What’s in a name?

In July I requested ALL my records from Dana-Farber. I had the records emailed to me and sent to my local PCP. I had always received copies of my lab results at appointments and I can access a lot online, but I wanted my whole record in it’s entirety. From July on, I’ve just had the secretary send me the progress notes.

I have to say, reading through the doctor’s notes from November 2009 to present day was interesting. It was kind of like taking a walk down memory lane because some of my life milestones were outlined in the notes during the three years I had been an MGUS patient.


Here are just a few snippets. Why? Well, because they amuse me.

Ms. Elizabeth **** is a delightful 26-year-old young woman. {Yes, I really was delightful!}

She is single. She does, however, have a boyfriend, and they have been in a stable relationship for some time. She lives with her roommate.. {This boyfriend is now my husband!}

Ms. Elizabeth **** is seen today in followup. Since last seen, Elizabeth has continued to do remarkably well. She is teaching full time. She is now engaged to be married, and is planning for her wedding next year. She reports that allis well at home. Systemic inquiry is noteworthy for excellent performance status and superb morale. {I’m engaged! With superb morale. No doubt.}


Elizabeth reports that all is well. She is due to be married later this year and is busy making arrangements accordingly. In herself, she is feeling quite well. {Um, more like stressed out of my mind with wedding planning!}


 

Elizabeth has been doing really quite well since last seen. Systemic inquiry is noteworthy for good performance status and excellent morale. {Excellent morale. Yep.}

 

Ms. Elizabeth **** is a delightful 28-year-old young woman with MGUS who is followed carefully as part of her strategy of observation. She is accompanied today by her very supportive husband. All is well at home. {2 years later… I was still delightful!}


 

Ms. Elizabeth **** is seen today in follow-up. Elizabeth is accompanied here today by her very supportive husband. All is well at home. Since last seen, she has continued to do remarkably well overall and has no new complaints. She is working full-time as a teacher. She is very happily married. Both she and her husband are looking to start a family fairly soon if at all possible, but she does have some concerns about the feasibility of doing this in the context of her monoclonal gammopathy of uncertain significance. For that reason, today, she is ready to undergo bone marrow aspirate and biopsy. {Okay, just to clarify, I actually WASN’T concerned. I just wanted to confirm it was okay.}



After July, I noticed the top of my progress notes changed. This has been a little disconcerting to see in black and white. My first three years it always said:

 

PROGRESS NOTE

DIAGNOSIS: Monoclonal gammopathy of uncertain signficance.

CURRENT THERAPY: Careful Observation.

Then, in September it said:



 

PROGRESS NOTE
 
DIAGNOSIS: Plasma cell dyscrasia (MGUS versus smoldering myeloma)
 
CURRENT THERAPY: Presently under evaluation before commencing further treatment.



Then, in December it said:




PROGRESS NOTE

DIAGNOSIS: Smoldering myeloma (versus MGUS).
 

CURRENT THERAPY: Presently under evaluation before commencing further treatment.


AND. In my most recent note it says that I will start, “periodic infusions of bisphosphonate.” Not so sure about that… yikes. I’m glad my diagnosis still includes “versus MGUS”. That makes me feel a little better.


But. 



What’s in a name? :)