Friday, April 09, 2010

pictures big and little

I woke up yesterday morning with a sore throat and a headache.

Here we go again. Having a compromised immune system is no picnic. In the last year, I missed my Toronto book launch because of the flu, got H1N1 on the day the vaccine became available, was hit by Norwalk virus when my spouse was away (and found myself crawling along my kitchen floor with a can opener to "make dinner", got pink eye and more little flus and colds than I want to count.

Chemotherapy destroys cancer cells. It also destroys the cells that fight illness. Despite the fact that I try to limit my exposure to germs, wash my hands regularly, get enough sleep and eat well (not to mention the ten doses of Neupogen with which I inject myself after every treatment), I seem to fall prey to almost every little bug that passes my way (and when you have kids, lots of little bugs pass your way).

I am, literally, sick of it (I've also had benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. That had nothing to do with my immune system and was mostly just an annoyance. And when I realized that I did not have a brain tumour, I was actually kind of amused in a "of course this would happen to me at this point in my life" sort of way. Also, my golden, Emma, had a couple of bouts with geriatric vestibular disease, which I think is basically the same thing).

I need a break from chemo and I'm taking the month of April off. On the day when I would normally be at the cancer centre, I will be travelling home on the train from Toronto with D. (we will have been visiting grandparents, hanging out at the Bat Cave at the Royal Ontario Museum and the Harry Potter Exhibit at the Science Centre).

I'm not losing sight of the bigger picture, though. I have a CT scan today (abdominal and thoracic) and I am worrying about it. 

Because I always do. 

I'm fretting about my veins and how many times (and where) they'll have to poke me before they can inject the contrast but I'm also anxious about what the pictures will show.

Hopefully, everything will look normal and healthy, except for the scars that cover my liver. Hopefully, I can add this to my least of clean scans. And, hopefully, I can keep going through this routine, with the same results for years to come.

I haven't started to take the clean scans for granted. I doubt that I ever will.


sassymonkey said...

Oh you will love the Harry Potter exhibit. I saw it in Chicago last year.

Andrea -- Just One More Book!! Podcast said...

Beaming you good, good vibes for a spic and span scan, a flu-free weekend and an absolutely awesome April off.

Hope to see you around.


Finola said...

It sounds like a great idea to take some time off. I'm not sure how you go through all that that you do and keep such a great attitude. I think waiting for test results all the time would make me a basket case (or I should say MORE of a basketcase!)
I think you're awesome. Take good care.