Last night my brother John said I was letting up on the narrative here, so here’s the latest.
I’ve been slogging my way through various WM Foundation publications and other medical articles on applicable immunology and genetics, and Googling the terms that have come up in during my Dana-Farber doctor meetings and in their various emails and reports. All I can say is that while I think I get the gist, it is mostly Greek to me. And I mean literally Greek: alpha light chains, beta-2-microglobulins.
On Monday I’m scheduled for the follow-up blood tests, and if past experience is any guide, it will be at least a week before my USC doctor gets those results. That’s not even taking into account the holidays. She’ll need to send those results to the Dana-Farber folks, and then I anticipate it will take another week from whenever they get the results for them to “put their heads together” (seems to be a favorite phrase) and let us know what they make of them. If these results prove out their antibody hypothesis, then my doctor here will run that immunoglobulin trial, which itself will take a week.
I figure I’m probably not going to know whether they will recommend more chemo or not well into January, and that as long as my platelet count hasn’t fallen precipitously, there’s no need to worry about anything else at this stage until after the new year. In fact, yesterday I told my boss that I’m realizing there are times when I realize I’ve actually forgotten about it. (That plus I’ve actually been kinda busy at work and trying to push my re-landscaping along so Akemi doesn’t come home to yet-another war zone of one of Mom’s house projects in progress.)
It’s been suggested to me that I refer to this condition not with the “c-word” but as a “proliferative cell disorder.” Less ominous, and more descriptive. Something I live with while they do “watchful waiting” for as long as possible.
So I intend on enjoying having Akemi home as of next Tuesday night and celebrating Christmas and Japanese New Years in various ways over the next couple of weeks.