Cancer update: an unexpected vacation

Last week I had my monthly meeting with my oncologist. I would have written sooner but HOLY SHIT ONLINE TEACHING IS A LOT OF WORK. Also I spent the weekend building a bed and wiring up a pedalboard (unfinished business from the summer). So here we are.

Everything is going well. My tumour marker is nice and low, my blood pressures are stable, and I totally forgot we didn’t get my neck scan results last month. Turns out they were fine too.

Getting my bloods done was a thing, though. I went in to the Jewish General Wednesday morning and the cancer centre was a zoo. Or rather, there were 2-3 nurses working for drawing bloods, social distancing rules in place, and a lot of unruly and angry elderly people. The patients were overwhelmingly white. Two of the nurses were black. At one point there was a woman who was refusing to move. People were crowding the door, and “taking a tone” with the nurses like they were slacking. I can’t believe the amount of rudeness and outright hostility they are having to put up with. They are doing their jobs well and carefully. I understand people have appointments and everything is behind schedule, but if I’ve figured out that if your bloods are delayed at the Jewish, your doctor is too, surely the other patients can as well. I was not sure how to intervene but if it happens next time I’m there (my October blood appointment is at 9am so I imagine it could well go down like that) I will need a plan in place. All I did this time was tell the nurses I appreciated them and was sorry for all the BS they had to put up with. But it was a really racist scene.

The big cancer news is I’m on a vacation from Lenvima for the next couple weeks. I have a sore on my foot that will not heal. So the idea is that I’m doing well enough to go off the drug for as long as it takes to heal. Then I’ll go back on. I’ve been off since Friday night. I already had to go off one of my blood pressure meds as I was getting super dizzy Saturday while building the bed (Carrie wound up having to do more bending because I kept almost falling over). My digestion is changing as well–for the better. Tonight I ate a salad and…so far so good. And my foot isn’t all healed but I went for a walk tonight without taping it up and there was no pain, so it’s already better. My hands also feel better, though they’re still a bit sensitive. But I played bass for a few minutes today sans gloves and…my hands didn’t mind.

I’m curious what else I’ll notice going off it. I’d been wondering how I was ever going to get to eat a pizza (you know, the kind with mozzarella) again. Well, I think soon I’ll be able to once my stomach repopulates its biome. That’s probably not how stomachs work but whatever, you get the point.

I’m rooting for my foot to heal, but perhaps not so fast I don’t get to optimum pizza readiness. I think I’ll also get some ice cream while I’m at it.