Well, I've put off blogging as long as I can. After yesterday, I feel like I have something to write about beside pain meds and restless nights.
Yesterday, I had an appointment in the oncologist's office to have the staples removed from my incision. My mom and I dropped off the 2 younger boys at their first day of preschool (another post for another time) and headed into Dallas. The office is just behind the hospital where I had surgery, so we knew where we were going and were blessed with good traffic, and arrived 20 minutes early. We ended up waiting over an hour. Don't you HATE that?!? Apparently, the staple-removal case before me was rendered immobile after surgery and getting her set up took quite a while. Unfortunately, all that waiting gave me plenty of time to watch the people coming into the office. Now, obviously--it you're there at all, you're in a bad place. Duh. But the women I saw...well, here's a sample conversation that I overheard:
Lady 1 (already waiting but spotting a friend): Mary Alice, how ARE you?!?!?
Lady 2 (just arrived and signing in): Well, Wanda, I'll tell you. I'm not that great today. I don't have any PLATELETS.
Lady 1: What?!? What happened?
Lady 2: I've switched chemo meds again. And the new drug has messed up my blood, and I've had to have 3 units of blood. Each unit takes 2 hours to give, plus another hour-and-a-half between units for testing and typing. I'm in here today for more testing and I'm so worried that I'll have to go back to the hospital.
Lady 1: Tsk, tsk. What happened with the D-drug?
Lady 2: Oh, the D-drug was just terrible. I couldn't get out of bed for days. I had no energy. I just couldn't do ANYTHING.
Lady 1: You know he (the doctor) isn't here today.
Lady 2: Yes, I know he's still on vacation. I heard he's having a fabulous time. I'll tell you, after each blood unit, I would stop by Krispy Kreme on the way home. I would buy a dozen donuts and eat every single one!
Lady 1: ha ha ha
Lady 2: Harold would say, "Honey, are you hungry?" And I would tell him, "No, not really." Then we would drive through Krispy Kreme anyway. They were delicious.
Both ladies laugh like this is the funniest thing they have ever heard. I'm certain that they are both wearing wigs. I am depressed.
When the sad surgery case finally was done, it was my turn. I don't mind saying that I was pretty worked up about having staples removed. The doctor had told me in the hospital that it wouldn't hurt a bit, but I was not buying it. While the nurse was prepping to take the staples out, my mom mentioned to her that I had been experiencing leg pain. Well. That one sentence threw the entire office into a tizzy. Marilyn and Vicki and Jerri Ann went nuts. Other assorted nurses and assistants were rushing in and out of the room, looking worried. One of them pushed on my feet. "Does this hurt? Does this hurt? Does this hurt?" I wanted to punch her in the nose. Someone finally explained that they were concerned about blood clots, a common and serious occurrence after surgery. They paged the doctor, who ordered a doppler scan for my legs that had to be done TODAY. Nobody cared that I had 3 children who needed to be picked up from school in a timely fashion. They removed the staples and sent us on our merry way back to the hospital.
I had to be re-admitted to the hospital as an outpatient case. When the clerk asked if I had been to Medical City before, I almost laughed. Been here? I just left here! This whole time, Mom was making frantic phone calls to Hubby to try to make a plan for retrieving the children. There was more paperwork, and we were sent upstairs.
No waiting. I couldn't believe it. It is so irritating to me that the medical community seems to have no real sense of timeliness! But that precious sono tech let us right in, and we were done in less than 30 minutes. The rules are that a physician has to review each scan and sign off on it before the patient is allowed to leave. I think the tech felt sorry for me, because she said, "I'm no rookie, and I can't see anything here to worry about. Ya'll go ahead and go, and if I'm wrong, we'll call you." Hubs had to get the little boys from preschool, but Mom and I made it to the elementary school to get Goliath, with a few moments to spare for Chipotle chips and guac in the car. Still no explanation on the leg pain, though.
Oh--in the middle of the frantic office visit, I did ask about the pathology reports. No sign of them yet, so we are resigned to more waiting.
I'm good at some things--like making up preschool songs, baking goodies, and loving my family. But I stink at being a cancer patient. All this laying around and not doing anything useful is really getting under my skin. I do realize how important resting is, and I'm doing my best...really. I miss my life, and if you're in my life, I miss you.