Thursday, November 17, 2016

Follow-up #9

My scans were good! The radiology report included the word, "unremarkable" a total of five times. That is a record number of times for me.

When a radiologist deems an organ "unremarkable" it means that no evidence of injury or disease is seen on the scan. It is one of those DoctorSpeak words that mean something completely different to the uninitiated.

Question: Who wants to be "unremarkable"

Answer: Cancer patients

Overshadowing this visit, sadly, was news that my friend and fellow cancer patient, D., had passed away suddenly. We had made plans to meet at NIH this week. Our visits overlapped, just as they had last winter. We were in contact weekly--often daily--for over a year. It didn't make sense. She was supposed to be visiting NIH for harvest surgery and scans...


Consistent with the roller-coaster theme of this visit (the highs were as extreme as the lows) The Guy met with me at my clinic appointment. He confirmed that the New England Journal of Medicine will be publishing my case. He also told me that I am "an historic figure in medicine".


Also this trip, I said good-bye to my dear Lab Guru. He has exhausted every extension that The Guy could arrange. I am confident that he will continue to do great things in his very own lab, just as he did during his time at NIH. I look forward to the opportunity to visit his new digs one day (and hopefully not for the purpose of apheresis).

Finally, a story of hope. Tonight, a friend on 3NW at NIH awaits her TIL with sheer joy (and maybe some fatigue after the conditioning chemo). It will happen soon! I pray she sees success. I believe that she will!