All right, so here I am to give you remaining devoted stragglers an update on what's been going on lately. Actually it's been quite a bit.
|View from our balcony|
Gretchen did well during this vacation, though she is still recovering from her esophagus surgery in August. It has been a slow process. On January 13, she went in to Beth Israel to have her esophagus dilated by Dr. Michael Kent for the third time. That seemed to help, as she's able to keep things down better. She is just now starting to eat more solid foods to supplement her smoothies and protein drinks.
Just to complicate things, she had gall bladder problems and it needed to be removed. Serendipitously, the best GI surgeon at Beth Israel is Tara Kent, wife of Michael. She scheduled the surgery for January 31. She made sure that the entire team, including Michael, was there to help if there were any issues. Fortunately, the laparoscopic surgery went well with no complications. Gretchen came home the same day. She is now home recovering and seems to be doing well. Let's hope that she will feel a lot better soon.
We are so grateful to be near Boston where we have access to top specialists providing unparalleled medical care. We learned something interesting about Dr. Tara Kent while there. One of the nurses told us that when the Boston Marathon bombing happened, all the Operating Rooms were filled with patients, but they had more victims coming in. They then set up an improvised OR in the recovery area right where Gretchen was, and this nurse helped as Tara attended many of the wounded coming in. The nurse said that Tara was absolutely incredible as she helped save peoples lives in this improvised environment. What an amazing story! How lucky are we to have these people in our lives!
Well, what about me? I know you are all really anxious to know. Anyway, I had my colonoscopy and endoscopy last month as I reported. I got the biopsy results back which were favorable. My Barrett's esophagus is minor with no dysplasia, so I don't have to go back for another 3 years to check on it. As for my colonoscopy, no polyps, so I'm to come back in 10 years! Yeah right, like I'm even going to be here in 10 years. If I am, and I have dementia, I implore any of you out there to please shoot me. With Donald Trump as president, there should be easy access to a murder weapon! And I forgive you in advance.
As for my MM progress, my latest visit was great! I'm still in remission and my numbers look good. I have an appointment next month with the hematologist, Dr. Connors, to check on my iron level numbers to see why I tend to have anemia. We'll see. So far, my red blood cell counts are fine since my last iron infusion last fall.
My latest issue is with a growth on my forehead. I've had this for a about 3 months now. I went to my PCP and he thought it was an infection. I then went to see my dermatologist in December and she thought it was an inflamed cyst. She gave me an antibiotic, but it didn't help. I finally went back to Dr. Stewart last week to have the cyst lanced. She thought it looked like a normal cyst, but she took a biopsy to check just in case. Guess what? The biopsy came back today and it is a squamous cell carcinoma! That's just great. What else do we need right now to further complicate our lives, huh?
Anyway, she referred me to a plastic surgeon to take care of it so I won't look like the Frankenstein monster afterwards, I hope. I have an appointment next week to schedule the surgery. I am now paying the price for all those years of basking in the sun with my lilly-white Irish skin. Luck of the Irish, right?