial right at about a hundred pounds. Trying to maintain that, much less put anything back on, is a daily struggle, and the way a healing body burns through calories, not eating for at least eight hours is going to be a tough road to take, and the end result will be a queasy and cranky Captain. I plan to stuff a cooler in the car with something to immediately boost my blood sugar as soon as the test is finished and they turn me loose.
The week after that, back to the oncologist, as the results of the PET will be back by then, and at least we’ll have something concrete there to look at and see where we stand.
Recovery continues, slowly. Weight maintenance/gain is the single largest issue right now, followed closely by range of motion/strength rebuilding in the affected area. I have this nasty dry cough thing going on, which aggravates every muscle they cut through during surgery, along with the ribs they spread apart to get a good view of the lung. Try coughing without involving any abdominal or back muscle. Doesn’t work very well. On the plus side, I’m not coughing up any blood, and it’s probably related to the fact that I spend the vast majority of my time inside in the air conditioning rather than splitting my time between being inside and being in the great outdoors. It’s simply too hot and humid right now to be outside doing anything much of consequence other than stepping out from time to time, as it’s difficult to breathe the heavy, humid, still air without starting to gasp like a fish unceremoniously dumped out of the bowl. Since our fall won’t arrive for a couple of months yet, the most I can hope for is periodic trips outside without doing anything strenuous (like pull weeds) and that the weather modulates just a tad to something more bearable so I can start getting back outside here and there, even for a short walk around the gardens that are going to hell.