Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Lotta Cooks in this Broth

Don't you just hate it when your doctor is trying to reach you and can't? New GP, Dr. Leriche, was trying to reach me all weekend, but our phone wasn't ringing (now fixed) and he didn't leave a number. (He does seem a bit odd.) He even called the garage across the street.

By the time I got the messages, it was too late to really worry, so yesterday I called and went to see him. He had my blood results from Friday. Everything is off and platelets stand at 5. It's true that I'm covered with enough bruises to get Nick jailed for life (doctor's little joke), but I wasn't actually bleeding, so I didn't think it was that serious.

His face was a picture when I told him I'd been canoeing. "But you could hit your head and then it would be bleeding internally like your legs and you'd die"! Well, thanks for that hindsight. So glad I'm here for it.

He wanted me to go immediately for the transfusion, but I already had an appointment with the new surgeon and I said I'd go this morning. I always win these arguments, so Nick and I went to Avignon for shopping and then Carpentras to the doctor.

What a hunk! Perfect for Dr. Sériené, the now-divorced, former Dr. Litor. Perhaps I'll find out if he, Dr. Kanor, is married.

If I wanted the straight story, this was the place. My cancer is Stage 3c. I pretty much knew that, but I prefer the professional opinion. Internet research has its limits.

As for operating, that would be a last-ditch effort. He would have to remove not only the ovaries and uterus, but the bladder and anus as well. Then you get two pouches. He has several patients rolling along, merrily or not, seven years after this procedure, which is encouraging, if not especially attractive.

Would it restrict my life very much, I wondered. Well, he said, he had a footballer patient with a pouch (or two) playing at national level. I said I didn't really aspire to that. You know, a little jogging, a little cycling, a little canoeing. . .

I asked if he thought clinical trial would be appropriate and he said he would present my case to the interdisciplinary board next Tuesday. ("Like ours," Dr. Séreiné said when I told her. She didn't seem mad.) He wants to see my next "control" (checkup) scan after another chemo session or two.

Nick and I left, truth be told, a bit overwhelmed by a lot of information that is necessary to face, but still comes hard. But this morning I felt a lot better after I had digested the fact that this last resort. Chemo is still the way to go to control the cancer.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look to me too under control at the moment, blood tests being all over the place. My CA-125 is over 1100. I thought that was up from 358, but Dr. Litor said today that my last test, which apparently no one gave me, was at 1000, so that's O.K. She said I need a second treatment before a decision can be made on the protocol, and I am already scheduled for next Monday.

Here's the state of play. I've had the transfusion (more about that tomorrow). Dr. Kantor is going to call Dr. Latil, my current surgeon ("Not a bad surgeon, you know," said Dr. K.) Dr. Sérieiné is going to call Dr. Kantor. I assume they'll find a good story for me and tell me about it later.

You wouldn't think there would be a positive side to all this, would you? Well, there is. The other day I realised that I have finally stopped worrying about getting old and wrinkled. Bring it on!


  1. Margot,
    Sometimes (most of the time) you're so amazing you leave me speechless. We're all hoping for the best for you.

  2. I'll second that. First thought in my head after reading was how much I admire the velvet steel that is you. Good on ya, Madame. Second thought was why "Day of the Triff.L" led to nowhere. Still praying for you here in SATX.

  3. Sorry about Day of....A draft got away from me.

  4. Third that! I love your spirit!