Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Oncologist Appointment Today

I had a 5 month appointment with Dr. K, my oncologist, today. Everything looks good.

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As I have written before, I haven't been all that happy with my new oncologist (not really "new anymore, I guess, since it's been over a year since I started seeing him). The big problem, as I have said, is that he isn't my old oncologist, Dr. R. So far, Dr. K has seemed more interested in giving me prepared lectures than listening to me. The whole staff was kind of that way.

I thought that might happen again today. Since this was my first appointment of the year, they had to see how tall I am. The nurse and I joked a little about whether or not I was shrinking, and then she took my height (in centimeters). And then she told me what it was in feet and inches: "You're 5 feet 11." I was confused. "Really?" I said. "I've never been taller than 5 feet 9." She smiled. "Yup. 5-11. Like I said, you're shrinking!"

All very confusing, and as usual, I wasn't feeling listened to.

It got slightly better when I saws Dr. K. He saw me for about 5 minutes. We did make some small talk, which was nice. He gave me a (much shorter than last time) explanation of why a CT scan wasn't a good idea. Then he gave me a physical exam. It was a short visit, but I didn't get a frustrating lecture from him this time, so I see that as progress.

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All that's just fine.

The important thing is, I'm in good shape. He took blood again, and there don't seem to be any problems. He did a physical exam, and everything felt fine. And I have no issues of my own to report.

So I'm good for another 5 months.

I hope all of you are doing just as well.

11 comments:

Rodrigo Carvalho said...

Congratulation, Bob!

Anonymous said...

Happy for you!

Anonymous said...

Why CT scans aren't a good idea?

Anonymous said...

Excellent! And thanks for all your work on here Bob!

cricket said...

Thank you for your blog.
Are you aware of ways to mitigate the impacts of CT scans on digestion? I was crampy queasy and gassy for days following my last one. Any suggestions appreciated.

cricket said...

Thank you for your blog.
Are you aware of ways to mitigate the impacts of CT scans on digestion? I was crampy queasy and gassy for days following my last one. Any suggestions appreciated.

Lymphomaniac said...

Thanks, everyone. It's always nice to get good news, and I'm glad I could share it with you.
As for the CT scans, let me be clear -- they aren't bad. Just the opposite. They are excellent tools for getting an idea of what's going on inside us. The problem is, they use a lot of radiation to do their job. With Follicular Lymphoma, especially if it takes a more slow-growing path, then we could survive for another 30 years. If we were to have a scan every 6 months, there would just be too much radiation. The danger of too much radiation is secondary cancer -- developing another cancer on top of the lymphoma. So we still need scans, just not too often -- no more often than once a year, but even less frequently if there doesn't seem to be a need. And since I don't have a need, I'm going to go longer before I get another one. I expect to be around for a very long time.

Cricket, as for the stomach issues, I'm sorry you're having them. I always have them, too. It's from the stuff they make us drink before the scan. Since we need an empty stomach for the scan, the effects are even worse. I've tried to find information on how to make it easier on my stomach, but I can't find anything. It's normal for all of that bad stuff to last 24-48 hours. If it's longer than that for you, then maybe it's worth mentioning to the oncologist -- or to the radiologist or technician who does the scan. They may have some advice.
Sorry it happens to you. I feel your pain.
Bob

Anonymous said...

A CT scan of your abdomen and pelvis is the equivalent of 500 chest x-rays!! With increasing long term survival times for many Follicular Lymphoma patients, there is an increasing reticence to use CT scans other than at diagnosis and following treatment, not only because of long term secondary cancer concerns, but the limited diagnostic value, as often like with me small mass indolent lymphoma won’t show on a CT scan, even with contrast and nearly five years post diagnosis.

Anonymous said...

Oh Gosh, another thing to worry about.. My husband had folicular lymphoma on his abdomen.. So he has the risk of secondary cancers because of secondary effects of treatment and secondary cancers because of CT scans radiation..
How to keep worries aside?? He is 37..

Anonymous said...

Hi Bob thats great news im so happy for you! As for my husband, his recent blood work all normal, no B symptoms but Ct scan shows some wax and waning, some nodes reduced in sizes while some doubled but nothing more than 3cm. Doc ordered to repeat ct scan in 6 months to decide if treatment is to be initiated, the last scan was a year ago. for the mean time he is still on watch and wait, im wondering if he should stil get the scan given lack of B symptoms and blood work normal after 6 months - Jeanne

Anonymous said...

For Cricket & Bob, I also had horrible gastrointestinal issues with the CAT scan barium drink. I asked the technician about this and she explained its the "sorbitol" sweetner that is used in the drink that causes gas issues and more. For my next scan she had me bring juice drinks and she added a small amount of the contrast solution they inject you with (gives that warm feeling)into the juice. It was so easy to drink this, and there were no after effects at all.
She said it would not provide as strong a contrast as the barium does, but it should be good enough. Doctors did not complain and were able to read and identify changes in my lympth nodes and spleen. Ask for this for your next scan. - Michelle