I can’t remember when I started daily, sometimes it seems constantly – clearing my throat. It has to be a year, maybe two or three, but it is every day. I thought an allergist might identify the cause, so I made an appointment. His assistant took a felt marker and produced a spreadsheet on both of my forearms, complete with columns and headers. With a tray of pokers, she poked my skin in each cell with the corresponding poker and said she’d be back in 30 minutes. I sat in that quiet place, with a pillow in my lap and my arms steady on the pillow, it was a perfect time to catch up on prayer.
The spreadsheet reported zero allergies, next stop – another blood test.
Are We All Ready to Rumble?
My prostate surgery was almost seven years ago. We’ve continued regular PSA testing since then and the results have always been, “undetectable.” In reality, undetectable is actually detectable, but if the number is less than 0.1 ng/ml, it is considered undetectable. The voicemail with my December test results relayed a 0.15 score and a, “please call to make an appointment.”
I made the appointment and saw my Urologist. He seemed quite concerned and commented a couple times that this never happens this far out from the surgery (almost 7 years). He’d reviewed my file and seemed pleased that I already had a radiologist, because if today’s blood test verifies the last one, radiation may be prescribed. Where to radiate would be the question (since there is no cancerous prostate). He told me about a new technique that has just arrived in Portland, and is promising for that very issue.
I asked him; wouldn’t it be funny if the prostate cancer was positioning to play a big joke on the Multiple Myeloma cancer? I wondered if they would ever fight it out to claim my demise.
IN THIS CORNER: Prostate cancer – off to a good start, but seemingly eradicated with surgery. AND IN THE OTHER CORNER: THE INCURABLE Multiple Myeloma cancer – starting out determined, but then punched repeatedly with radiation, chemo, a stem cell transplant, and more chemo – it’s on the ropes, but still breathing. Prostate cancer crawls by the fingernails, back to the center of the ring with just a spark of life and says to Myeloma, “Incurable? I’ll show you incurable!”
A young lady who’s had two babies since she started taking my blood, took it once again. It was tested and the results relayed by voicemail: 0.15 confirmed, please call and make an appointment for two months from now.
I really felt fortunate to catch this action shot – my immediate supervisor at work – going off the rock pile jump on his bicycle, sailing over the mote and fence (in his Grinch pajamas). It’s a Public Works thing.