Dear Pam and Leeann (and others in the past who have been kind enough to ask about Blaine and his ongoing cancer saga),
Thanks for asking. He is doing ok. To be honest, from a medical standpoint, the move to OK has been one of adjustments for him. Partly physical, as it is so much colder here in the winter than in Georgia. Currently, the temperature is 30, with winds out of the north at 40-45 mph – what the hell is THAT about??? --- and the cold weather causes a lot of head and neck pain. He has taken to wearing a black neoprene-sort-of-ski mask whenever he is outside that covers everything but his nose and eyes, to try and keep the radiated areas of his head and neck warmer. Otherwise, the restricted blood flow due to surgery and radiation (we have no idea if that is the real reason why, but it sounds good, so we keep saying it) causes his tongue to turn white and his neck just throbs. Fun, huh? So we call it his “ninja mask” and I remind him every morning not to stop at any convenience stores on his way to work or they will think he is robbing them.
The other simple adjustment has been all the new doctors and specialists who don’t know him or his history. It wouldn’t be untrue to say he hasn’t been as impressed with the people taking care of him here ---- not because they aren’t just as capable, but because I think when you spend five years seeing your oncologist, your head and neck surgeon, your pain management doctor, etc, you establish relationships with these people and you feel truly cared about. It’s only natural to flounder for a bit as you try to adapt to new facilities and new rules and people who aren’t as vested in your care, or don’t have a history with you. But he’ll get there.
In the short term, we’re waiting on results on his four-month cat scans. The initial report came back on Friday with “suspicious areas of growth”, which is of course slightly worrisome. We’re hoping that once they compare the scans of four months ago to the scans of last week, these new radiologists (again, doctors who aren’t familiar with his case history) will determine it is nothing more than scar tissue or already-existing fibroids from the previous surgeries and radiation. So, a little anxious until we get the all clear there.
In good news (because by golly, I am determined there will be SOME good news!) he was able to avoid the tooth extractions, and therefore, the hyperbaric oxygen treatments, that his dentist in Georgia said he needed. The dentist here was able to get down low enough to save the teeth in question with root canals, so that was a relief. It sounds odd to say root canals are the *better* outcome, but in this case, they are, and he was glad for them.
In other news, he’s really getting on my nerves because he keeps leaving his pants lying on the floor by his side of the bed when he takes them off each night, which is where my new vanity is now located, and I keep tripping on them every morning in the dark. He better start picking up his pants, is all I’m saying.