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Canswerist® ▶ Valley to Valley


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Noting the Friday, Dec. 29 trip from the Temescal Valley to the San Gabriel Valley (east LA County) community of Duarte for a single reason: our phlebotomy appointment a week ahead of our scheduled visit to see our City of Hope endocrinologist, a quarterly check-up.

A Google maps ▶ LINK BELOW ▶ search for the best route to Duarte from our location showed approximately a 54-minute journey via Route 60, but we generally take I-15 north to Rancho Cucamonga and the the 210-Freeway west to Duarte.

The route usually adds about 10 minutes to the trip, but it is less stressful, as a rule.

Speaking of stress, the number of our blood draws and testing are down considerably at this time. We only have need for that service with our 6-month visits to our oncologist and these quarterly visits to the endocrinologist. For the later, we are expecting every test to be within normal ranges due to the fact that our South Beach Diet plan has worked to help us shed more than 20 pounds since our last visit in October. Dr. Amiri should be elated.

Yes, weight control has been a life-long challenge in my almost 70 years as I am due to reach that milestone in June 2018.

Closing my 60s (the cancer decade for me) is monumental. At the time of my April 2006 diagnosis (DX) with mantle cell lymphoma, I was given about six months to live, but some 16 months of chemotherapy followed by an allogeneic stem cell transplant (SCT) in 2007 and subsequent brief relapse late 2009 that was treated successfully with Tomotherapy (targeted radiation) has led to lasting remission until present day.

So what’s a few blood draws to fuss about?

Unfortunately, the veins of most cancer patients don’t always cooperate, so I am usually advising phlebotomists to use a butterfly needed to poke a left-hand vein. That process was followed flawlessly yesterday at City of Hope. I hardly felt the stick when five tubes of blood were drawn in less than 5 minutes. Five minutes is nothing on the total timeline of our almost 12 years to treks to and from City of Hope since the spring of 2006.

Of course, we have lost track of the total number of hospital, medical center, and physician appointments that have ensued since our DX. What matters now is not the time, but the life of survival as a #CANSWERIST, one who has fought cancer or is a caregiver for a cancer survivor, the terminology that I apply in today’s #SocialCurrentSee


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