Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The News and the Additional Notes

When Alan had his surgery back in June, there were lots of post-op complications. One of the more inconsequential ones (or so I thought) was the fluid that pooled in the parts of his abdomen that shouldn't have had any fluid. To fix the problem, they took him to a special section of the hospital, pushed plastic tubes through his skin and snaked the tubes past the muscle and and the tissue to drain the pools of fluid. The fluid collected in two bags on the outside of his body which he would pin to his shirt when he needed to be mobile. In between all the hospital stays, Alan was released for a few days and we went to see Up. He clipped the bags to his shirt and people stared. He does not remember this day.

I don't know what I expected at the doctor's appointment today. Maybe that the doctor would come in and hand Alan a sheet of paper with "Clean Bill of Health" printed at the top and an A+ hand written in the middle. It'd be a nice touch if we also got ribbons or stickers for our shirts, but I knew that, realistically, that might be asking for a bit too much. Instead, she came in and told us that the CT scan and the bloodwork indicated that Alan's cancer is most likely gone. Then she said that the areas where the tubes had collected fluid from back in June looked inflamed. She added that what looked like inflammation could be cancer, but that they couldn't be sure. To be sure, they needed to do another scan. The scan has been scheduled, but because they are completely booked, it will not happen until later this month or sometime next month. And after that, the surgeon and the GI will determine when he can have his intestines re-connected. She estimates that that will happen in the next 3-4 months. So it is mostly very excellent news, but the clean bill of health has an "additional notes" section which reads sort of like this:

You are well! (We are pretty sure). Come back in the next couple of months and we will see if we can't get you that pretty blue ribbon.

So, while we're happy, it still feels as though we're holding our breaths. Just a little bit.

--

On another note, thank you all so much for your positive thoughts and well wishes!!! You have all helped me through many moments of darkness, and for that, I present a shiny, clickable link for each of you.

20 comments:

Briel79 said...

I hope that Alan receives his clean bill of health sooner rather than later! I can't imagine how stressful it must be for you both to have to wait longer.

Rich said...

Nice link. Of course it is all true! Semi-congratulations on the news, will hold onto full congrats for the final "good news". Only thing that would bother me is the fact the Dr. does not look him in the eye, is this something that is taught to them when discussing Cancer or other possibly terminal issues? Does that maybe allow them to de-personalize it? I can't imagine being in Alan's shoes, and on the same token being the one in the Dr.'s shoes, having to tell the patient and family the "news" whether good or bad.

Jessie said...

i hope the good news continues next month - too bad you ahve to wait so long!

Thrup'ny bits said...

Praying that Alan finally gets the 'all clear' from the scan. Oh the agony of having to wait . . .

2busy said...

Well, snap! I know you were wishing for an end to all this chaos. Hopefully, the good news will continue. How can anyone not remember Up. That was a cute movie.

Lyndsay said...

I know what it's like to not get the enthusiastically awesome news you hope for. I remember after my last chemo treatment one of the nurses said - I always wish we could have a marching band playing as you walk out of this room for the last time.
Happy for the (mostly) great news though! Hopefully you will both be breathing easy after the next scan!

Little T said...

My stepmom has battled Ovarian Cancer and won twice now. We went through the same thing at her follow ups. They will never say it is completely gone because they don't know that for sure. What you got is excellent news in the Cancer world. I know it doesn't feel like it but Alan is on the home stretch. Positive thoughts and visualizing health and happiness for you both;-)

Rachel said...

This is not what I was hoping for. :( Its good news but not great news. Let the waiting begin.

MunkyBt said...

Semi-good news is far better than bad news, so I'm giving you both my full CONGRATULATIONS, along with an extra couple handfuls of hopeful optimism for the next scan. Maybe if we all start searching now, we can collectively come up with enough volunteer band geeks (a term I use with absolute affection and respect) to play "Mr. Touchdown" when you get the results from the next scan. We could bribe them with Roy's Carbonara!

Rachael

P.S. Have you seen Ok Go's newest video for "This Too Shall Pass"? WATCH IT!

Tonia said...

Consider both of yourselves shiny-gold-starred for getting this far without imploding with all the frustration!

The Bug said...

Unless told otherwise, I choose to believe that this is fabulous news! It's still a journey, but maybe not QUITE as scary now...

Breenuh said...

You're right in that you couldn't have expected full, perfect results. But as far as this type of meeting goes, you got a pretty good answer. I'm happy to hear he is at least close to recovery.

On another note, I love that link!!! :.D

jfertran said...

Hey B,
Glad to hear the good news! Still keeping my fingers crossed in hopes of more good news in the near future.
xo

Karin said...

Whew - so glad to hear. But yeah, still holding my breath a little. :\ Hang in there!

superchance said...

You and Alan are definately in my thoughts and prayers. I also hope that Alan receives his clean bill of health sooner than later.... waiting is always the hardest part. i guess one day at a time is all we can all do. hang in there!!

Shaista (Lupus in Flight) said...

Did she (the doctor) look him in the eye??
Did you eat sushi for dinner?
The doc sounds like she was just covering her tracks - the news sounds good to me :)

Sobrina Tung said...

Rich, actually I think this doctor was not the one that Alan dislikes. She did look us in the eyes and was really nice. But thank you for your concern :)

Little T, that is awful :( I hope that she stays well!!

Thanks everyone for all the nice comments!! We definitely are breathing easier.

Suzanne Denning said...

I know the agony of waiting. My sister just got GREAT news that her cancer scare was just that. Only a scare. She is cancer free. But the wait to find out for sure is far worse than the actual verdict I think. Hopefully you won't be kept in stress mode too long.

I know they teach young children with cancer to visualize their "good" body cells attacking the "bad" cancer cells & winning the battle. Our brains are able to pick up on that. I hear it really can help. Good health to you both.

J.Me. said...

Well hooray. Here's to hoping for more good news.

Erin P said...

I was driving home a day or so ago and found myself wondering how you and Alan were doing...I was so busy over the last 7 days I didn't read anything, so I'm SOOO glad to hear that this scan looks good. Sorry to hear that the fluid has caused inflammation, but that happens...hope his body fights that off asap!

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