In order to fully grasp what I am choosing to believe is the “enormity” of what happened to me tonight, I have to take you back a bit in the cancer saga and repeat myself a bit. It’ll be worth it, I promise.
When I got cancer, naturally I got an oncologist. I was referred to him by my gastroenterologist and didn’t really do a lot of doctor shopping after I met him. He was a nice guy, seemed knowledgeable, had good credentials, and a name that made him sound like a cartoon character. So I, naturally, nicknamed him Dr. Wile E. Coyote.
About a month ago, when it was time to get my quarterly follow up tests, I reached out to Dr. Wile E. Coyote’s office and they didn’t respond. Numerous attempts yielded no results and eventually I found out that he had left the practice and relocated to Pasadena.
I am incredibly lazy and didn’t feel like schlepping my ass all the way out to Pasadena so instead I decided to go to a different doctor in the same practice in Burbank, near where I live. Also a nice guy – I named him Dr. Kangaroo, because he kind of reminds me of the TV Captain of the same name.
Anyway, we did the tests and got back some “indeterminate,” so off I went to do the big test – the PET scan, which involves getting radioactive and lying in a tube for a long time.
As I wrote yesterday, the PET scan showed a spot – a tiny one in my armpit – that has grown since my last scan a few months ago, which is not good news. The problem, according to Dr. Kangaroo, is that the thing is so small that it is too early to do anything about right now. He says they wouldn’t be able to get a good biopsy sample and that surgery to just remove would be overkill. So he wants to wait 8-10 weeks and run everything again and see where we are at.
I’m not wild about this plan. I’m not good with waiting and besides, it seems like I have dodged this particular bullet one too many times and delaying this seems like begging for someone to shoot me.
I hadn’t really decided, but I was considered reaching out to Dr. Wile E. Coyote to see what he had to say about things. I was going to think about it while I was in Vegas, which is where I am writing this from right now.
So today I go about my crazy Vegas stuff – great dinner at a Chinese place at the Hard Rock; a fun show at The Stratosphere; then off to the most bizarre, and yet kind of fun, nightclub I’ve ever been to, which was a the MGM Grand. Although I was having a good time and could’ve stayed longer, I suddenly decided it was time to go and I headed back to my hotel, Caesars Palace.
I got here about 1am, valet parked the car, came inside, and immediately veered off in search of the nearest bathroom.
I do what is needed and I’m washing my hands and a man walks into the bathroom and I catch a glimpse of him in the mirror and he looks familiar. So I look again, trying not to, you know “look” because it’s a men’s room and that’s just a little weird, but I look anyway and I bet you see the punchline coming already….
It’s Dr. Wile E. Coyote.
We are both stunned to see each other at 1am in a bathroom in Caesars Palace and we go outside into the casino and talk. He tells me that he’s here in Vegas for a conference and then goes on to apologize profusely for the disappearing act, explains what happened (it’s a long story but involves business stuff), tells me that he isn’t in Pasadena but in the same building only on a different floor, and then asks how I am.
So I tell him.
He gave me his new office number and his personal cell phone and is demanding that I come in to see him next week. He isn’t saying that he will recommend something different than what Dr. Kangaroo recommended, but he is concerned enough about it that he wants to go over the PET scan himself.
I walked away from this so completely gobsmacked that I was nearly in tears. I can’t begin to explain to you how many different things could have made that random, chance meeting in a bathroom in Vegas at one in the morning not happen – I mean the odds are astronomical.
But this is Vegas, I guess – the land of long shots – and I can’t help but feel that I may have just hit a jackpot.