Friday, May 16, 2014

Crossing the Bridge of Hope

The Bridge of Hope
On a day like today when I have appointments at Dana-Farber and at Brigham and Women's, I get a lot of exercise going back and forth over the bridge connecting the two.

So it was today when I had an x-ray and ultrasound in the old Dana Building and a GI consult at the Brigham.

The two appointments brought to mind the fact that five years can seem like a short time and a long time.

Being in the old building brought back memories of my first appointment there, of my bone marrow biopsies there, of the appointment where I learned of my first relapse and of the many hours spent in the close quarters of the waiting room.

I've had tests downstairs in the imaging suite before, but sometimes it just hits me, like it did today when I hopped up on the table, how at one point I had to be wheeled on a stretcher to tests like this and could not possibly have moved over to the table on my own.

The ultrasound technician scanned the lump on my thigh, checked out the results with a doctor and quickly returned to say that the area is merely a calcification, located, perhaps not coincidentally, under the scar from where my crazy dog Charlie attacked me.

Walking over to the Brigham across the Bridge of Hope, I almost always draw the distinction between the present and the past when I was either in a wheelchair or pulling an IV pole. The motif of birds carrying medicinal herbs was inspired by the Emily Dickinson poem, Hope is the Thing With Feathers, making the bridge such a peaceful place.

The GI specialist, Dr. Lo, meanwhile, said my problems probably stem from my Graft vs. Host Disease of the gut, diagnosed in 2009.
Dr. Daniel J. Deangelo with patient

I had totally forgotten about this, and nobody ever mentions it. I thought I only had two areas of GVHD, my liver and my eyes. Dr. Lo said it didn't really matter, because the treatment for all is the same: prednisone.

But there are still some unanswered questions, so he ordered more tests.

On the way out at the valet parking cashier level, one wall is covered with photos of Dana-Farber doctors. I always say, "Hi, Dan," to the photo of my first doctor, Dan DeAngelo. I don't get to see him that often since I have switched to Dr. Alyea, but I am always happy when I do.

So today I took a picture of his picture.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bravo! Runderful Ronni...