It’s that time of the year, folks. No! I’m not talking about taxes (though, MaryBeth and I started to work on getting our papers together in order to file our 2009 tax returns). No, I’m talk about it being time for my quarterly bloodwork and CT scans. I am in the bowels of the Winship Cancer Institute, waiting to be called back to be stabbed in the chest so the nurses can draw 3 vials of blood. Actually, as bad as that may sound, I have a port in my chest, and it SOOOO beats getting stuck each time for an IV. Of course, even though they do not stick me in the arm for an IV to draw my blood, they will still do so when I get my scans (they use the IV to inject dye into my system to provide contrast on the scans). You may ask yourself, “But Merle! If they’re going to stick you in the arm, why not have them stick you to draw your labs?” Well, the simple reason is that I have to have my port line flushed every 6-8 weeks otherwise it could get blocked and/or infected (and I’m guessing that having an infection in a tube that runs into a major vein is a bad thing).
When last we “spoke,” I had been experiencing some pretty consistent nausea and that persists. Recently added to that is a wave of fatigue that I developed over the weekend which persisted into yesterday (so much so that I came home early from work). Yesterday was a good day nausea-wise; I only had to take my anti-nausea medicine once, but then again, I had to do so as soon as I woke up today. The real question that has been on our minds, then, is why am I all of a sudden experiencing this nausea? And thus we get to the meaning of the title of this post.
Occam’s Razor essentially says that if there are multiple possible answers to a problem, the simplest one is usually correct. Put another way, if you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras. Just before my nausea began, I started on a new drug to help with my mood (Lexapro). Shortly thereafter, I began feeling the nausea (the fatigue developed about a week after the nausea). The simple solution to my physical symptoms is that they are in reaction to the new meds. Unfortunately, these symptoms are VERY similar to how I felt in July, 2007 when all this fun began. MB checked me and determined I’m not jaundiced, but that does not mean the cancer is not back.
I wish I could be as optimistic with myself as I am with other people. I will be relieved if I am wrong, but I cannot help think that this is a sign that the cancer is back. We shall see. If you have any happy thoughts / positive energies / prayers, please send them my way. I will not receive the results of the scans until next Tuesday, so do not look for any news right away. As soon as I can, I will post.
In the meantime, I would also ask that you keep my friend Kathleen in your thoughts as well as she is dealing with some difficult stuff, too.
Thank you for all your support.