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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Slow and steady improvements

For the most part I'm feeling better every day. Like Wednesday, when I saw Dr. Boyer. It was a good visit.

Dr. Boyer said I'm doing very well, better than many in my predicament. He said the recovery should last about a year -- mainly for my stomach to fully improve -- but that I'm making good progress. My prognosis has improved dramatically from the start of this journey, and now the next two years really are crucial. I have a 7 in 10 chance of survival, but after the two years that should "shoot up" -- and he didn't see any reason at the moment why that would not happen.

Still, there's no certainty. That's why this crack medical team I believe in will aggressively monitor my status every three months. It is possible, he said, for cancer to re-appear. I feel confident that won't happen, but one never knows.

I also finally learned the current capacity of my newly reconfigured stomach. It's about a fifth the size of a regular stomach, so each of my five or six daily meals should be about 8 ounces, give or take.

Most of my meals lately have been on the take side of things -- just haven't been all that hungry. This has led my weight to decline to a point close to my desired weight of 180 pounds. So if I can hoer around here, I'll be a happy camper. But that means eating about 1,800 calories a day, and I'm really not coming too close to that each and every day. Bagels, cheese, pudding, even milkshakes just don't add up fast enough for me.

Dr. Boyer said this is a good opportunity to eat as much as I want and enjoy amnesty in the process. Not a bad deal, but I just can't eat enough.

The doctor also told me that the "tumor board" of doctors, nurses and other members of the Cancer Institute's staff have had a good time joshing around about earlier mentions of the Yankees and Mets. It's good to see that we can all joke around in the midst of a very serious subject. It's always fun to poke fun at the Yankees and to have my Mets made fun of as well (they've earned it often enough).

Dr. Boyer said he probably will clear me to return to work the second week of February. I will have a visit with him soon before then, and he expects to clear me for work. Whew! He also expects to remove my "J-tube" at that visit. Right now it's a "safety valve" in case my diet falls too far below my caloric needs. I don't think I'm at that level just yet, but I agree it's good to have the option for now.

So for now I'll see Dr. Z in a week and after the big Apple conference (image of Steve Jobs at MacWorld by Getty Images) this past week I'm sure we'll have a lot to talk about. Like super-thin Mac laptops, needed improvements to the iPhone and the like.

1 comment:

Lilly said...

Yay! Congrats, mister! Looking forward to having you back.