Thursday, March 3, 2011


As it is hard to go out with two little boys especially when the windchill dips below zero, I've been watching more TV than usual. I am learning Spanish with the boys with Dora the Explorer and singing along with the Wonder Pets in their pseudo opera as they save baby animals. Occasionally we watch 'adult' TV, news shows, which it being a slow news week, is the CS show, poster child for manic depression.Yep Americans love their human train wrecks. Every morning is a new interview with this poor soul spouting off his grandiose ideas. Yes they should pay you $3 million dollars an episode as you are so worth it.
Back before I was fired with a "P", I worked on a manic depression project.The premise was that manic depression involves a separate set of neurotransmitters than the ones associated with so-called garden variety depression. Who shows up at the doctor's office complaining of manic depression?
No one.
People in their manic phase are on a high, full of energy, full of self confidence..why would they want to end that? They eventually crash and it is not pretty. We had a program of 'meeting the patients' so we would know what we are working for (aside from the paycheck). A patient with manic depression would tell their story and then a family member would tell it from their standpoint, never was it the same story. They will show up in their 'down' state and without family members telling their side, it is hard to tell what kind of depression the patient is dealing with. Yet it is important to tell the difference as the treatment is way different.
Another show not available in Michigan is "Mystery Diagnosis". Yesterday the case wasn't much of a mystery to seemed like a classic case of inflammatory breast cancer and yes, Dr. Sue was right. At one point after treatment, the patient was deemed 'cancer-free'. No! No doctor can ever say that (and mean it). At best they can say you are NED, no evidence of disease.Sometimes when women on BC boards say that they are cancer free, Ms. Pedantic feels like piping in but if they want to live with that delusion, why burst their bubble. I do correct them occasionally when they confuse grade with stage. They are told that their tumor is Grade 3 and get all depressed because Stage 3 is a very short jump to Stage 4 and there is no Stage 5. But I do tell them they can be only Stage 1 or even Stage 0 and still have a Grade 3 tumor.

But to avert cabin fever, we went back to the museum as they have passes. This time I spent most of the time with Danny who never spends much more than a minute on any activity so it was more of an aerobic experience than dealing with Oliver who will spend an hour doing the same activity. Danny does not look like a girl at all but people seeing his pretty curls automatically assume girl.

This weekend it will be warm (but rainy) for my long, long drive home. At least the risk from sliding off the side of a mountain will be minimal.


Chez said...

Sue I am so very grateful to you for the honesty of your post. Only two, of many doctors, have given the information you have. You have cancer need not be a death sentence, however, you do have it for life.
Having treatment, without making changes elsewhere, can be a recipe for disaster.
Will have to read back to catch up on previous posts as I have been absent for days.

Chez said...

Oops! Sorry Sue, forgot to comment on the 'mania' thing. CS is one and the same in life and the series. Imagine earning that kind of money for it.
Have a safe trip home.


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