What’s Up, Doc?

August 6, 2007

O Best Beloveds, our just-as beloved Dr. W. called, to share the good news from last week. He is, to borrow the verb I used with him, “stoked” about this turn of events. Numbers cut by more than half! Who could have seen that coming! However, he says that we can’t expect a logarithmic progression, so number diminishing will slow down, but, Inshallah, based on his experience, I should be in remission at some point. Again. And maybe even stay there a long time.

The interesting part is that back when I was on Xeloda-Taxitere (during Cancer: The Return), and I had such a good response to it, this time around—I mean, as in when Cancer: The Extended Dance Remix first started, back in November of Aught-5, for crying out loud–he figured it was the Taxitere that did the trick, and so put me on the new, less toxic version of it, which only worked for a little while. So his reasoning this time was “Well, maybe it was the Xeloda all along,” and sure enough, that seems to be the case. Best case, as a matter of fact, since Xeloda alone has the best quality of life, feet issues notwithstanding. He reiterated that I’m never going off Xeloda again–not until he gets that vaccine or something else nifty to try–and won’t even lower my dose unless I can’t take the foot problem. I mentioned I’m not enjoying the feet thing (it seems that walking is an activity I engage in quite a lot), but that if it doesn’t get any worse (hard to say; cumulative effects are notorious in chemo regimes), I think I can handle it for a couple rounds past remission, and then maybe we can discuss lowering the dose just a tad, comme il fait, as it were. In any event, I found this look into his reasoning regarding my treatment most illuminating.

But here’s the hilarious part: the other night, I was explaining to Quinn how my cancer is weak, but persistent, in that it never does anything serious, but it never quite goes away. “You have mold!” she said, gleefully, an image I love for so many reasons, not least of which is because a lot of my long term planning of late is qualified by the phrase “Unless the levees break.” Which works on two levels in Steve’s and my lives. So, mold–a consistent metaphor! But when I mentioned this to Dr. W, he dismissed it. “Actually,” he said, “Your cancer is more like one of those screaming temper tantrum raging kids. They shriek and yell and make a big fuss, but they don’t do any real harm apart from being really annoying. And the only way you can make them shut up is to bop them on the head.”

I’m afraid at that, Steve and I fell about, helpless with laughter.

Dr. W has several children, and they are all quite lovely,