Friday, August 17, 2007

Another 3-month check today

Hello, and long time!

No news is good news, in my case. I have celebrated my summer-after-cancer by travelling to Europe, tending the garden, playing with my dog, and having fun with Noah. I have played hours and hours of volleyball--generally with more energy and skill than before treatment. Basically, I feel great.

Of course, cancer is evil. I could be feeling this great and still have something wrong. Today, I had my latest 3-month check (and it's a year since I ended chemo!!). The physical exam was clear. I haven't yet gotten results of my blood test, but I'm sure I would have heard if they were bad. There's just one little thing: I've had a nagging lower-back pain for about the last month. It could be travel, different beds, volleyball, our own wearing-out bed, or even the way I slump as I sit here in the computer. But once you've had cancer, everything is cancer.

So the oncologist has a "one-month rule": if a pain persists for a month, we take it seriously. We do an MRI and check it out. Well, I'm almost at a month with my back, but it's felt better for a couple of days. Metastases don't get better, so if the pain goes away (or even eases a lot), then it's unlikely to be a metastasis. But if I am still feeling like this in a week, I'm supposed to call back, and we'll be doing an MRI.

I'm not too worried, but it's all relative. I'll be paying attention to my back for the next week, and trying hard not to be a hypochondriac at the same time. A good friend of my sister-in-law's was just diagnosed with metastatic melanoma in his spine. Started as a backache. He had it checked out, and now things are pretty serious for him. So it's easy to freak out a bit.

Otherwise--there have been some interesting cancer stories in the news lately. Many people have asked for my reaction to the news that a high-vegetable diet does not help prevent recurrence. My diet (which I'll post here soon) is not that. It's a basic high-fiber, low-fat diet that tends to have lots of veggies, but only prescribes the standard RDA kind of approach.

(I saw my nutritional oncologist yesterday, too, by the way. I'm back strictly on the plan for a while, to lose a little more weight and be more disciplined after our European culinary free-for-all.)

And I really found this piece, in the NY Times, poignant. Also scary. It's written by a guy (a cancer survivor) visiting an ex-girlfriend and former fellow survivor, now terminal patient. While searching for the link for that, by the way, I also encountered this somewhat treacly story (though, to be fair, I actually agree with it) about finding the positives from a cancer experience.

OK--I'll be sure to update y'all with the verdict this next week!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Are you saying this bad back stuff just to dupe me into expecting too little of you when you oppose me in volleyball? Cuz this supposed bad back has really helped your game, Misty!