Archive for September, 2009

No News is (you know) & A Mea Culpa

Posted in cancer, Cancer Life, testicular cancer with tags , , , on September 18, 2009 by lawler

First: the much anticipated September check up came back ALL CLEAR. The CT scan looked good, my tumor markers are holding at the slightly elevated levels they have maintained for months, and my white blood count is still low at 2.8. The key to that statement is that I am STILL CANCER FREE, and as far as I’m concerned, after hitting this milestone, and passing through my first cancer-free September in three years, there’s no looking back now.

As many of you know — especially if you read this blog — I was profoundly unhappy with my Madison oncologist, Dr. Arbaje recently because of some things he said and the letter he wrote for our adoption dossier. I took the opportunity yesterday while meeting with him to confront him on both issues, telling him frankly what I thought about his choice of words in our last appointment and my disappointment with his letter compared to the one provided by my Indianapolis oncologist, Dr. Einhorn (I brought copies of both letters for him to keep).

After explaining to him that Dawn and I were offended by his “single parent” remarks, he admitted that he regretted how he answered our question and sincerely apologized. We had a very good conversation about the whole situation. He shared with me his affinity for Dawn and I and how he wished “he could take it back.” The conversation, and his willingness to engage in it reminded me of why I like and respect him so much — as well as why his actions bothered Dawn and I in the first place. It was unexpectedly harsh and insensitive behavior from someone we knew to be exceedingly kind and sensitive. He even called Dawn personally later in the day to apologize to her.

As I left the appointment, he thanked me for talking to him about the issue. “It would have been very easy for you to simply select a new doctor and not deal with this, and I appreciate that you brought it up with me and that we talked about it,” he said.

It was a difficult day to face, but one that was both a relief and a reminder of the good things that misfortune and misunderstanding can actually bring into our lives.

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Never Alone

Posted in Cancer Life on September 1, 2009 by lawler

After yesterday’s post, I found this piece in the NY Times. It is so spot on, and sounds so true and real to me. The “chemo brain” thing is something that I feel I have struggled with too, but it’s impossible to know — how much of that is me looking for an excuse, and how much of it is really the fog from all of the chemo drugs (especially the high dose stuff)?