Wednesday morning, Linds & baby Will came with me to see Dr. Grossmann for the results. Will was an angel-baby and stole the show. Everyone loved him. He is so precious. Dr. G came in grinning and in a GREAT mood, which is always a good sign. The first thing he said to me was that my scans were "lovely" and everything looked wonderful. Really? Truly? I actually clapped for joy. I love how he goes through each image, explaining what has been there for a while & remains the same or what has shrunk because of treatment (groin & back tumors) or what has disappeared entirely (liver). He expressed the wish that he could assign one radiology technician to read the same patient's scans so the new ones wouldn't "freak out" if they saw something unfamiliar. I'd have to agree. Sometimes I've read their reports and wondered why there was such a "doomsday" feeling compared to Dr. G's optimism. He told us that there are some people who, years later, are still receiving the benefits of IPI. How cool is that? I'm going to be here a long, long time! He also said the MRI was "A-Plus" and that this was a "best news day". So awesome. Thank you, God.
After looking at the scans, Dr. G said he wanted to see & measure the back and groin tumors. I showed him the back one first, and suddenly, he became very excited. He told Linds to come over and look at what he was seeing. He also told me to look in the mirror when I got home and see what he was so pleased about. Where the radiation had burned my skin, there were now little "white spots" that were de-pigmentization from the treatment. (I know I'm not going to get across the scientific terms & meanings - even I don't fully understand it - but hopefully this will tell the gist of it. I really need to look up this process and research it.) The spots were evidence that treatment effects were continuing and that my good, cancer-fighting cells were "fighting" the dead, burned cells, recognizing that they were not normal. He was ecstatic that I'm still responding. He also said that this could happen in my hair or on my scalp and that some people call them "leopard spots". So interesting. I'm grateful for his explanation and his enthusiasm that it's a good thing because I think if I had discovered it first, I would have freaked. What in the world is THAT?
The only bad news of the day was that my blood counts are still terribly low. Dr. G said that my body has become so used to these low levels, it compensates & gives me enough energy to handle my every day life. He looked at Linds and said, "If you or I had these low numbers and tried to walk 10 steps, we'd be 'whupped'." He finally ordered that I get 2 units of blood, and Linds & I couldn't have been happier. We've been waiting for this and hope/pray that it makes a difference & tells my blood marrow to ramp up production of my own good blood cells. I'm also praying that it gives me energy and maybe some "roses" in my cheeks. We'll see...
So, I went home yesterday with my port accessed (that was kind of strange, too) and came in early this morning to get my two units of blood. Linds texted me and asked, "Do you feel like a vampire yet?" YES!
I love Dr. G's optimism and hope. There is no beating around the bush - he tells it like it is and treats me like a long-term survivor. Yesterday, he asked how my singing was going and I had to tell him that I had had to give it up. It made him sad to hear that, and he said he would try everything he could to get me back to my "cool hobby." I love that he thinks of that when he sees me and he remembers it. I'm very grateful for his compassion and expertise. I always leave his office feeling more powerful and armed with knowledge.
My sweet oldest grandson celebrated his birthday last week. He's growing up. It's wonderful to see.