Crespi effect

So I’ve been waiting in the nurses’ report room for an hour and a half waiting for my oncologist to come in and give me the results of the CT scan I had on Wednesday that I didn’t tell anyone about because it is scary and I didn’t want to have to say anything if the results were bad or inconclusive, but Dr. Brana came in and told me not to worry, she had good news for me. She hadn’t planned on telling me because that is usually Dr. Siu’s job, but she is in meetings until 1 p.m. and they didn’t want to make me wait. Tumors are 20% smaller after five doses of the AMG-386, which is more than I was hoping for. I’ve been holding out for stable.

When I talked to my psychiatrist a week and a half ago about the news that I had mutations and my tumor marker was stable, I cried and told him it was overwhelming to get good news and to feel like I could just enjoy it without tempering my happiness. I don’t do this ever, really, because after enough disappointment you start to distance yourself from expectations. He told me that in psychology there is something called the Crespi effect. Essentially, if you withhold reward from a person long enough, when a reward finally comes, they experience elation, a stronger response than someone who consistently receives and thus expects reward. I’m not used to feeling like this.



About Alicia Louise

I'm a writer, editor, fact checker, storyteller, events organizer, chronically busy yet endlessly lazy, mildly neurotic (though I keep the neuroses well-hidden, one hopes) 32-year-old with recurrent ovarian cancer. I like people and good writing and straight talk. I have a hard time feeling sorry for people, including myself, but the people that I love, I love passionately; one may even say creepily. I try to keep that mostly to myself. I'd like to be charming, but I'm usually just a mess. I'm like a gull slamming into your windshield.
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8 Responses to Crespi effect

  1. dusterbed says:

    Hooray for 20% smaller!!! Crespi-tacular!

  2. Dad says:

    I was hoping no news meant good news. Fantastic!!!

    Love you.

  3. Michelle says:

    That is really awesome. Enjoy your dose of Crespi.

  4. That makes a lot of sense – isn’t it great you can have someone explain all these reactions? Yay for 20% shrinkage. That’s fantastic news. ~Catherine

  5. Jodi R. says:

    Elation–ELATION! Yeah for elation!!! I am elated over your elation!!! xox

  6. Mal and Elaine says:

    great news Alicia –loveu

  7. Happy for good news! Celebrate with ice-cream!

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