Thursday, February 28, 2002

The bad news.

Well, the "definitive" test came back positive. I think. This is the high tech "flow cytometry" that I can't figure out except that it somehow sorts cells based on their size or whatever.

I got a call today from my other internist, who's watching over me while my other buddy is off for a few days. He said the test was positive and he was putting in a referral to Hematology/Oncology.

But though what he intended to say was that it was positive, what he really said was that the test "was suggestive of a low grade chronic lymphocytic leukemia."

"Suggestive." Now, I was led to believe that the test was definitive. Suggestive? I guess they really aren't sure yet (here's some denial on my part, but hey, I still can hope that I have that leukemoid reaction; my understanding is that it could take a bone marrow biopsy (yeowch!!!)to tell the difference between a benign leukemoid reaction and leukemia. And I've also found out that leukemoid reactions can be associated with various immunizations! Remember the Hepatitis A shot? So there's still some hope, I think.)

Suggestive, and low grade. Well, that doesn't sound too serious, does it? I guess how serious it is remains to be seen.

I've put in some calls to Heme/Onc to see if I can set up an appointment in the reasonably near future, though unless I get special handling as one of the staff, it may not be too soon; I'm sure they have sick people to take care of before I come in so they can hold my hand.

As if it's not busy enough around here, with us chasing my lab values, most of you may not know that Kathy is having major surgery next Wednesday. She's finally getting rid of her uterus now that it's become a major, major nuisance on a regular basis. So, I'll try to arrange my appointment (if I can get one that soon) around my work schedule and Kathy's surgery and recovery. Jen is going to come out and help us for a few days after Kathy's surgery so I can go to work and pay the bills.

So, that's the latest. I'll keep on sending out these updates as any information comes in.

Like Mom said in a e-mail today, Dad had his leukemia for 10 years [ed: it was really more like five years, it turned out] before he checked out, and that was with 1970's medicine and all his various medical problems. This may be like most men's prostate cancer; they die with their disease, not from it. She doesn't think it'll take a day off my lifespan. So there's hope(?); I may still have the big stroke I've always ( as a migraine sufferer) worried about rather that checking out from my leukemia, if I really have it.

Stay tuned.