“I’m sorry to tell you . . .”

When I saw No. 5 for my (hopefully just) quarterly appointment last week, I lamented, again, about my tremendous increase in mass, despite my tremendous decrease in white blood cells.  I first complained about the increasing snugness of my clothes a few weeks after chemo ended, at which point No. 5 explained that she was not surprised as the chemo does have some negative impact on one’s metabolism. 

At this most recent examination, however, she provided some additional color:  No. 5 explained that the gargantuan numbers of useless lymphocytes had been draining my body of so many calories.  This made sense to me as no matter how much I seemed to eat (or drink) I managed to have the same amount of gravitational pull upon my body.  In fact, there seemed to be no correlation whatsoever between amount ingested and scale read-out. 

Although all of this made sense to me, I was wondering if there might be something else, or at least something additional, at work.  When I complained to Melissa, again, about all of this she noted that I had also been complaining of being cold somewhat frequently.  I am not one generally to have issues with the cold, and especially with a couple of all-year radials hugging my torso I seem to be otherwise fairly-well insulated.  Thus, Melissa wondered, perhaps my thyroid was not functioning properly. 

I pause here to state what is probably obvious:  Most people – most rational people – would hear this and think, “Oh no.  Now this?  I just got done with fighting my bone marrow and now I have an issue with my thyroid?  What, pray tell, have I done to deserve all of this???”  Yet, I am not most people nor all that rational, particularly these days.  Consequently, when I heard Melissa speculate that I might be suffering from hypothyroidism, I was downright ecstatic.  “This is great!!!” I thought.  “I can just take some pills – why not add to my already extensive list? – and get rid of this weight without even trying.  Happy day!” 

So when I saw No. 5 last week, I mentioned to the P.A. this latest cause of celebration.  “Hmmm,” she mused.  “I am not familiar with thyroid issues as a result of your chemo, but we can check it out.  We may have to draw more blood, however.”  No problem, I assured her.  Having my blood taken is one of my best skills these days.  Then, luck be a lady, the phlembotomist told the P.A. that they had enough already and no need to prick me again.  I was living right. 

Today, we were able to look up the results of my thyroid test.  It was early, and since my entire life is now on my phone – whose isn’t? – I just opened the app and found the latest lab results.  Melissa, who was trying to get out the door to see her paying patients, was immediately accosted by me:  “Melissa, look at the thyroid test results – what does this mean?!?”  Melissa studied the results for a couple of moments.  “I’m sorry to tell you,” she began, “but you are perfectly healthy.  Your thyroid is fine.” 

Can’t a guy catch a break?

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