Friday, September 27, 2013

Dr. R Visit

I had my 4 or 5 month or so check up yesterday with Dr. R. Everything looks fine.

As usual, we do a three-part visit: I get blood work done (complete blood counts, plus LDH), he does a physical exam, and we talk about how I've been feeling. Without a scan, it's about as thorough a check of my lymphomic health as I can get.

The results: Blood work looks "perfect," as he said. My check on how I'm feeling (good -- nasty asthma this fall, but I'm still running three days a week) led to the physical exam. The last few visits, I've had some lumps on my upper right arm. Hard to say what they are -- they are kind of on the edge of the area of where the nodes are located, but they're spread out, and they don't grow terribly fast, if at all. They aren't bothering me (that is, they aren't making my arm swell, the way the nodes in my leg did, leading to the Rituxan). The only bother is that I wonder what they are. Maybe nodes, says Dr. R.; maybe collections of lymphoma cells under the skin; maybe lipomas, fat deposits under the skin. But at this point, nothing that causes alarm.I'm keeping an eye on them.

I go back in early January. He doesn't think a scan is necessary, though maybe we'll do one next year just to see how everything looks inside. Of course, he said that last year, too. At one time, I would get nervous if I went too long without a scan. I feel less anxious about it these days.


One comment about the office: I can officially say I don't like it. Over a year ago, Dr. R and colleagues private practice was taken over by Yale New-Haven Hospital. It's actually a branch of the hospital now, so when I go, I have to check into the hospital and get a bracelet and everything else. Since this has happened, my visits have been less satisfying.

Don't get me wrong -- I love Dr. R. I love the nurses and office staff. The phlebotomist draws blood and I barely know the needle is in. But lots of other stuff is My appointment was for 10:15, but my reminder call said it was for 12:00, so I had to call and get that straightened out. They didn't do blood work (which I thought was strange, and asked Dr. R to do it), so I had to interrupt my visit to get blood taken. When the nurse reviewed my history, she had the wrong pharmacy down. None of a big deal, really, but it's all different from the way it was before. I don't know if it's the computer system messing things up, or if it's human error that comes about because they have so much extra stuff to do. I've given it a year, and I don't like it.

No plans to change oncologists. Just one more thing on the road to making me a grumpy old man.


But the upshot is: it was a good visit. I'm still a pretty healthy guy, for a cancer patient, and happy (and a little grumpy) about it.


Anonymous said...

congrats on your clean bill of health! but sorry to hear about the hospital , regards! - Jeanne

Anonymous said...

Glad it's going well...keep the faith.


PS. found out 2 weeks ago that mine has transformed to DLBCL. Got a port on Monday, heart test Tuesday, R-CHOP Wednesday, Neulasta on Thursday, and I am back at work today. Actually feeling pretty good.

Lymphomaniac said...

Thanks, Jeanne. Good for now, but always keeping an eye on it.

Steve, Sorry to hear about the transformation. Sounds like you hopped right on it, though, and that R-CHOP is wonderful stuff. Good luck with the treatments, and let me know how things are going.


Anonymous said...

Hello Bob Iam been charmed with of greeting him. I am affected of linfoma folicular grado1 stadium 4,I'am is watch and wait for the present time, go a year of the official diagnosis, but with the inguinal ganglion at least 3 years. Also I run like your, and train 5 days a week 8 km. I am married and have a girl, my mother lives with us and already it has advanced age, but it helps me very much emotionally. Your blog for my has been a treatment to my stress, before knowing your blog it was looking non-stop in Internet for news, patients with my problem, today I go direct to your blog to reading it it transmits many positividad. Thank you for this labor that faeces that it helps so much all. I write to you of the Canary Isles,I'am Canary, and am 48 years old, work and I sit down young woman still to die.My husband me fights very much because it sees me often crying and sadly, but I cannot avoid it it is difficult, very difficult. Well, I am going to continue reading you always, regards to your wife and girls. I travel to Navarre to my visits, now it touches a Pet-tac, we will see since it goes out. Estan doing a few tests with vaccines of tobacco that hope that they are OK for the linfoma folicular. Good a greeting and I am still reading and corresponding if I me am of the pleasure of you. A greeting, my Englishman belongs to the translator google so they excuse the inconveniences. A GREETING MARRAKEL

Anonymous said...

Hi Canary, this blog is a God-send indeed, it helped us through our most difficult time, i look forward for new posts and reread the past articles from time to time, and Professor Bob's humor really got us laughing and lifts our moods, thank you again Bob! - Jeanne

Anonymous said...

Hi Lympho Bob,

Just wanted to say that I have been reading your blog for the last year or so and have found it very informative and reassuring.
I was diagnosed with primary duodenal folliculat lymphoma over two years ago and have been on watch and wait since.
Just wanted to know that your blog is very much appreciated, so keep up the good work and take care.

Lymphomaniac said...

Thank you all for your kind words. It is very gratifying to know that I am able to help out, even in my small way. I wish you well with your Follicular Lymphoma journeys, and if there is some way I can help, please let me know.

And stay in touch.