Saturday, April 25, 2015

"YOU ARE BORING'" the Doctor Said

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a GBM , you've been told that it's not a matter of "if" it will return but "when," setting off a silent but horrifying ticking time bomb in your life.  Doctors don't drop this news gently.  They usually tell you to get your life in order, and encourage you to finish up that bucket list. 

"You can expect to live 6 to 14 months," they told Ted.

 Because you are reading this blog, it is likely that you or a loved one has been given this grim prognosis. It has been almost ten years since Ted was diagnosed.  That's ten years of our lives living under the umbrella of doom. It's categorically better than the alternative, so I'm not complaining, and I'd don't fault the doctors. They mean no harm and many are working hard to bring attention to this awful cancer, but I realized at Ted's last oncology appointment that even though we may never hear the word "cure" or even "remission," there are some words that can ease the pain.  

Dr. Kolibaba
Dr. Kolibaba impersonator 

 

Ted's oncologist, a brown haired Bette Midler look-a-like, blew into the room with her usual bolt of lightning energy, and said, "YOU ARE BORING. I don't need to see you again for six months."  


 Ted used to be a drama major before he became a physical therapist, so he couldn't help but make a face and pretend to be offended.  This reaction, of course, compelled all of the ladies in the room, two nurses and the doctor, to reassure him that this was the best possible news a patient in their office could ever get. 

 Ted said, "I never thought it was going to kill me anyway; besides, I have other health issues that will probably take me down first."  

Dr. Kolibaba looked a little startled.  

"What do you mean?  What else is going on with you?" she asked.

"I have cataracts and a blind spot," he said.

"That's not going to kill you," she said.  

"Yes it could," Ted responded." I could walk off a cliff or into a wall and fracture my skull."  

Ted makes them laugh, which is probably a very good thing in that office.  And it doesn't hurt for me to laugh every once in a while either.