twas a working birthday but maybe the best birthday ever
I got home a little after midnight last night after sitting for 9 hours straight with various students (one of whom is not one of ‘mine’ but one from another department that I’m tutoring and so got paid for my time so that was all good). I’ve been going nearly out of my mind trying to get everything done that must be done in order for me to fly stateside for two days at the end of this coming week and still have a list of stuff to do that is a mile and a half long. I won’t even know until Sunday night if I’ll be able to make the trip. BUT the email from my Ema I opened yesterday made it possibly the best birthday ever.
You know, my Ema was diagnosed a couple of years ago with two different forms of lymphoma, one of which could be treated and eradicated with chemo and radiation but the other has no cure or effective treatment and is a killer but more slow-growing than the one that can be treated, but only giving a max of like 5 years survival time. She went through a round of hell with chemo and radiation that damn near killed her (no exaggeration). Then a few months ago, she was told the chemo wasn’t effective, that the treatable cancer was even more advanced (stage IV and not stage III) than they initially thought and they set her up with a battery of tests at a cancer specialist hospital in Houston.
Well. The test results Andersen did are saying now that she doesn’t have cancer. Of any kind. They’ve done a biopsy but may need to remove a full lymph node for further testing. They know she has something that does major attacks on her immune system but don’t know what it is other than the results show it isn’t cancer — or anything else commonly known. There are several system-attacking viruses that can get deep in your system and recur (become activated) again and again while going dormant in-between and, it seems, some other possible things that she may have that are pretty rare and don’t show up on standard tests.
I’m pulling out bells and whistles and doing backflips but not lighting up the whole fireworks store just yet. She has been misdiagnosed and misdiagnosed so many times. Whatever their final test results show we are going to take her to either the Mayo clinic or another clinic that specializes in lymphoma in Colorado for additional testing for a new set of ‘second opinions’ and I want to bring her here for an intensive battery of tests with every specialist in just about everything we’ve got here. I trust our doctors (after getting a second opinion) but the U.S. medical system — not so much. Not at all anymore.
Today, though, I’m celebrating. If these latest test results are accurate then this will be the best birthday I’ve ever had in my life.