Yesterday I got my Official Report from the Mayo Clinic. It contains the results of the 6,979 tests they ran in November. Seriously: When I was doing my collection, I'd get blood counts done twice a day, and the results of every single one are in there. (All-time low of my hemoglobin? 8.6! If you get to 8.0 they give you a transfusion).
I love the Mayo report, because I get to sit and analyze every single number. I hate the Mayo report, because I sit and analyze every single number. Then I get all shaky and nervous and assume that I'm on the brink of death for a whole afternoon as I ponder everything I read. My plasma-cell labeling index (this is the rate at which the Evil Cells are multiplying) is up to .4, which the report says is an "intermediate rate." When I last had this test done two years ago, my rate was .2, which all the reports pointed out was "VERY LOW." Seriously, it was so low that the reports all used capital letters like that: VERY LOW. Should I be freaking out now? The capital letters have vanished from my report. Now they're all in my head. "INTERMEDIATE RATE? I'M DYING!"
After I freak out over all the numbers, I analyze everything that Dr. H has written. "Serum M-spike is essentially stable at 2.4." OK, OK, that's pretty good. Then the next sentence: "IgG is up slightly from August to 2300." When she wrote that, was she focusing on the word "slightly" (Translation: "You're doing all right") or the word "up"? ("YOU'RE DYING!!!!")
The worst part is the bone-marrow biopsy report, which doesn't appear to be written in English. Every third word is one I don't understand. I tried typing some of them into a search engine, and apparently many of these words don't even exist. If anyone knows what "trilineage hypoplasia" means, please e-mail me, because I guess I have it. (I know, it probably means I'M DYING.) I hate the biopsy report, because it reminds me that no matter how good I feel, no matter how much it seems like I don't have cancer at all, I still have this monster stomping around deep inside my bones, messing everything up. I can walk 15,000 steps a day, I can eat green vegetables, I can run around after a two-year-old ten hours a day, but my bone marrow is still 20 percent Evil Cells.
Anyway. After spending an afternoon feeling freaked out by the report, I calmed down and decided to focus on one of the bright spots, which was a note included with my urine results. My urine tests have never been too bad to begin with. Some people have M-spikes in their urine, and I never have. I've always had a small amount of myeloma protein in there, though. Now? "No monoclonal protein detected," says the report. That's right: I HAVE COMPLETELY NORMAL, CANCER-FREE PEE! So. I'm hoping my pee will lead the way for the rest of me. Maybe that means I'm not dying. I'll think about it.