doctor

The cancer shirt alvin May 1, 2019 - 8:51am

You can tell sometimes when doctors have something they don’t want to tell you. One of my doctors is an older “manly man” kind of guy, and while we’ve had some interesting conversations, they’ve never been about clothes. But the last time I saw him he walked in and said, “That’s an interesting shirt. What does it say on it? Where did you get it?” The conversation felt weird, and then I realized he was stalling. Finally he said, “Well, the biopsy shows that you have cancer.”

So now, ever time I put that shirt on, like today, I think of that conversation.

Doctor: I’ve only seen that once before in my life

A funny thing about mast cell disease is when a 60+ year old doctor who is considered one of the best in his profession says to you, “I’ve only seen that once before in my life.” With MCAS, you get used to statements like that.

(This happened in 2016, but I was reminded of it again today.)

Doctor struggling to give me a little bad news

Yesterday one of my doctors was struggling to give me a little bit of bad news, fumbling a little over his words and giving me a very lengthy explanation. After a little while I told him listen, I’ve been unconscious seven times, I’ve had three fake heart attacks (allergic angina), and I was once told that I had a 10% chance of dying during an operation. What you’re telling me right now, it’s okay, it’s not that big of a deal. He calmed down a little after that.

I think they made a movie about this

After my surgery last week I went to see the doctor on Wednesday, and to my surprise he handed me a piece of paper that says that the biopsy on the body stuff he removed shows that I have cancer. But then he quickly added that he thinks it’s a mistake. He did two surgeries that day, me and another person, and he said that he knew going in that the other person had cancer, but the lab test results show that I have cancer and the other person did not test positive. So he hopes the results got reversed somehow.

To get to the truthiness of the matter they took a DNA sample from me and they’re going to compare that to the cancerous material that’s still in the lab. (I didn’t think to ask how long they keep that stuff laying around.) He said it could take ten days before they know the result. I think they’ve made movies about this, but I don’t think I’ll be racking up any huge credit card bills or anything like that. ;)

Bacteria DNA in your body

Doctor: You have more bacteria DNA in your body than your own DNA.

Me: My body??? (spoken in high-pitched voice)

Doctor: Yes. No. I mean not just you, everyone.

Me: Oh, good. I thought you were trying to tell me something.

If you have Mast Cell Activation Disease (MCAD) and need to have a surgery

If you have Mast Cell Activation Disease (MCAD, also known as Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, MCAS) and need to have a surgery, here is the advice I received from the doctor/specialist who is treating me for MCAD/MCAS: “For patients such as yourself, I suggest continuing on antihistamines and taking prednisone (40 mg) the day before, the morning of, and soon after a procedure. Generally, the anesthesiologists and surgeons are fine with this.”

Dr. Jill Carnahan of Louisville, Colorado, has a good article on MCAS alvin November 1, 2017 - 2:13pm

Dr. Jill Carnahan of Louisville, Colorado, has a good article on mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS).

Fifty Shades of Mast Cell Activation Disease (MCAD/MCAS)

Notes from September 24, 2016:

Doctor: I’d like to collect a bone marrow sample ...

*Al runs out of the hospital in a hospital gown, screaming like a little girl*


(later, after they caught me)

Doctor: The next time you break out in a rash, hives, or blisters, I want you to have those biopsied.

Me: Is there going to be any part of our relationship that doesn’t involve a lot of pain on my part?

Doc: Yes, pee in this cup, and we’ll look at it under a fluorescent light to see if you have the same disease that King George III had.

Me: The crazy one?

Doc: Yes.

Me: Cool.