Opinion: Column: A Tail Not of Woe

Opinion: Column: A Tail Not of Woe

You know what's impossible – or next to impossible? Trying to write a funny non-cancer column while on hold with the Oncology Department waiting for calculations to be made by their pharmacist which will determine if my creatinine levels (kidney function) are low enough to allow me to get my infusion today.

No big deal, really. It's only a matter of life and hopefully my avoiding death.

And to complicate this waiting/holding "interminableness," one of our five cats, "Twinkle," is walking back and forth across my desk, rubbing my writing hand with her head – while I'm trying to write no less, as she steps repeatedly on my writing pad.

Oh. One more thing, she keeps knocking down the wireless land-line phone that I've placed on my desk – which I have on speaker, close enough to hear but far enough, I thought, to keep her at bay. It never ceases to amaze me how cats seem to know where you don't want them go and invariably that's almost always where they seem to end up.

Now back to my original situation: Waiting for the pharmacist to calculate my results.

After nearly 30 minutes on hold, with "Twinkle" having been occupied elsewhere during the last 10 minutes or so, (after I implored her to "Give me some space, please?" she jumped off the desk) finally, I have received word that I'm approved for my infusion. And now that I'm no longer on telephone-hold, I doubt I'll be seeing any more of her.

Oh. I was wrong. Here she is again.

This time however, she's brought along "Biscuit," one of the two oldest "buff-colored" brothers we rescued in September '06. But I'm more tolerant of their interference now, as I've been given the infusion OKAY. (Not a thrill really, but, as mentioned in previous columns – and confirmed by my oncologist in a reply-email to me, this third dose of chemotherapy in the last seven weeks might have a bearing on the results of my upcoming Sept. 26 CT scan. That sound you heard was me exhaling.)

Another peculiar feline behavior: they seem to know when their behavior is not as bothersome/interfering as it might otherwise be so they refrain a bit. (A bit.)

So now I have nothing to wait for except Godot (who never shows). My results will show up though, on or about Sept. 28, more than likely via email from my oncologist. Important to consider that the 28th is a Friday and given that lines of communication don't flow as often on the weekends, we'd really rather know before the weekend so that we can get on with our lives.

And, as I'm sure you can appreciate, this is no laughing matter, and receiving results – good or bad – in a timely fashion does enable us to get on with our lives.

For the moment, however, it's still about waiting and hoping, but no planning – yet. Discussing scenarios before the actual facts are known has never been my oncologist's way. When we know definitively, then we'll act definitively. We've had some preliminary discussions about alternatives going forward, but until further details are known, it's all premature.

For the moment then, my existence is about managing expectations, trying to remain positive and letting go.

I mean, when the scan is finished, the results will be what they will be. I don't imagine there's much I can do about it now. When those results are known, then we'll go to plan "B," or revert to current plan "A."

My life is not likely to change significantly either way in the short term, so all I can do is maintain my status quo. There's no panic.

Anxiety? Of course. Anticipation? Yes, in a weird way. I would like to know what treatment/potential side effects and all are in store for me living forward but it's still "early days." Maybe the cats do know something. We've heard it rumored that cats have a sixth sense about sickness and death.

Oh, oh. Here's comes "Biscuit," he's been hanging around me an awful lot lately, very uncharacteristic. Should I be concerned or just appreciative of the attention?