CAESAR Who is it in the press that calls on me? I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music, Cry 'Caesar!' Speak; Caesar is turn'd to hear.
Soothsayer Beware the ides of March.
CAESAR What man is that?
BRUTUS A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.
CAESAR Set him before me; let me see his face.
CASSIUS Fellow, come from the throng; look upon Caesar.
CAESAR What say'st thou to me now? speak once again.
Soothsayer Beware the ides of March.
CAESAR He is a dreamer; let us leave him: pass.
While Shakespeare's Caesar was ill-advised to ignore the Soothsayer's advice, I fared well today. Although the day retains a certain air of destiny that seemed appropriate when I scheduled my cystoscopy six months ago. Flirting with danger? Hardly. The news was all good - ALL CLEAR now marking over 45 months cancer free!
Many of you have sent notes of encouragement, well-wishes, reports of prayers and other helpful things, and I thank you all for them. For some reason I had less trepidation this time than in the past - perhaps the success of diet and improvement in various blood test variables has re-enforced my belief that I am doing all I can to stay cancer free. That coupled with the ever-present and simple fact that GOD IS GOOD, ALL THE TIME!
Most of our small "fraternity" here have had similarly good results, so the pressure was on for me to continue the trend. I was happy to continue it. We arrived ten minutes before the appointed 9AM time-frame, did the paperwork, urine sample, etc. and were shown to the exam room. I was pleased to see the Storz scope stationed there, a much nicer instrument that had produced no side effects from the exam last time. I had taken the liberty to call in advance to try to negotiate, persuade, incentivize, bribe, or whatever to make sure this happened. I even metaphorically twisted the arm of Gloria, our favorite medical assistant, to make it happen. On all fronts I was assured of two things:
1) All three scopes (optical, low-def video, and high-def video) are exactly the same diameter, and
2) The assignment of scopes to exam rooms is purely random and not subject to my influence
So call it coincidence, karma, destiny, fate, or providence - whatever. The scope was there. Only one thing differed. Last time they had given me a Lidocaine prep, an unpleasant extra that I declined for BCGs in the past. This time there was none. I decided to go with the setup as presented to serve as a new data point for all. Was it the scope or the Lidocaine that made the difference last time. While there was some discomfort, it was still less than either of the other two scopes, and certainly less than experienced initially when the Lidocaine prep is applied. So I do prefer to do without the prep, and the Storz scope is still better for me than the other two. Could it all be in my mind, or a more flexible probe, or some other factor? All I can rule out was the video quality, since I could hardly see the monitor at all due to its strange angle today.
The Doctor was pleasant, quick, and efficient and the entire exam from when he entered the room until he left was less than 5 minutes. Good news on all fronts. Return as planned in September for another scope to be followed by 3 more BCGs, at which point the scope inspections move to annually.
Having the good news assimilated, and after cleanup and re-dressing, we scheduled the September events and received a prophylactic dosage of antibiotic (Cipro) to ward off anything incidentally induced by the procedure. The next order of business was to celebrate the good news. With somewhat less trepidation, there was less stress-relief exhaustion and perhaps a tad of euphoria. My wife suggested an Irish jig, but I need to lose a few more pounds before subjecting the world to that! And we were hungry - as I chose to skip breakfast (my usual practice) to avoid giving my stomach any reason for upset prior to or during the procedure. Temptation was to go have a celebratory breakfast, but my diet dictates strict limits on what is eaten until Saturday. So we had a high protein breakfast and returned home for a day of March Madness basketball. We will have some cookies and other goodies plus Italian food for dinner on Saturday. Maybe even some green beer, corned beef, and cabbage. It will certainly be a happy St. Patrick's Day here. As for today, red wine is allowed, so we indulged in a bottle of EIEIO Pinot Noir. It was fantastic!