Friday, November 20, 2009

I Heart Schwartzes

That's just for lack of a better title. Following is the second half of my checkup with Schwartz. In this portion of our story, I learn several fun things including: I'm married to Breast Cancer and divorce is not an option. My only option is to widow the BC.

And a word about my move, since none of my friends seem to know what the hell my plans are and seem to be in denial that I'm leaving. I'm moving out of my SoBe pad the 2nd or 3rd of Dec. Head back to Jax for a week, then travel back down here for the Books & Books reading Dec. 11. Then back to Jax. Dec 19 I head up to the ATL for four nights, Savannah for a night, back to Jax then NYC for the holidays. Back to Jax for New Years, where Dana will be in town with all the rugrats and I'll finally get to meet Jaylen. Then the last week in January I'm back in the city for a whole week. So, yes I'm moving—around, with Jax. being my home base for the next couple months.

Okay, Part II, interview with Dr. Michael Schwartz, my lovely and talented onco. Before I go on, I have to say that Schwartz is incredibly soft spoken to the point where I had to hold the Handycam up to my ear to transcribe.

Me: "So this is the treatment protocol [for me] . . . oral chemo. Not infusions? Okay, I'm curious about the people who are always in chemo. [Like indefinitely, for years]. Does that mean they . . . "

Schwartz: "I'd imagine that the person would have that from the original diagnosis."

Mom: "So at this point in time with how she's doing in a short three weeks it's the way it should be?"


"But he hasn't gotten the workup back—"

Schwartz: "But you're tolerating the meds. Not every body does."

(Me, in a whatever tone.) "That's fine."

"That's the first thing—tolerating the meds. Second now we have to see whether it's going to work. It [the biggest node] does feel less bulky. Subjectively, I feel like we're moving in the right direction."

Mom: "So the bloodwork we're waiting on is the [tumor marker] and you'll get those in?"

"A couple days."

Here the light goes on and I realize that the CA 15-3 isn't in the books for today. Ruh-roh—that's the test I've been waiting for to put my mind at ease. I'd assumed the tumor markers should've gone down over a month.

"Ohhhhhhhh. You're not getting that today?" Apparently, the main thing that day was the CBC panel, which indicated that I was tolerating the meds—not everbody does, you know, natch, I'm a Cancer superstar again. Woo-fuckin'-hoo.

"Now, I'm not too concerned with today's 15-3." Uh, I was. "It's the next one [Dec. 1 check-up]. [Tumor markers] Often goe up when you start the treatment."

"Oh shit. I was thinking the [15-3] bloodwork would be back today." Sigh.

"At the start it's common for the numbers to go up . . . It's called a tumor flair."

"Omigod. I totally thought I was going to have the bloodwork today."

"It's feeling less bulky."

"For sure? So that's basically some physical proof."

* * *

Since mom is holding the camera, after almost every bit of 'good' news, I can hear mom make that pre-crying noise. Brother will know what I mean.

And next the fun part, which in my Xanemory I hadn't necessarily paid attention.

Meanwhile I'm heading to the Sawgrass Outlets to find a frock for my Heeb reading.

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed in a good way—Books & Books is probably the largest indy bookshop in Florida. Uh, no biggie! And it's Hanukkah, so hopefully I'll be able to move some books. I'm wondering if other writers think like me—from PR to marketing to thinking in terms of 'moving books.' It seems like we should have other people to do this stuff for us. Like an agent perhaps that I haven't even tried to get. Haven't even emailed the ones I know.