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A New Weapon

I added a new doctor to my weapons cache in the ongoing death-match with the Emperor Of All Maladies. After getting a referral from my oncologist, I went to a neurologist for a consultation regarding the havoc my rebellious right leg is wreaking upon me due to the onslaught of the Emperor’s Orc army. I was curious to see if my newest Sun Tzu recruit could help blunt the progressive nerve deterioration I’ve been sensing along my entire leg (and feet).

As I arrived for my appointment, I quickly discovered that the beloved Bitcoin Vandal had preceded me. I find it Interesting how the BV has the same neurologist as BD00.

I’m very fond of my brilliant oncologist and neurosurgeon dynamic duo because they have taken good care of me for the past six (!!!!!) years, scanning and monitoring the locations, movements, and strength of the Emperor’s orc armies. It’s understandable that the spastic/twitching/quivering nerves and tight/fatigued/crampy muscles that have been plaguing me extra hard for the past few months are outside their areas of expertise. While not suffering in outright pain, it’s a continuous feeling of discomfort stuck somewhere in purgatory outside of the realm of the famously debated 1 -10 pain scale. Mentally, the agitating cacophony of physical sensations is constantly hijacking my awareness away from the sacred “now” and projecting it into a fabricated thought-storm of frightening “wheelchair” scenarios.

I actually didn’t meet with the neurologist during the visit. I was examined by his delightful LPA, Rose. We conversed for 45 minutes while she worked me over with all kinds of nerve-diagnostic gizmos that Q would be envious of. She was pushing, pulling, tapping, and poking all over the battlefield that is my right leg (and feet). Then, out of nowhere, in a Larry David moment, she stated that my calves were much bigger than my ankles. She paused and looked up at me as if I was supposed to know why. I frowned, shrugged, laughed, and asked her what the right proportion should be. She laughed, then I asked her if she was flirting with me, and then we both laughed at the absurdity of such a statement.

As Rose continued to examine my neurological state, she noticed the twitching frenzy going on just under my skin, and up and down my entire leg. I told her it feels tight, fatigued, crampy, and vibrating all at the same time (from Orc-hijacked nerves randomly misfiring and zapping the schitt out of my muscles?). She also noticed some twitches up and down my right arm. That was surprising to me because the arm feels fine and I’ve never had issues with it other than the occasional, chemo-induced, fingertip-numbness flareup. Oh, and also when I kept annoyingly dropping a notebook I was holding when I had a small stroke in 2019.

During our convo, we talked about the meds I’ve been taking to alleviate the symptoms from my nerve distress (gabapentin, alpha lipoic acid, B12, “ganja”). I also mentioned that I take klonopin occasionally for anxiety/sleep and I thought I noticed a positive correlation between the much-abused controlled substance and symptom alleviation. I wasn’t sure of the correlation because I don’t take it often and I couldn’t remember if I did so during bad flareups. Rose perked up and immediately said there absolutely was a positive correlation because klonopin serves as a muscle relaxant in addition to providing anti-seizure and anti-anxiety therapeutic effects. She then advised me to start taking a low dose daily.

I was both happy and sad when I heard Rose’s recommendation. I was happy because it’s just a dosage bump and not another new med to add to my drug cabinet. I was sad for two reasons:

1) I, the omniscient know-it-all, should’ve deduced that the klonopin-relief linkage made sense and thought of trying it daily months ago, Duh! Maybe I didn’t make the connection because of the threat of benzo-addiction loitering in the back of my mind, which is funny since I’m a stage 4 cancer patient and I shouldn’t give a schitt about addiction at this point. 😂🤣

2) I thought my neurosurgeon’s nurse (whom I also appreciate very much) should have suggested the bump in klonopin dosage to me years ago – since I’ve been whining about progressive neurologic problems at every MRI follow up since the beginning of time.

In addition to the suggested change in klonopin dosage, Rose ordered a 2 hour, full body MRI (in late May) to see if there’s a separate structural issue with my neck that may be causing or contributing to my chronic discomfort. I’ve never had the slightest neck problem before, but since she saw the same twitchy symptoms in my arm as the leg, she wants to cover that base.

So, that’s the latest update from the battlefront in my existential war with the fucker that is… the Emperor Of All Maladies.

Categories: Cancer
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