Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Over the river...

I crossed over the big bridge at The Dalles, OR yesterday, noticing the dam seemed to be shut, allowing the level of the river below the dam to be lower than usual and the rocks showing where they usually are not. Several rickety fishing platforms built by local Indians are situated below the dam, and a few old sheds with signs of "dried salmon" for sale adorn the roadsides.

I went to see my oncologist, Dr. Fu. He is my favorite doctor.

As I've mentioned before here, I have something called MGUS. Doctors call it like this: M...Gus (like the cowboy in Lonesome Dove). It stands for Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance. This means it doesn't have any significance if it never evolves into Mulitple Myeloma. A very serious bone cancer. But, I guess if it does evolve, then it IS considered significant, huh?

I am in a pattern of being monitored twice a year. Once a year, I have all the blood labwork, which is what I had recently. Then, six months later, I do a 24-hour urine test. And both times, I have a consult with the fabulous Dr. Fu.

It occurred to me yesterday that perhaps this MGUS stuff is more important than I'd been giving it credit it for, focusing as I have been on my broken neck and cranial settling etc. I mean, if I am to be tested twice a year for the rest of my life, this is "something." But, knowing I'm being tested that often gives me great faith that if this were to ever evolve to MM (which I have a 25% chance, statistically, that it will), we'd catch it early on and treatment would be very effective. AND, I have Dr. Fu. He'll take care of me.

I figured my appointment would only last five minutes. That he'd say the tests look fine, how are you, goodbye. But we visited for 45 minutes. He told me that the bloodwork looked fine, and he did not have the actual MGUS test back yet, and that if there was anything of concern when it does come back, he will call me. I know he will. I know he won't forget me. He's a very good doctor.

He opened the door and about rushed across the little examining room to give me a hug. And most of the time, we talked about my neck and surgery and he advised me to try to live without surgery as long as I could. He didn't seem very positive about good results from a surgery.

When it was time to leave, he hugged me again. Reminded me to take my walking stick with me, which I was almost forgetting, and I teased him, knowing he collects walking sticks, telling him I have to watch him closely or he'll steal it.

As we walked down the hallway and I was leaving, he said, "You are now past the point of making things happen. You are now at the point where you are making something good of what is."

I liked his observation.

I also do not have the strength anymore to "make things happen."


Anonymous said...

I'm right here with you Virginia. I need a surgery but no surgeon wil take me on. I'm out of strength to make things happen. But I'm making the best of every single second God has blessed me with. Every one of your post make me bawl because you express all I feel physically and emotionally. Your music is my favorite. You bring me comfort when pain pill sure don't.

Thank you for being you. You mean a lot to me in my medically hopeless situation. Yet my life is full of laughter and joy. I have a love/hate relationship with laughter. I hurt so bad after laughing, but I'm married to a wonderful man that makes me laugh every day. I have a kid who is just like his dad. I have another kid who is thoughtful through and through. And I have a kid who's walked 17 years with me, being my arms and back when mine haven't been strong enough.

Don't you feel pressured to blog regularly or return emails. A simple "I'm still here" once a month will stop us from worrying about you. Save your strength for painting doors instead of typing.

Your friend in Christ and cranial settling,

Lisa in Alaska

CassandraE said...

I love your Dr. Fu's observation. I think so many of us need to be reminded of it now and again.

I really enjoy your blog. You write very well.

Have the best day possible!


By His Grace said...

Thanks so much, Lisa...I just love the way you sound, you are such a sweet gal. I sent you an email, so watch for it! Thanks for the kind words you write, you are so thoughtful!

Cassandra, thank you for posting and letting me know you are following my musings here. Your kind words also give me good feelings today. Thanks for taking the time to post! Hope to hear from you again soon!

Hugs to you both!