Saturday, December 29, 2012

Latest Berenson Visit

Uneventful visit. He continues to be happy with how I am doing. He expressed amazement at my kidneys continued recovery. He said he thought for sure by now I'd be on dialysis. Fuck dialysis. Oh and he also said perhaps we could move my visits to once every two months. "Nope" Are you kidding? Do you realize how nervous and anxious I'd be? My god, I'd drive myself crazy if I had to wait for two months.

Dr B was more chatty than usual. What I learned is that he grew up as a huge Colts fan. As a kid, he saw Johnny Unitas somewhere and got his autograph and since then he's been a Colts fan. I believe Dr B grew up in California. Dr B also loves the San Francisco Giants. His wife for Hanukkah this year gave him an autographed poster of the team. Autographed by several players, who's names I didn't get. How did we get talking about teams that he likes? Well, yesterday was Purple Friday. It's a day that Vikings fan know. You wear purple on the Friday before the weekend of a Viking game to show your team pride and spirit. So I wore a Vikings t shirt and Leslie wore a purple sweater. She appreciates my Vikings obsession, although is quick to point out their ability to lose the games that count.

In the lobby of the medical building that Berenson's offices are in, a doctor in scrubs came up to me to say he's excited for the Vikings game this weekend, that he grew up a Vikings fan here in Southern California. I asked him why he wasn't wearing purple. "It's Purple Friday". He pointed to his scrubs and said he can't, because of the scrubs. I suggested he get purple scrubs. Right? Seems like a simple solution. He was surprised and pleased with that idea and said he'd get some. Scrub variety is familiar to me from all the nurses I see. They all have their own little flair or personality incorporated into their scrubs. A nurse at Memorial, named Carrie, had the coolest scrubs. Leslie suggested the doctor get purple underwear. The doctor laughed and said he was thinking that but figured he'd leave it unsaid.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's been a pleasant experience to discover that nurses and doctors are people too. Takes away the fear aspect of going to a doctor's office.

Well, Berenson saw us both in purple and made a comment that being married has changed us and we now dress alike. I explained my Vikings love (reader's digest version). He asked if I'm from Minnesota. I said my soul is but no, I grew up in Southern California. He said he understands given his own love of the Colts. Aha!! Common ground. Dr B is pretty intimidating and authoritative. All in a good way, but overwhelming nonetheless. This brief conversation humanized the good doctor (almost wrote god doctor). I now like him even more. I already love him but now I also like him. He actually shook my hand on the way out. A first. Also of note, in Dr B's lobby, we ran into Debbie again. Debbie is Uncle Jan's friend who also has the myeloma and Berenson is now treating. She just started seeing him given she needs creativity in her treatment and drug mix. Debbie also wore a purple sweater, unknowing of Purple Friday.  It just happened. I let her know the significance.  Dr B's number one nurse saw us and asked if we had planned our wardrobes. "Nope"

That there is my visit. We continue on the same maintenance program indefinitely. We should talk to the kidney doctor about expanding my diet, although Berenson thinks I should eat whatever I want (minus unhealthy crap like nitrates, aspartame and other fake stuff).  Next chemo is Thursday this week coming up. Onward upward and forward.

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Berenson Oncology Success Rate

 Some reading about my myeloma specialist's success rate. A press release and an article from Targeted Oncology.