Friday, April 07, 2006

from the earth to the moon

On Monday I'll see Dr. Schuster for the results of my PET-CT scan, which I took yesterday at the hospital. It was my first PET-CT scan in exactly four months. I have yet to show my gratitude to the hospital staff (especially the BMT folks), who have been so wonderful during this entire process, which is why I plan to buy a few trays of assorted cookies on Sunday from a bakery and then, bring them to my appointment at the hospital on Monday. I haven't visited the BMT unit since I was discharged from there in February. I didn't want to return there empty handed. Hopefully, I'll be able to see Scott, Bita, and some of the nurses, who made my stay there easier.

Late yesterday afternoon after the the scan, I attended an educational support meeting at Sloan-Kettering titled, "Dating and Disclosure." The group was small, but diverse. I met a gentleman there who was 29 and facing an autologous stem cell transplant for relapsed Hodgkin's Disease just like me. I, of course, was moved by the similar paths that we seem to have thread and we talked a bit our experiences after the meeting concluded. I gave him my e-mail address if he ever wanted to talk about anything related to the treatment.

During the meeting itself, we talked about dating and not employment, which is another issue in which the topic of disclosure comes up normally. Some of the individuals there had had some prior experience in telling their partners about their cancer history, whereas newcomers like myself didn't have experience in the matter but were eager to get advice. Some of the participants in the meeting, like myself, were concerned about disceiving a date or partner by not fully releaving our medical history. However, the coordinator of the meeting reminded us that everyone has issues and most times people don't feel comfortable discussing them until they feel invested in other person. So, telling a date that you had cancer on the very first date is probably a bad idea. We as cancer survivors shouldn't feel like our medical history is an insurmountable challenge. We have control over how and when we reveal this important part of our lives. And in thinking about disclosure, it's helpful to remember that cancer is simply a part of the mosaic that is our lives. Cancer doesn't own our lives.

The Medicaid issue seems to have been resolved, which is a relief. When it comes to health insurance, one can never to be complacent which is why although everything is supposed to be in order I must also be prepared to act if another problem arises later. I'll give Medicaid a few weeks to really make sure my record is fine and then, I'll call them back to verify the corrections.

I finished The Human Side of Cancer at the beginning of the week and now find myself in the middle of another interesting, though very different book: From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne. I don't remember ever reading any of his other notable books (Around the World in Eighty Days and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea) when I was younger, which I guess means that I probably didn't read them. Nevertheless, I'm finding this classic by the father of sci-fiction writing to be very entertaining and humorous. It's clear that Verne didn't write out of his ass, but in fact knew a significant amount (according to his day) about the scientifc and astronomical principles of our Solar System.

A few years ago, I watched Tom Hanks' HBO mini-series that bears the same title as Verne's famous novel. I like the program a lot and I found it to be quite inspiring and it made me nostalgic for the exciting days of human space flight. Hopefully, there will be more to come.

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