My serum calcium level has spiked, a blood test last month revealed. A follow-up test Friday offered the minor consolation that it hasn't increased further. On the other hand, it hasn't decreased.
This rise in calcium levels is a primary symptom of my parathyroid cancer, something I've been battling the past five years. Suffice it to say that abnormally high calcium levels can wreak havoc on the body. The psychological effect of dealing with a chronic situation like this ain't no day at the beach, either.
I haven't posted a health update in a long while mainly because things seem to be trending inexorably in one direction. It's awfully redundant. I would rather post photographs and other odds and ends for the entertainment (and possible enjoyment) of those who read this blog.
My doctors are advising me to start taking an intravenous drug to lower my serum calcium. I'm resistant to that idea right now because this measure has a last-ditch connotation in my mind for a couple of reasons. Besides, I hate needles. And I've been poked and prodded these past several years for just about all I can stand.
The doctors are also suggesting I undergo a special type of scan that detects abnormal endocrine activity. I've had these scans about every six months since 2001, and the results are always the same. Either they reveal nothing or, in some more recent cases, they reveal a tiny tumor that the doctors and surgeons know they can't totally remove. I've already been told by one of the nation's leading experts in the surgical treatment of this illness that surgery would be futile, a temporary fix at best. At least he was straightforward.
Most doctors and surgeons hate to be left powerless in the face of a tricky situation. So even if the measures they pursue are completely ineffective or provide only a stopgap, they feel that at least they're doing something. That's not egotistical, in the case of my doctors. That's compassion and empathy at work.
That's my take on things.
I've had people tell me my doctors are incompetent, uncaring assholes driven by the need to succeed.
To me, they're ordinary people given the task of achieving extraordinary results. And when you try to achieve extraordinary results in the face of Nature, whose power and fury and precision and tenacity we don't truly comprehend, what you wind up with isn't always pretty.
My doctors aren't at fault.
After all, who in their right mind would want the awesome responsibility of telling a fellow human being that their future prospects aren't bright, and that they may be dying?