Have Some Pie

Imagine — or try to, anyway — that you were expecting news that your favorite person in the world, the person you had chosen to live your life with, was about to die. But first, in order to get that information, you had to subject your favorite person to a battery of tests.

None of them comfortable, many of them painful.

Imagine what it’s like to sit for half an hour with that person in the doctor’s office while you wait for the results of those tests to be relayed to your doctor.

That is, in fact, a precise description of my afternoon. Up to a point.

But then, imagine that the doctor walks in with a big smile and says, “The results for your brain scan show dramatic improvement.”

Those are the words he used. Dramatic improvement.

And also: The tumors in your abdomen are not growing at all.

If you want to picture yourself as myself in this scenario, you now have to picture your whole life outlook suddenly turning right-side up.

This feels much much much better than when your life turns upside down.

I stood up and started shaking the doctor’s hand, an impulse I didn’t think about and probably seemed really odd to the doctor.

I expect he didn’t mind, though. I expect oncologists get to give good news rarely enough that they welcome any reaction like this any time they can get it.

What’s Next

I can’t even describe how happy I am. Susan’s brain tumors aren’t growing. They’re staying small. Further, the swelling that surrounds the tumors has gone down, too. Dramatic improvement wasn’t hyperbole.

Don’t get me wrong; I understand that the tumors are still there, and that they’ll probably grow again. But we have more time. And it feels so good to be able to say that.

There are tactics we’ve got to work on. We’ve got to figure out the Decadron puzzle, for one thing. That stuff carries some nasty side effects, the main one being that it’s terrible for bone density, and since Susan’s got cancer in her bones, this is a real problem. So we’re going to taper off again, but this time very, very slow, and with small increments. We’ll figure it out.


I’ve been asking very frequently for your prayers and good thoughts, and you readers have delivered, overwhelmingly. Now, I wouldn’t presume to know how to divide up the pie of credit for this wonderful news we got today, but I certainly believe that you all get a big slice of it.

Thanks again and again.

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