Friday, December 23, 2016

My mind is running away and it's hard to catch it

I have an early appointment this morning at Dana-Farber with Dr. Liu (Stephanie), the expert in subcutaneous dermatology, who will hopefully settle the questions over whether I should go back to every two weeks of ECP (1) and what is going on with the spot on my ankle (2).

1) Probably go back to two weeks. My hands and legs are getting puffy again, and I am seeing more spots on my hands. (Though it hasn't hurt my tennis game because I played well this week and even had an ace.)

2) In the absence of a diagnosis, my overactive mind has been filling in the void with everything from a flesh-eating bacteria to some mysterious cancer that will be the one to do me in, a sneaky thing as I was being vigilant against leukemia.

Picture me on my fainting couch, like Blanche Dubois saying, "You know what I shall die of? I shall die of eating an unwashed grape one day out on the ocean."

I admittedly have an over-active imagination, exacerbated by a dose of PTSD, but the bacteria idea didn't come out of nowhere. A few days after my biopsy last Friday, I got a call from a doctor covering for Dr. Yang (the one who did the biopsy.) He asked if it was getting larger, to which I said no. He told me preliminary reports show a kind of bacteria that usually shows up in the throat but not on the skin, and that I should keep applying the antibacterial ointment until we get the results.

The spot burns on and off. Sometimes it's very painful.

My internist wouldn't play the reassurance game when I went to see him for a medication matter. "It's been there for so long, it's not going to do me in, right?"

A nice answer would have been "probably not."

Instead, he said, "Let's just wait for the biopsy."

I paged Melissa, who knows the drill.

I said the uncertainty was making me a little crazy, and she said she understood and said she would keep on top of it. Hopefully it will be settled today.

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