Radiation

I haven’t kept up with the status of the cancer thing lately. I didn’t have any new info for a while, and then I got busy dealing with the new information. When it rains, it pours, eh? I’m not sure what I said before, so I’m just gonna go over everything I know right now.

The lymph node removed from my left elbow had primary cutaneous anaplastic large cell lymphoma. It is a cancer of lymph cells that exist in the skin, not of the skin cells themselves. It’s not the most aggressive of cancers and we did catch it very early, so the prognosis is extremely good. I’ll be doing 4 weeks of radiation therapy to be sure that no cancer cells remain in the area of the biopsy. Beyond that, I’ll be watching it closely and seeing the oncologist in January for a follow-up.

I also have a related condition called lymphomatoid papulosis. The jury is out as to precisely how it works on a cellular level, but it is similar to lymphoma except that it poses little threat to my health. There are only two problems with it. The first is that it causes small lesions on my arms and legs, each of which has a small chance to metastasize into a malignant lymphoma. The second is that while there are treatments, it’s currently incurable. I can only monitor it and take care of any malignancies that develop as a result.

The radiation has been scheduled so that I can go back to school on schedule, though without much time to settle in. My first appointment is this afternoon. Hopefully life can go back to relative normalcy now.

By the twiddling of my thumbs…

Ten points if you can give the playwright, play, act, and scene that the title refers to. Points cannot actually be redeemed for anything.

I promised that I’d do an update by today, and seeing as today is drawing to a close, I figured I should do it! The good news is that my bone marrow sample came back negative. That means that the cancer has not spread into the marrow, which would be exceedingly bad. When I think about how bad things could be, I feel afraid. I feel so lucky to be in in the situation I’m in, all things considered.

The oncologist also mentioned a slim outside chance that the lymphoma diagnosis was a false positive. That would be incredibly relieving, but also terribly frustrating. I’ve lost my whole summer to this. Don’t get me wrong, I would rather they tell me that I don’t have cancer. I’m also glad that we’re going to all the effort of being sure. I just wish the whole thing hadn’t happened at all. I guess that kinda goes without saying

I’m pretty bored a lot of times. If you’re in the Greater Rochester or Finger Lakes regions of New York (and I guess I could go as far as Syracuse) I’m looking for something to do.

SPF: My Back.

I lied to Kristine and told her that I wouldn’t be playing SPF this week. I’m sure she’ll forgive me though, seeing that I’m now playing.

My Back

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Wednesday I visited the oncologist and had a marrow sample taken. It is the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life. I’m actually looking for a woman who has both given birth and had marrow taken to compare them for me.

I should also note that this is the most unflattering picture of myself that I have ever allowed to be on the internet. To properly show off my bandage, my pants were at the exact level which makes my ass look worst. I may have to show you a better one eventually (if you’re lucky).

I’m seeing an oncologist because three weeks ago today, I had a biopsy done on my left elbow (pictures to follow when I’m on a better connection). 7 June 2007 I recieved a call from my doctor informing me that I have lymphoma. I’m going to do a whole writeup of the past few weeks eventually, but right now I’m at Relay for Life trying to build up some karma for the months to come.

I’m doing just fine, and the prognosis is good.

What’s in a Name?

My name is David. That was also my dad’s name, but that has nothing to do with it. Mom said she knew her first son would be named David since she was a little girl. I’m not precisely sure how she came to that decision. I personally like the name Nicholas. Maybe that’s what I’ll call my first son. It’s interesting without being too strange. I feel bad for kids who have names their mom made up under the effect of an epidural. They won’t say so (because they can’t), but an employer looks differently at Flowerstar Moonleaf Jones than Peter James Smith, even if his friends do call him PJ.

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Schedule

I have a terribly scattered schedule. I have to be on campus for a brief period every morning and for most afternoons, with a big empty space in the middle. Gives me time to blog… er… do homework. Yeah. Homework. My schedule is below.

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Summer Plans

The semester, and my time at Cobleskill, is drawing to close. I don’t know if it’s going to, but the whole looking back and reminiscing and missing everyone thing hasn’t hit me yet.

I wasn’t able to find an internship with a vet in my area, and not for lack of trying. I sent résumés all over, called everyone, and the one place that offered any hope filled the spot while I was in the middle of trying to set it up. GAH! I did find a place in Indiana which does wildlife rehabilitation, so I’m going out there. Steven has an apartment there starting in June, so I’ll stay the summer with him, get a part-time job, and get some animal work experience.

I haven’t gotten any letters from colleges yet, so I don’t know what my new school colors will be. Anything would be better than black and orange The only way it could get worse is if I go to Virginia Tech (my top choice) and end up with maroon and orange. I’m not worried, but I am a bit annoyed. I do have preparations to make.

My Happy Place

I was reminded tonight that I have a happy place. Just two days ago I was helping Amby with meditation, trying to help her establish one, but I didn’t even think of my own. It’s been far too long since I’ve meditated. For me, meditation is like induced lucid dreaming. I pick the starting point, but the whole thing is generally very free-form, and I don’t try to control too much. It’s just a nice way for me to relax.

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My happy place is more of a thing than a place, but bear with me. It’s a blue convertible, top down, at night, on a full moon. I’m driving south along the Pacific coast, and it’s around 77°F out. The radio is off, there are no console lights, and the moon is so bright that I’ve turned off my headlights. The road is on a cliff a hundred or so feet above sea level, with another cliff rising on my left. I’m alone. I’m wearing a pair of mesh shorts and sandals, so I can feel the wind. Sometimes I’ll just pull over and stare at the reflection of the moon on the ocean.

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