Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Back to North Atlanta

In the scheme of things at the surgeon's office, the fact that you CAN wait, means you're more well. If they rush you in when appointments start at 6AM then you're more urgent or more ill. I had an 8:30 appointment this morning and was not suprised that I had to wait for my one year check up. Waiting meant that I wasn't having to wait with tubes hanging out of me, or in pain or with bad news or the need for urgent medical review. I'm happy to have the privilege to wait. I had an ultrasound of my right armpit to review the lymph nodes. What nodes I have left looked healthy. The ultrasound technician remembered me because I always asked for a picture of my tumor, and because I had named it. I asked if any other patient had named their tumor, and she told me about a lady who named her several tumors men's names. So each tumor was a "Bill," or "Fred," or "Frank." Apparently she felt strong negative feelings toward some men in her life! My tumor showed up as black on a field of static-like-lace. The white being the calcifications and microcalcifications that made reading my mammogram so hard to read. The black made me think of the old Saturday movie maven, "Elvira: Mistress of the Dark." And that is how my tumor was named. It also made it easier to imaging strangling the life out of it. I don't know if creative visualization helps, but it sure didn't hurt, and so I imagined cutting off the life flow to that tumor. And I had some time on my hands to imagine that for a while.

Today was happy. Lots of compliments for my surgeon about her skillful work. She laughed about my "dog ears." Dog ears (otherwise known as pie dough) are lumps of skin that are the tail ends of a REALLY big incision. I told her I had a great dane's ear on my right side, and a peakinese's ear on my left side. She was not upset at all that I had the great dane ear taken care of as a "scar revision." She checked bunches of things out and answered a question that I'd had for a while. I thought the numbness I was feeling in my arms was a side effect of chemo/surgery. When I described it, she said it sounded much more like a disc problem to her. Since I've never really had the time and energy to get the orthopaedic doc a chance to work on my disc issue, I am not surprised. I'm just surprised that it was the surgeon that figured out I didn't have neuropathy, but numbness caused by the dang disc issue.

I can only handle so many doc appointments at any one time, and after some successes and failures, I determined that I can really only handle one a week. Next week is the gastroenterologist to see what's going on in my gut.

I didn't mind waiting today. I was nice to see someone that has such a positive outlook, and is so smart and savvy and who is genuine and real, and who has actually healed me. I also had hair this time. She saw me for the first time with my hair down to my waist, then for months she saw me bald, and now I have just enough -- barely enough, but enough to style a bit. It's amazing how a woman's feminity is so tied to hair. Well at least is is for me. I'm glad to feel more girly as it gets a little longer. It grows very, very slowly -- yes I know 1/4-inch per month for NORMAL people. If you've had medical treatments, it grows at it's own pace. So its taken all the way since last January for me to get the three inches I have, but I'm glad of them. It just barely will go around the green small self-gripping hair rollers. I'll post a picture of us together tomorrow. It's another one where I can put last year next to this year.

The school nurse just sent a bulletin out that the flu is definitely going around. Since I got a flu shot this year, I imagine that's why I only felt like I had something dire for a couple days instead of for a week or more.

Yes, I'm glad I got to see Dr. S again and with such positive outcomes. I feel a bit like I've been "certified" for one more year. It's dizzying though when you're seeing so many doctors for different reasons. The oncologist, the surgeon, and your internist, a gastroenterologist, a gynecologist and an orthopaedist. I'm happy to be on this side of the dirt while I contemplate how much of my income goes to physicians. Thank you Dr. S. You do good work!


Watercolor said...

hugs! yeah, a whole handful or two of docs is indeed tough to juggle. both in time and in pocketbook. :)

Susan said...

I love your outlook: I'm happy to have the privilege to wait.

And your perspective: I'm happy to be on this side of the dirt...

Great post, so glad things are going so well!

Amber said...

I used to pray "Lord, please let Elvira the parasite die a quick death that causes the least destruction possible to her host." (I figured asking for no destruction was not going to be fulfilled because there was already some destruction by the time I found out)

I'm really glad for you that I don't have to pray that anymore! I'm sure that Jewel's birthday this year was not just a celebration for Jewel, whether it was just in the back of people's heads or it was actually discussed. I certainly thought about the relationship and ironies.