22 years

Unrelated to the rest of this post: I took this selfie at the Weston Art Gallery. It’s a work by Chris Engman called Containment and it’s a part of the FotoFocus biennial that is wrapping up in Cincinnati. I really liked “stepping in’ to this photo.

22 years ago, my oncologist and I decided to kick the proverbial can of treatment for Non-hodgkin’s Lymphoma down the street. Instead of employing chemo or radiation, it made more sense to “watch and wait” because I wasn’t symptomatic and frankly? Sometimes procrastination can be super beneficial.

I’ve been kicking that can down the street Every. Year. Since.

Today I met with a new oncologist since my last doctor of 17 odd years retired.

After reviewing my file, the new doc’s initial response was “These numbers are a clear indication that treatment should be administered.” But having met with me, he now understands the perspective of my former doctor… My case is still quite the anomaly. I’m pretty darn healthy, and some of my numbers actually IMPROVED since last year.

What to make of it?

We’re going to get some additional scans with blood work and consider everything at a glacial pace.

It’s important to note, when we decided to watch and wait way back in 1996, the idea was that more effective treatments might be around the corner.

22 years later, there are LOTS of WAY NEW approaches to treat this particular blood-borne cancer.

Oh, I should mention, it’s in style to categorize my Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma as CLL or Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia these days. I thought I had both so it’s news to me. So confusing.

Last bit of interesting info from our appointment? There’s a specialist up at The James at OSU that is renowned for working with CLL patients. Maybe he’d find my case of interest? Worth a visit for sure!

Me? I feel fine. I mean, sure, I could probably feel a lot better… But I feel best when I know as much information as I possibly can. And so here I go, picking the can up to examine it before I decide if I’m going to kick it down the street again.