Sunday, February 18, 2007

Ned's moving in.

I met Ned again last week. You know, the old farmer dude that I met three months ago when I had my post-op checkup to see if the beast was really dead. Let me tell you about it.
Last Thursday I went in for another checkup. The routine was a bit different this time – I didn’t need to drink two gallons of spackle, just jump up on the table, get hooked up to the contrast injector thingy, and have a quick scan of my chest. I went into the control room after to take a look at the slices of my body. Fascinating stuff, like a personalized monochrome “Body Worlds 2”.
A two hour wait then to see the oncologist – the surgeon cancelled his appointment as he is out of town “on business”. In Cancun. Yeah, right.
Saw the onc who once more pronounced pride in his work and said I looked great, but he didn’t have the results and he’d call them in later on. Well, you can imagine what that’s like, waiting around all day for results. I feel great and have lost a lot of weight due to the operation so I guess I look a lot better and healthier than I have since Pontius was a pilot. Even so, as the scan date gets closer in the preceding weeks, the little dark cloud of anxiety builds up into a storm.
Kath and I haven’t just been waiting around for the last three months though. No, we’ve been intrepid. We decided to take a vacation to Central America in January, to Costa Rica. It was my idea; the increased awareness of your mortality and your possible proximity to it does make you a bit “carpe diem”, and I’ve always wanted to go there. Well, more to South America actually, but you have to offset the carpe diem feeling with a quick check of your bank balance. So off to Costa Rica we went for a week in January on an adventure holiday.
It was fabulous. We spent the first four days in a reservation in the rain forest in a cabana with no electricity and solar heated hot water. We went out each day - hiking, or horse-riding, or tree-climbing, or rappelling down waterfalls (the ultimate wet T-shirt contest). The evenings were spent with others in the group eating by candlelight and looking at the lightening bugs in the trees around the camp – so many they were like Christmas lights. We then spent a couple of days in a beach hotel, where we did a bit more hiking, and then the last day was a four-hour white water rafting trip. We arrived back to Boston tired but happy and not a little proud of ourselves.
The trip took my mind off the impending scan at least for a while but this time for some reason the wait was worse than the first time; the anxiety was doing a number on me. So waiting around for the results was purgatory.
I also had a physical exam that afternoon so that took my mind off things for a while. Having the physical on the same day as my check-up was pure coincidence. I booked it up last November, thinking that as I’ve had all these eminent guys looking just at my esophagus and surrounding superstructure, it might be a good idea to have my doc take a peek at the rest of me to see if any other bits are wearing out. Once more, no problems, but now I need to get a colonoscopy and have a dermatologist check my skin over. These people just feed each other work.
Off I went home to await the results. By the time I got home, I didn’t have too long to wait. The phone went, I picked it up, there was the onc, and he told me the good news – still no evidence of disease. Wouldn’t you know it, just at that moment my great pal Ned walks into the house; straw sticking out of his wellies, a slight whiff of earthy manure about his person, a very homey and comforting presence. “Afternoon Rog” he says. “Glad to see you’re still doing well.” “I’ve been wondering, since I saw you three months ago, what you and Kath would think of me sticking around here for a while.”
“Ned”, says I, “you can stay as long as you like.”


At 4:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great stuff Rog and you certainly have a way of using words in a very interesting way.
I think that you aught to start thinking about taking up the pen (or keyboard) and writing a book, it would make great reading; and I don't mean about your past medical experiences.

Best wishes anyway to you and Kath.

Your bruv


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