My News didn't actually happen today, but rather it happened a few weeks ago.
I went to my routine Oncologist Appointment for a check up and also where he prescribes my Chemo and Antibodies dosage for the next cycle. After they do the routine marker checks in my blood, that is when he is able to determine how and if the treatments are in fact doing their job or not..
Now let me back track here for a moment., about 3 weeks prior to this visit I underwent a routine bone scan , now when I say "routine" bone scan, that would mean for any one else other than myself, every 3 to 6 months max. LOL. I laugh because I haven't been what you would call a "normal cancer patient", mainly because I have missed a half a dozen or so bone scan appointments over the last 2 years!..
Never intentionally mind you, but for very valid reasons each and every time !, I just honest to goodness , had every intention of making and keeping the appointments but it never happened as it were , something always came up preventing me from being able to go.
My Oncologist Dr.Cristiano Ferrario would get so upset with me too whenever I'd missed the bone scan appointments let me tell you! But he was understanding and would never stay mad at me for very long. Fortunately for me, lol.
Any way going on with my good news lol,..Cristiano came in the room and says, " Hey Bon Giorno how are you and little Chloe? Chloe was of course sitting right there with me as usual, and I said , "Great Doc and you"? he says, "Very Good very good" and touches Chloe on the cheek making her blush
He then turns around and signs in to his computer to check my Blood Results, markers etc. and also the Bone Scan results.
After a few moments he turns to me and says, " I have some good news and I have some bad news". To which I say, "Oh"? Ok..Ummm tell me the bad news 1st, and this I tell you I had to really think about, but I'm tough I can handle it right? Ha , or so I thought because nothing could prepare me for what was going to come out of his mouth.
He then says, "Well before I go on, as you know I have been here in Canada for several years now and I have been practicing under Fellowship with Dr. Panasci," and Canada has been very lenient in that they have been continuously extending my Visa allowing me to be here this long".The hospital has offered me a permanent position here to which I have accepted". Now I am really happy at this point because not only have I been his 1st patient but he has been my 1st and only Oncologist,,I owe him my life. We are not just Doctor and Patient but over the years we have become friends..He knows me inside and out, and has been with me since the very beginning. And I have been very concerned to say the least about him deciding that he did not want to continue on as Oncologist for the Jewish General and or practice here in Canada period!
And now he just eased all my worries and is telling me that he has been offered a permanent position and has accepted it.
"That's great Cristiano" "Oh my God I am so happy for you and for me as well" I said,
"So what's the bad news then"? He leans over, runs his hand through his hair and says with he head kinda bent down ,but looking right into my eyes now and in a lower tone says to me" Despite all the valid reasons for Immigration to grant me permanent residence and allow me to become a citizen of Canada and this wonderful permanent position that has been put on the table by the hospital, they refused". . At this point I could feel my heart come to my throat, and my eyes start to spasm and burn. I could not believe what I was hearing, all the reasons for why he should stay was playing in my mind like the last images of ones life flashing in front of the eyes right before you know your life is coming to an end. "BUT" he adds, "They will grant me permanency if I leave Canada and return to Italy for 6 months and return as a new applicant" "The hospital has tried everything apart from offering me to take this to the News and contact their lawyers to fight this, but I said no I don't want to risk pissing Immigration off and ruining any of my chances, they assured me acceptance if I comply and leave for 6 months, they will grant me citizenship and a new applicant", "SO I promise you I will be back and we will watch each other grow old, together".
Inspite of all the reasons I hate the thought of him leaving me after everything he has seem me through, I am, relieved that this is temporary and he will be back. But I HATE IT!! I am mortified of the thought that I will have no choice but to trust another Oncologist with my life,,After we discussed it a little further and him doing and saying everything just right so as to make sure that believed that he was returning, we agreed that it made the most sense that I be followed with the Oncolgist who he has been under Fellowship with, Dr.Lawrence Panasci.
I met Dr.Panasci with Dr . Ferrario the very 1st time I went to the Jewish after my diagnosis and Mastectomy, and he is very familiar with my case and has been following the case all these years..
I met him also once when I was in the ER and he was very nice and had a great bed side manner that I can remember.
Now that the bad news is behind me,,here is the Good News.
"Ok""give me the good news now" I say. "OH yes the good news" lol You have not had a bone scan in 2 years! and in 2 years there is no new metastasis at all, but better yet where we initially found the metastasis is completely gone! And your markers have and are dropping steadily".
"You're not kidding, are you?" I belt out. "No metastasis in all this time? and where there were metastasis they have all disappeared!?" and my markers are dropping!?" I sing out this time.
"Yes you heard right" he answered back. "Do you realize how amazing this news is?" You are a true Miracle and I am so happy" .
"You are not the only one, and I could not have done this without you, you have to know that" "Thank you so much . from the bottom of my heart and soul, thank you"then I add, "You see why you leaving is insane, Quebec is crying because it needs more good Doctors and because the ones that they had are leaving to go States side, and here you are , a wonderful Doctor who actually truly cares about his patients, and they are making you leave?!?!" "this is insanity at it's best"! I bellowed out.
He could not understand any of it either but he'll be back.
And I will continue on Kicking Cancers Ass!!
I will be seeing him 1 last time before he leaves for 6 months and after that I will be followed by Dr.Lawrence Panasci.
More to come
Have a Good One!