Pragmatist or Pessimist?

I’ve had the below post created since Tuesdays infusion but didn’t want to post it because I know it comes across as being pessimistic. But, I’ve shared everything else on this journey and good or bad it’s how I view and deal with these things.

Tuesday March 21, 2017

I’ve recently shared, with a number of friends, that I consider myself a glass half empty kind of guy. I know that’s usually taken in a negative way, but I say I’m being more realistic or evenly grounded. I’m a pragmatist. If things turn out better than I expect, and they often do, then it’s a win for me. If they don’t, well… then I’m prepared.

This morning’s meeting with Dr. Pishvaian, even for this glass half empty guy, took a bit of the wind out of my sails. Dr. P. has always been a straight shooter, and while it’s one of the things I’ve always appreciated about him, I wish today he’d sounded more optimistic than pragmatic. “Where are the rose colored glasses doc?”

There is a cancer marker, called CA 19-9 he watches. My insurance doesn’t like paying for it but it has been an accurate indicator in the past and apparently this time it has as well. He commented today it’s gone up again since my last infusion.

This can mean one of two things.

  • The optimist see’s this as indicating the treatment is breaking up the tumors, therefore more of the antigen is present in my blood, ergo the higher reading.
  • The pessimist see’s this as indicating an increase in tumor growth / activity.

My pragmatic, Herr Doktor, wants me prepared for a worse case outcome – that the immunotherapy is not working and my needing to go back to chemo therapy. (whimper)

In texting about this with my wife she commented, “But you prefer him to be forthright, don’t you?”

Unfortunately the pragmatist leaves me stressing out until I get the results from my next scan which won’t be for; 3 weeks, or 21 days, or 504 hours.

Heck of a time to give up drinking.

2017-03-25T10:19:37-04:00 March 25th, 2017|Categories: Cancer, Cancer Update, Timeline|3 Comments


  1. Norman March 25, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Praying for you, Michael! I hope your next scan shows it breaking up!

  2. rose blondell March 25, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    Being frank and honest is courageous in my book. We all care for you and are praying for you.

  3. Mike Parent March 25, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    I’m a sales guy, so I like to add ice to the half-full glass. My prayers, and those of countless others, are the ice!

    Mike (and Carol)5

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