Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cancer Advisory Threat Level: Guarded

Another day, another doctor appointment: I tagged along to Joe's appointment with his oncologist today, with my list of questions. Because we're still waiting to have PET scan #3, our personal Cancer Threat Level (stealing from the Department of Homeland Security, because what could be more your homeland than your own sweet body?) is now reduced to Guarded. That's a lovely change from the Severe and High threat levels of the past 7 months. Oh hallelujah and thank you doctors, nurses, pharmacists, pharmaceutical companies, lab animals, researchers, family and friends!

As Dr. Maloney put it, Joe passes. As far as Dr. Maloney is concerned, Joe is cured. Yes, there may be recurrence in future, but right now, Joe is done.

Now we heard these words and didn't quite jump out of our chair, off our exam table, because remember, there's still that tonsil business and PET scan #3 to get through. But Maloney thinks it's really unlikely that the tonsil thing is lymphoma and reminded us that not all uptake indicates cancer.

If it weren't for that tonsil, we'd be at Threat Level: Low. The PET scan is in a couple of weeks and once we have those results in, then we might really strike up the band.

Maloney is expecting we'll see nothing on that scan. That's what we all want. But at least, if that tonsil still lights up when the radioactive sugar hits Joe's bloodstream, then that tonsil and its partner will just come on out of his body altogether, scoring him a couple of weeks of recuperation, popsicles and pain-killers. They'll biopsy the thing, and we'll know once and for all.

So yes, guardedly, we are jumping around, doing a little Snoopy dance. Almost there, people. The real terrorist among us is almost eliminated, may it go away and not come back on any day.

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