I put the revolver to my head again today, and took 240 tortuous minutes to pull the trigger. It clicked.
We arrived early for two 8am blood tests - one test for white blood cells, and another for beta-XCG (the hormone marker for Choriocarcinoma). Moniek was laughing about how cancer had changed me. The old, wrinkly purple-rinse lady in the lab has magical pain-free needle skills; I was hoping for her instead of one of the young nurses. I got lucky. But I think she was taking the piss, because she used the cartoon dinosaur arm-strap instead of the proper paramedic one. The vials were filled red, triple-checked, and marked ‘urgent’ so we could get the results today. Over coffee, I braced myself for the dreaded B-chemo. I’d been quietly steeling myself since yesterday afternoon.
I’ve been eating like I’ve got two arseholes, but the scales in Dr Karmen’s clinic showed that chemo has eaten 5kg of me. I flicked through a vacuous, sycophantic fashion magazine with (as Bob Dylan sneered in ‘Like a rolling stone’) all the pretty people drinking thinking that they’ve got it made. I was called into her office at 10am.
My white blood cell results had arrived, but not the beta-XCG; it’s a much more complex and time consuming test. My immunity levels had dropped, and so it would be too risky to undergo B-chemo today. My blood had been exceptionally strong until now, so the anti-climax was disappointing and exhausting. Instead, Dr Karmen administered a new concoction to boost my white blood cell count and re-planned chemo for tomorrow. The deadline for ‘Brian’ quotes (see below) has therefore been extended ... ‘ooh, you lucky bastard’.
We discussed potential scenarios. If this booster medicine fails, she has a stronger alternative on the top shelf. If that fails, I’ll need a bone marrow transplant.
|Someone's watching over me ...|
bit it ain't no porcelain statue!
Each time the phone rang, my heart raced. False alarms. Back at Ilse’s apartment, I was too edgy to watch television. The mobile rang and Dr Karmen’s name appeared on the screen. Deep breath. Pleasantries were rushed before the nurse gushed ‘we’re happy to say that your beta-XCG count has dropped to six point seven’ ... ‘can you repeat that?’, I gulped in amazement ... ‘yes, six point seven’ ... ‘thankyou Dr Karmen, thankyou God, thankyou to all my family and friends’. Click.
I feel like screaming, dancing and air-guitaring with joy in star-spangled boots: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBR0T3f7tUw