Monday, November 06, 2006

Another test... another exam... I PASSED!

I had difficulty sleeping last night... yet another exam today that I can't study for...

I tried to get some work done in the morning but my head just wasn't in to it...

Back to see Dr. Hag├Ęge again for my quarterly checkup.

We went through my PET scan results first which we both knew were good.

Then on to the exam. I had taken a Xanax an hour and a half before to prepare. But he brought out a new "toy". In addition to the cameras which go up my nostrils and then down the back of my throat he now has a bigger one which goes right in the mouth and down the throat. I'm afraid that didn't work and we both knew it wasn't going to. He therefore shot the anesthesia up my nostrils and talked to me a bit while waiting for it to kick in. He asked me some questions about his old Mac computer which was acting up and I gave him a few tips as best I could with cotton shoved up my nose.

Finally he went in for the kill and I believe my innards were broadcast on an enormous screen he has on his wall. I say "I believe" as I keep my eyes closed throughout these things. I tend to be crying during and after so I wouldn't see anything anyway. He knows me well enough to give me tissues even before we get started. He was apparently pleased with what he saw. He tried to get the new camera down my throat again but my body just wasn't having it. One hand holding the tip of my tongue and pulling it towards him and the other hand trying to shove, excuse me "slide", this camera tube down my throat. My throat still considers that nothing should go back there that can not be chewed first or squeezed in to nothingness by my throat muscles. In other words "solid objects are forbidden". He saw what he wanted to see and had me do my "eeeee" and "uuuuuuu" and "ohohohoh" sounds while he checked out my vocal chords on the big screen.

Finally it was over. It must have lasted just a few minutes... maybe 10 or 20 all together... but for me it always feels like an eternity.

We sat down at his desk and went over the status and the future. He was pleased to announce that my entire throat area and upper chest are clear of cancer and have been for a while. He then came out with the first bit of really good news: as it's been more than a year now since the surgery he feels we can now see each other every 4 months rather than every 3 months. Most of you reading this are probably thinking: "big deal... one more month". But that means I will see him 3 times a year rather than 4 and that makes a big difference to me!

As we talked it was obvious that there are aspects, as I've always known, that I'm just "going to have to live with": the eternal lack of saliva (hyposalivation) and the "champignons" on the back of my tongue.

We plan on my next appointment for March 2007. I'm not holding my breath!

I went home and went to bed and slept with the comfort that, at least for today, I am (still) cancer free!

1 comment:

Jerry said...

I cannot find it in me anywhere to say now big deal, this is indeed music to my eyes, or some such thing. I am so happy I could cry with you. If I was a religeous man I would thank God, but there have been enough unseated republican politicians wasting God's time with their thanks for losint their respective elections, to which I say a resounding Praise be to Jesus, that it would be redundant. I will just say that I am very happy for you and us. Congratulations and may the news always be this good, bui I do want to watch the next time you are sitting with your tongue in his hand so I can say anything I want with no fear of verbal rebuke, for the moment anyway. As to having large objects slid down your throat, while bypassint the gag reflex, there is an old movie called Debbie does Dallas which could give you some pointers and maybe make the next visit a little easier. I love you Nephew and just hope the news continues to be positive.