We’re in at early o’clock and I can feel nervousness rising. Husband is looking pretty good at the moment but we have no way of knowing what’s happening with the cancer. Some days he feels like he’s doing well, other days he doesn’t feel so good. We have no idea what the blood count will be today.
The CU is really busy. Cancer is so horribly common. I glance at the trolley with so many folders on it. Each folder represents a life, a person. Some are really thick so that person has presumably suffered many health problems, others are slim – maybe cancer snuck in unaware while they thought they were healthy. Cancer can hijack us at any time I suppose.
Dr Inscrutable calls husband’s name. Off we go, courage in my boots…
Doc looks relaxed, showing us into the staff tea room – they’re so busy that one doc is using the appointment room and the other the tea room…
The numbers are stable. Doc isn’t surprised, we can’t help being a bit disappointed – more than a bit really. Still, it’s only 6 weeks or so since the op and husband looks like a different man to the one who was being slowly killed by his spleen.
Husband asks if his body may have become so used to low levels of haemoglobin and to compensating for them that it might take a while for it to realise it needs to make more red cells. Doc says yes that’s entirely likely. We feel a little better but would still love to see a rise in those numbers! The good news is that while he is still anaemic he’s almost at 11 so ‘almost normal’, albeit on the very low side of normal: ‘a man like you would normally be around 13’.
Doc is happy that husband is stable and says he’ll monitor him less frequently as time goes on. His next appointment is in one month in the haematology clinic rather than the CU. This is good news but we’ve grown rather fond of the CU staff and know our way around so the new clinic is a little unsettling. We can’t quite believe that it’s safe to just get on with life and be checked at intervals. Husband is told he can work and can go on holiday in a few months. When asked what we should tell the travel insurers, ‘He’s in remission post splenectomy – that’s all they need to know. If they want anything further refer them to us’. Wow.
We don’t dare quite believe that husband is in remission – it seems to be dismissing the cancer, as if we’re worried that if we fail to give it due concern it will come back sooner, when we’re not looking.
The dog is ecstatic to see us but then he always is. He has no idea how close he came to losing 1 or both of us. Dogs can’t process things like that.