The long drive to Madison seemed to take forever. We listened to the radio and commented on how wet our winter was so far. We talked about just about anything and everything but what we were going for.
A follow up CT scan 6 months after the last radiation treatment.
It seemed long ago, yet such a short time ago. Was this going to be fine? I don't know what Rich thought because he didn't seem to be worried about it.
Both of us were in a fairly positive mood. The long day at the University of WI Hospital didn't really excite us much. We found the lab and got the blood work. We found the cafeteria and both of us had great lunches.
UW Hospital of Madison is one of the most frustrating places to get around in. Nearly every first time to ... well, even us after 35 some visits, sometimes have to ask for help to get from one place to another.
Finally we were in the waiting room for Radiology Oncology. I recall our first wait there. Scared to death of the unknown that was to come. Frightened and nervous. I wasn't frightened now, to say I as not nervous would be an overstatement.
I was just hoping for good news as was Rich. We'd found that doing Tai Chi together had really helped his overall feeling and general attitude. He was better than when Dr. Witek saw him in September when Rich still felt exhausted from the treatments.
His name was called and we went into Witek's exam room where his Medical Assistant took his vitals. Rich's weight was pretty good. It was 179. He'd started cancer treatment at somewhere in the 190's. But the weight loss had actually come after the treatment stopped.
Rich hadn't seen it himself, but he'd been more active around the farm and of course not having all of his teeth and the saliva issue had curbed his appetite some. Over the past few months, his weight had settled right around the 178 or 9 lbs.
The hair he'd lost was coming in. In back where the tomography targeted radiation had caused a complete loss, the hair was coming in black and curly. A startling difference to his mostly silver straight hair. His goatee was black on one side too. I thought it was pretty cool how one side of the mustache and goatee had come back in such a dark contrast.
Dr. Witek walked in and turned on his heel to face Rich.
"Good news man! It is all good, nice and clear CT scan!"
Rich grinned, I felt all the air go out of me and felt joy.
Dr. Witek asked about Rich's vision and mentioned that the CT scan in September after the PET scan had shown a significant stroke in the occiptal lobe of the brain.
Rich waved his hand and said things were better. He was doing Physical Therapy for that and Tai Chi for overall balance and besides, it made him feel relaxed and good.
We inquired about his wedding and Dr. Witek grinned and began to show us photos and talk about his wedding. It was a very happy moment between Dr. and Patient.
He examined Rich and then made a time for follow up. He stated that Rich had had enough radiation for a while and the next visit should be in April and no CT scan.
It was the most beautiful Christmas Gift we could have gotten.