When Mark bought our gigantic TV, we both suddenly became sports fans. Who knew how fun sports are to watch in high def?! So, as a newly minted baseball viewer, I understood quite well the sports analogy Dr. Campbell used with us yesterday.
When we met with Dr. Campbell a week ago, my blood tests had shown that my tumor marker numbers were creeping up. Not sure what to make of this, Dr. Campbell ordered a CAT scan. We had the results yesterday. According to the CAT scan, the cancer is either stable or shrinking. This is great news.
However, my neuropathy from the chemo drug Halaven is becoming bothersome. My fingertips are numb which leads to more kitchen accidents and difficulty typing, but not much else. My feet and legs up to my knees are also affected. I often feel as though I have to consciously lift my left leg in order to walk. I’m slower on stairs and feel clumsy in my gait. Dr. Campbell’s concern with my neuropathy is not so much that I have it now (it’s not wrecking my life) but that if we do the Halaven too long, the neuropathy might not reverse when I go off of it (not a fun lifetime issue).
So here comes the sports analogy…is it time to pull the pitcher? For those of you who are about as big a baseball fan as I was at this time last year, pulling the pitcher means taking the pitcher off the mound for the rest of the game. The manager can do this any time and replace the pitcher with a relief pitcher from the bullpen. Once a pitcher is replaced, he can’t pitch the rest of the game. And, due to the toll pitching takes on the body, likely won’t pitch for another 4 games. Pitching a full 9 innings is actually rather rare. It takes a savvy manager to know when to pull the pitcher or when to leave the pitcher in–trusting that even though he let a few walks go by he still has some 90 mile an hour fastballs left in his arm. Taking him out too soon can mean the waste of a good pitcher for the rest of the game.
Dr. Campbell, our savvy manager (I’m picturing him as Tiger manager Jim Leyland now), is not ready to pull the pitcher. He thinks that Halaven (now known as Tiger pitcher Justin Verlander) still has a few fastballs up its sleeve. Until Halaven/Verlander hits a batter (my neuropathy gets worse) it’s staying on the mound.
OK, sports analogy over.
For the most part, I am happy with this. I struggle with the limitations I have because of the neuropathy and the pleural-drain-that-won’t-give-up, but I’m happy that life has gone back to what we know as normal and that the CAT scan showed good things. I’m glad we’re not picking up the phone to the bullpen just yet.
Cheer on Verlander with me, won’t you? This 7th inning is really dragging on, but we know he’s not American League MVP for nothing!