A few weeks ago I heard some sage advice in a podcast by the indefatigably creative Norman Lear. He said that two words have served him well in his long life: “over” and “next.”
I’ve been trying those words out lately, and they really do add a lot of clarity.
As of yesterday afternoon, my surgery is over. What a relief that is. The surgeon scooped out those weird cells she was worried about, and now those cells are hers and not mine. Phew. She left her initials on my chest, above a pretty half moon scar.
My husband spent the whole day in the hospital with me, and drove me home to my first meal in twenty hours, which probably wouldn’t have had to be exquisite for me to appreciate it. But his meal was exquisite. He played us Miles Davis all night. Bliss.
Today has wound up being one of the best days of my life. My student Barb showed up this morning with Italian wedding soup, which was utterly delicious.
I’ve been inundated with phone calls and texts from friends checking up on me, delaying my progress in updating this blog.
What comes next? The results come next. I don’t expect they will find any cancer, but if they do, that would handy to know, because the next MS drug I want to take seems to be associated with a slight uptick in breast cancer. I’ve chosen to switch from Zinbryta to Ocrevus. Dr. Z., my local MS doctor, has worked with Ocrevus since 2012 and has seen good results; in some cases, Ocrevus has not merely slowed disability—it has ushered in improvement. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to say I’ve seen improvement on Zinbryta. I am ready for this change.
Zinbryta is over. Ocrevus is next.
I’d like to add one word to the Norman Lear mantra of “over” and “next.” And that’s the Ms. Lab Rat mantra of “now.” I think now has been exactly the right time for me to have had this surgery. Zinbryta may have been great for tamping down the overactive immune response of my MS, but it’s been lousy at permitting me to heal. On Zinbryta, I’d had one skinned knee that took five months to close up. I am glad I’m going to get a few weeks of reprieve between drugs that rely on super strong monoclonal antibody action. My half-moon scar will need this time to heal.
Thank you for reading!