Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New Oncologist

No, I'm not leaving Dr. Giralt at MSK; and Dr. Antin at Dana-Farber says he'll always be my doctor. I've been very lucky with most of my oncologists.

Yesterday, I went to the Catskill Regional Medical Center to set up a relationship with a new oncologist, Dr Sethi. NYC  is a 2.5 hour drive. This facility is 25 minutes away. I'll be able to get my Vidaza treatments there. As a matter of fact, I already have my next series of shots in 2 weeks. I already met all the nurses who work in the infusion lab. They seem very nice but were curious as to why I prefer injection to infusion. For me, getting a shot means something positive--the flu shot, vaccinations. An infusion takes me back to Cancer World--blood transfusions, platelets.

Dr. Sethi was nice, and knowledgeable. He admitted right away that it would take him a while to digest my history. He also planned to call Dr. Giralt to discuss my case. He advised that I use the hospital for routine things like blood work. If I needed to be hospitalized, he'd admit me at Catskill, but would prefer I go to a larger hospital in Middletown, an hour away. This makes a lot of sense. At that point, I'd probably go to NYC, say if I needed a bone marrow biopsy.

I'm feeling great. My doctor army is poised and ready to do battle. I hope they remain at ease for a long time.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Blood in the Night

Yesterday was quite a day. We moved out of our Upper East Side apartment to our house in the Catskills. Yup, we're starting a new life in greener, less stressful acres.

Fortunately, I was not involved in moving day because I had to have my 3rd Vidaza shot of the week. By some miracle, I was able to meet my friend Connie for lunch. Then I had the walk-through of my apartment by the agent. After that, I schlepped my luggage on the subway to Brooklyn where I'm staying at Sandy and Dianne's.

Sleeping in an unfamiliar room is a challenge for me. I wake up and have no idea where I am. I'm under the influence of ativan. Add to that no night light and there was a disaster waiting to happen.

At some point, I made my way into the bathroom to find that blood was dripping from an old wound on my right arm. I must have bumped into something. There were drops of blood everywhere. First, I tried to staunch the bleeding. I looked in various drawers for bandaids, to no avail. Finally, I wrapped my arm in toilet paper, moistening it to create a plaster of paris effect. This worked pretty well. Then I cleaned up the blood as best as I could and went back to my room.

Falling is one of my specialties. Once in the room, I tripped over something on the floor, probably my suitcase, anf fell on my right side. I seem to be made out of rubber, because whenever I fall, I never get seriously injured. Last night was the same. I went to bed, with a sore shoulder.

In the morning, I tried to do a better job with my arm wound. I found a gauze pad in my suitcase and some surgical tape. I think I did a good job with it because it's still intact and the bleeding has stopped. That's when I in looked in the mirror and saw the bruises on my shoulder and face. I put some cover-up on the long grayish mark and was ready to face another day filled with appointments, medical and otherwise.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Where I Am

Hurricane Sandy canceled my cataract surgery, but since I begged my doctor to schedule me for the next available slot, I had the surgery the following Wednesday. It went well and I can now see out of both eyes.

On Thursday, I saw my oncologist. My blood work is fine, my liver is doing better, and we decided to leave my meds unchanged. I had been experiencing blood in my urine with no other symptoms. I gave a sample to rule out infection, but Dr. Giralt and I both felt it was more likely to be bladder stones, which I'm prone to. Water retention remains a mystery.

I also saw the radiation oncologist Thursday and he was pleased with my progress and feels the leukemia cutis is gone. To be safe, I'm scheduled for a PET scan next week.

Overall, I have good energy but can't do yoga for another week due to my cataract surgery. I'm putting my massive amounts of energy into the BIG MOVE next week to our country house. Yes, I'm trading the big city lights for green acres. I'll still see my doctors at MSK, but will arrange to have my Vidaza shots at a local hospital. I'll also get an oncologist at that hospital.

I start round 2 of Vidaza on Monday, and when I'm finished on Friday, I'll wave goodby to a city I've lived in on an off for 21 years. I may yet live there again.