Monday, September 27, 2010

That Room

Dr. Gostonian was not at all what I had imagined she'd be like, and by that I mean barely in her thirties. She made me feel at ease, or as much as at ease as possible as one can be at their first appointment with the oncologist.

There was none of the BS "what seems to be the problem, etc." that one would expect. She had done her homework had memorized my labwork, story and even the size of my ever-enlarging liver, which "should be a maximum size of 11 cm." I am currently topping the liver charts at close to 17.

She did concur with me that what I am experiencing is asymptomatic of Still's Disease, if symptomatic symptoms can even be considered in the first place. It is a rare disease after all, there are no normal bits about it. Then again, you don't typically get debilitating joint pain with lymphoma either, but "it's not completely unheard of, though."

"We are going to move fast,and aggressively. I don't know if we will find what we expect to find, we may find a lot more, or something even different, but we will figure it out quickly and work on it." I did notice that she did casually leave out 'we may find less' but I tried to let that one slip my mind. Mom and I had the opportunity to ask questions, of which we had none, and were moved onto the next room, for blood work and an exam.

A pleasant nurse in her mid-forties came in to take my blood pressure. "Is that your natural color?" she asked a pale and red cheeked me, who was doing the best damn job of acting normal that I could.

"well, it's not abnormal." My skin was freezing to the touch and my face was doing a rendition of Santa Clause on Christmas Eve. Jolly red cheeks, sweating profusely from the brow.

"I'm going to take your blood pressure now, which I would not be surprised to find a little elevated. No one comes out of That Room, with a normal BP."

And the pleasant nurse in her mid-forties was right again. My normal BP of 110/70 had risen to the "slightly elevated" level of 140/100. I don't recall it ever being so high.

We will see just how high it can get when all is said and done.

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