Well it was actually more like I Heard the Sign (love me some throwback Ace of Base). The hours leading up to receiving my lab results today had me a bit anxious. For those of you that are in the same boat as me – monitoring blood cancer, you know that we follow a different calendar year. There are no “months”, as time is measured in chunks of days or weeks between labs, always wondering what things will look like after the next “chunk” passes.
Today was one of those work days where so many things went wrong leading up to leaving for my oncology appointment. So much so that I had myself convinced this was a bad omen. Keeping a positive attitude is key, and even when the rest of your life is being dictated over and over again by these results, it’s easy to trick yourself into thinking: man, maybe my time is up and this is it (it being needing treatment). As I fumbled with the radio in my car, I was not content with finding a song option that helped to combat my current mood. I resorted to the only song that even seemed tolerable, and I’ve now forgotten what it was. The next song came on and I laughed to myself, instantly knowing that things were going to be just fine.
Yes, they are fine. My levels are stable. I will post the actual numbers when they hit my patient portal for those of you that know how to read those things. But everything has pretty much stayed the same since April 2015 when I was diagnosed. Free light chains, immunoglobulins, etc. are pretty identical to diagnosis. Still very low WBC of 2.8 and neutrophils of 600. Textbook speaking, my body has a hard time fighting off infections, but if you know me, you also know I haven’t been sick beyond a cold since diagnosis.
So what was the sign? Some of you know that I have a special needs dog at home who suffered a ruptured disc in October 2013 and needed back surgery. He learned to walk again but has some funny traits as a result of nerve damage. Some dogs shake from time to time like they just got out of a pool of water. My guy does that too, but the back end of his body doesn’t know it’s time to stop shaking. It continues to vibrate like a lawnmower that can’t decide if it wants to start. He’s become known among my friends for his “vibrations”. He cannot itch his own back so it seems to be his way of getting his itches out. My husband has always said our dog’s theme song is “Shake it Off” by Taylor Swift because of this trait. About a year ago we thought he was going to have to have another surgery, this time for a suspected hernia. I prayed the night before his appointment and pleaded with my mom to watch over him (for my new readers, my mom passed away from breast cancer in early 2013). At the vet appointment, I discovered that there was no hernia like I had been told nearly a year earlier; it was just a muscle that stuck out oddly due to atrophy in surrounding muscles. My pup and I hopped into my car, I started it up and on came “Shake it Off”! I knew my mom was letting me know she had pulled some strings for for him, just like I knew she was watching over me when the same song came on just minutes before arriving to my oncology office.