This is probably going to be an overly long note, but what are you gonna do; sometimes it takes me longer than I want to get to the point. Oh, well. I went to the Blood Cancer Conference with my bride, some survivors and their caregivers I know (truly beautiful people) and some of the nurses who worked me over (in a good way) when I was sick. Anyway it was a good deal – when it was all over.
Even so, it was kind of rocky at one point. And I got kind of freaked out.
I am in this big auditorium at the University of Delaware. It seemed as if it was all beige; beige stage, beige walls, and all pretty bland. The harsh lights added to the beige-ness of it all. The Lymphoma presenter was one of the docs whom took care of me when I was sick. He is a younger – younger than me anyway – man with a somewhat monotone voice tending toward the higher pitched side of things. Anyway he stood behind his beige podium bedecked in his white lab coat, pointer in hand and PowerPoint slides rolling on the screen to his rear.
And then it happened.
He got to the diagnosis and staging slides and it hit me square between the eyes – I forgot how miserable, terrible, and treacherous the whole journey was at the beginning. As he talked about the bone marrow biopsy, I could almost feel the needle piercing my hip again; I could see the doctor applying the blood/marrow to slides and setting them down on a wheeled steel cart with a towel underneath the specimens. My throat was constricting’ I’m not sure that was a panic attack, but if it wasn’t it ought to have been.
The slides moved on to the discussion of staging and the placement of cancer on the body above and below the diaphragm and what that means in relation to stages I, II, III, IV. I was freaked.
And it didn’t get better. The next set of slides talked about the mortality and morbidity of patients and risk assessments of patients < or > 60 years old. At this point I’m not praying to avoid relapse, I’m praying that it happen before I’m 60. I soon get up and wander around the lobby outside the auditorium. I eventually calm down go back inside and gut out the rest of the presentation.
After that brief episode I was okay – sort of, until I watched the Philadelphia Eagles, then I felt just as bad.