Thursday, February 19, 2009

When you're first diagnosed with cancer, you start making connections that you never dreamed of having. At first it may be unconscious on your part. Maybe it's a need to know that you aren't unique in your situation or a need for a sense of belonging. One of the first connections I made was with my current oncologist.

I saw Dr. Bienvenue for what might be the last time today and I became a little sad. This was the man who put a name to my condition. He assured me that I wasn't crazy and he did his best to be sure that I held it together. He's gone the extra mile when Chris or I had concerns about crazy numbers and he's put up with a lot of strange questions. Always with a joke or a smile.

I went to my appointment alone today since Chris is out of town with his new job. Of course I had Chris on speaker phone when Dr. Bienvenue came in. It felt like a Seinfeld episode and everyone was very good natured about it. My numbers were good and Dr. Bienvenue could tell that I was on a steroid taper since my white blood cell count was in the normal range (finally!). Of course my red blood cell count and hemoglobin are low, but that's to be expected at this stage. I was told that I look excellent and that my numbers were outstanding. Pretty high praise from someone who deals with multiple cancers on a daily basis.

The last thing we discussed was our impending move to New Jersey. Dr. Bienvenue did his fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering so we chatted about New York and New Jersey. He gave me some excellent advice on moving to this foreign area that is the northeast. He also very generously offered to set me up with someone from MSK since I don't have anyone lined up to see me locally once I get up there. If you're in BR or the surrounding area and need a good Hematologist/Oncologist, I'd very highly recommend him.

I should be doing my taxes or culling my belongings in anticipation of the big move, but I can't seem to get motivated. There's a stack of papers 12 inches high waiting to get filed and several boxes of paper waiting to get sorted. I think I'll let them wait until tomorrow or the next day.


Susan Carrier & said...

I would be SOOO sad to say goodbye to my doctor.

Ugh! Filing papers and preparing taxes are two of my least favorite things. I'd rather scrub a toilet than file a paper (which may explain why I have spotless toilets but piles of paper). Since my office is in the basement, nobody but me has to look at it.

Anonymous said...

Ann, I've been following off and on for a while. Just wanted to say best of luck with the move. Moving is exhausting for people who haven't undergone almost two years of chemo. I can't imagine how tiring it will be for you-- and I can't help wondering if it would be worth having a moving company come to your house and pack for you?

Anyway, congrats on the job for Chris and the chance at a fresh start in a new place. I'll keep following from California and wishing you all the best.


Jim said...


I love seeing words like normal, outstanding and excellent in your posts.

And it is water weight ... It's amazing to watch the body change after steroids go away.

Michelle said...

I always get emo when I think about leaving my Seattle medical team. I'm going to miss them. Glad to hear your counts are looking fabulous.

We have been putting off taxes and dealing with paper stuff too. I'm sure you'll get through it.

p.s. I envy your strong bones. I am going to push for Fosamax.

Nancy said...

Hey Ann. I'm happy that your counts are coming along! Congrats!!! I, too, am putting off taxes and filing. It's what accountants do best... put off their own work. It's like the gardener whose own yard looks hideous or the pool mans home whose pool is green. I also have bone density problems following chemo... they've threatened fosamax - next time I'm going to take it. I just couldn't take one more pill at the time they were pushing it. Is it bone density problems or brain density problems? Hang in there! love ya, nance

Anonymous said...

Congrats on Chris' job!! I wish you all the best of luck with your move.