Good News/Good News/Bad News

Yesterday was a big medical day.

Good News 1:

First up was an appointment with my endo, who upped my synthroid dose quite significantly–almost doubling it. Let’s hope that handles the hypothyroidism. I expected that. The bigger shock was that he told me my parathyroids were working. My sense was that they were damaged during the second surgery and I would be on calcium pills for the rest of my life. Which was a bummer because I hate the calcium pills. They come in a size appropriate for horses and elephants, and they upset my stomach at inconvenient times (like the middle of the night). So no more calcium pills. Though I guess he could always be wrong. If my lips are numb, I’ll know what’s up.

Good news 2/Bad News (it’s sort of both):

Next up was the “simulation” which is the last step before they start external beam radiation.

And now for a gratuitous Jean Baudrillard quote:

“Medicine and the army […] are favored terrains of simulation.”
— (Simulacra and Simulation)

(We now return you to your blog post)

I went into a room with a bunch of masks on a shelf (sort of like a costume shop, but different). Some looked a bit like mine. Others were mesh (I suspect that’s what the brain cancer people wear). They did a bunch of tests and x-rays. There was much talk about whether the mask was tight enough. So my anxieties are not totally off base. Then they drew some marks on my body and painted over them. it’s not quite tattooing, as I’m sure the stuff will eventually come off but right now it looks like someone painted a trident on my chest.

Now the world will think–erroneously–that I have a thing for Poseidon.

The EBR is supposed to start next week Tuesday afternoon, but I will get a call Monday to confirm that because they are not sure whether to adjust, use or remake my mask. So there might be a delay. I’d rather they take their time and get it right than rush into things. But the real bummer of it is that after Tuesday, they’ve scheduled me for 7:45am every day for six weeks. It was late on Friday so the scheduler had already left, but the nurse got a few of my times changed. I’d asked for an afternoon time–any time. So I will try a range of strategies starting with reason and appeals to human decency to get the time changed to something approaching humane. Failing that, there is always begging. I don’t care if it’s a different time every day, I just don’t want to have to get up before 7am five days a week for six weeks in the summer. If they tell me the 32 people scheduled after me each day have a more important medical reason to have those slots than I do, I am willing to go with it, but somehow I kind of think that’s not the case.

I also met the dietician, which was interesting since her instructions varied a bit from the written instructions I’d gotten.

One reply on “Good News/Good News/Bad News”

  1. Hey Jonathan! Good luck with the EBR, and I hope you can get it rescheduled. The superimposed picture of the mask is indeed horror-movie-worthy (esp. with the snazzy suit, which makes it so much more menacing). But what I really want to see is simply a picture of you with no beard. It’s very hard to imagine.

    Take care, and may your treatments go well and lead to good health soon.

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