We Now Return You To Our Regular Programming

November 2, 2006

O Best Beloveds, it ended just like that. Chemo Nurse Kathy drew my blood and Chemo Nurse Lisa said “Whoops. Platelets at 53,000.” We figured it could go either way for Dr. W., but after a long look at the declining pattern of my bone marrow, in the end, he said “You’re done. Go home.”

That’s right, Beloveds. No chemo for me today. And no more chemo for–well, let’s figure on awhile. Don’t let’s not push it with the “ever” part. But maybe.

Let’s look at the numbers, shall we? The whole thing started back in mid-Nov last year, and I started chemo at the end of the month. So that’s eleven months. Put it that way, it’s….a really long time. Enough time so that Janet and another friend-of-a-friend were themselves diagnosed with cancer, and completed treatment. Enough time so that Julie and Nichole got themselves pregnant and had babies. Enough time so that it’s a wonder any of you are still reading these missives.

Which brings up another point; I have a lot to be grateful for, in addition to these eleven months and however many are to come. Steve, for tops, for weekly (and since May, twice weekly) rides and all kinds of food request fulfillments and general good nature and all around awesomeness and just generally. My sister, for always being ready to take phone calls about all medical concerns. Rick, who called me pretty much every treatment day to sing (to the tune of “Tra La La Boom De Ay”) “It’s happy chemo day! Make cancer go away!” Julie and Lisa for girlie shopping days, and Lisa and Claire for rides and snacks. Cupcakes from Melissa, Zulu necklace from Kathryn, St. Peregrine statue and “holy” dirt from Deb Y, nearly every Maladies brought responsive supportive emails from Lindsay and Nancy, buncha other people and kindnesses I can’t remember now, but I really won’t forget. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

And what now? We see Dr. W. tomorrow. Next week, I hear the latest tumor markers. I don’t know when I will be sanguine about those again. As I said, for the first time, I’m a bit trepidatious being off chemo. (Not enough to insist they administer it today, however.) But monthly checks will make sure we stay on top of anything so I will worry when there’s something to worry about. Meanwhile, Faslidex is, we hope, already working its magic, and that’s monthly, too. Tonight, Steve and I are going out for sushi (“Raw fish sounds good to me,” I said to him. “And you know why? Because I’m not nauseous. BECAUSE I DIDN’T HAVE TO HAVE CHEMO TODAY.” Not that I’m gloating, or anything.) and week from tonight we are having dinner at Commander’s Palace, because it reopened, finally, fifteen months after Katrina, so that’s something more we have to celebrate. That Nettie, Diana and Robin are joining us makes it perfect. Then the bunch of us are going into Cajun country to eat pig for the weekend. And then, I’ve got to get back to work and schoolwork, because I just ran out of excuses not to. Drat.

But over the holidays, Steve and I are going to Serbia and Montenegro. Eagle-eyed Maladies readers will recall this is the very trip we had to cancel for that time last year, thanks to Dr. W’s vigilance. It will likely be cold, and thus rather foolish, but at the same time, I can’t tell you how it good it feels to be able to pick up the book of our life, find the bookmark we placed it in eleven months ago, and say,

Now, where was I?