Monday, April 10, 2006

no Hodgkins!

This afternoon I had my follow-up appointment with Dr. Schuster. I went there accompanied by Clare. I entered his office armed with half a dozen questions, which he answered fully. For example, I wanted to know if I could drink alcohol and eat sushi. He told me that they weren't a problem at all, since I no longer need to adhere to any of the previous restrictions. Recently I have been thinking about swimming as a form of exercise, so I asked him about that. He said swimming is absolutely fine. After asking these and a few other questions, I thought there was no more to ask but then, I remembered that I had forgotten to ask him about the biggest thing of all, the primary reason for this follow-up: that is the results of my recent PET-CT scan. In retrospect, it was so wierd. For some reason, I had forgotten all about the PET-CT scan as I sat in his office waiting to see him. I guess I was so worked up about other things that the scan dropped off my radar. Dr. Schuster laughed pointing out that he thought I'd ask him about my scan and then, the other matters subsequently but it's okay. Anyway, with regards to the scan he said there was no evidence of Hodgkin's Disease. The cancer wasn't present anywhere. There was no cancer. That's excellent news. However, he did bring to my attention that in my lungs, the scan revealed the symptoms of someone who has had bronchitis. It's possible, he said, that the tingling that I had felt in my throat a few weeks ago may have been related to this. Despite this revelation, he didn't think the unexpected results required anything to be done. I had no fever or any other sign of infection. He told me that he'd simply keep an eye on it and see how my lungs look after the next PET-CT scan, which will take place in the summer.

Before biding him adieu, I presented him and Joanne, his assistant, with a thank you card and a small box, in which there lay a tray of assorted cookies. I told them that it was just a small sign of my appreciation to both them and their staff. From his office, I took the elevator up to 10 West, where I stayed for about 24 days for the stem cell transplant. It was my first visit to the BMT unit since I was discharged in February. I saw Bita, Scott, Linda (the social worker), and a few of the staff and nurses there, such as Lelanie. Unfortunately, Jielian wasn't there today nor some of the other individuals who made a big impression on me. I gave Scott and Linda a thank you card and another tray of cookies, which I told them are for all the sterling BMT staff. Scott and the gang were definitely surprised and gladdened to see me show up there this afternoon. According to Scott and Lelanie, it was just one of those days. I remember very well listening to the nurses talk to me about the craziness that was taking place in some of the other patient rooms when I was there. Upon seeing me, Scott said I was just what he needed. I guess I was a moral booster.

I must say though that it was great to see them. Again, I wish I saw some of the other folks too, but it's possible I may have my opportunity at the annual boat cruise for BMT survivors that takes place in early August. In fact, at my appointment today Dr. Schuster reminded me about it and then, Scott did the same when I saw him afterwards.

My next follow-up with Dr. Schuster is May 15th.


Comment Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duane - You cant see it but I am doing the wackiest happy dance for you. Awesome, truly awesome!!!

- Tianna

11:15 AM  
Comment Blogger alau said...

Yay! Congratulations! That's so awesome! Time to start really working on those travel plans! :)

4:32 PM  
Comment Anonymous Anonymous said...

How wonderful is that? Couldn't have asked for better news!!! :) Get those hiking shoes broken in, Duane!

9:52 PM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Thanks again everyone for your continued support. Honestly, it has been so wonderful to come back to my blog and find your warm and encouraging comments. Without a doubt, creating this blog was one of the best things that I have ever done. Thanks for making it so!


10:31 PM  

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