Catching up

I have no more excuses. It is time to sit down and write. I think losing the post I wrote last Tuesday had a depressive effect on my desire to express myself literally, literally. Or, a computer glitch pissed me off.

So lets retrace the week as best we can.

Tuesday: My sister Shirley Crawford and I got an early start so we could see my doctor at his drop-in clinic where it is first come first drugged. I needed to have the staples removed from the zipper in my abdomin and to get my Oxymorphone prescription renewed. Giving ourselves plenty of time, we arrived at his clinic a good 2 hours before we had to be anywhere else. It was closed. Not for the day. The building was for lease. Nice. The sign on the door explained that he had moved to another clinic up the road a few blocks.

Up the road a few blocks we were welcomed by who is possibly the least appropriate person ever to manage a medical venue. If I remember correctly, her nametag said Miss Dongivashit. I explained my needs and informed her how busy the rest of our cancer clinic day would be. She said, “no, Dr. Blane did not bring your file with him from the other clinic and you will see him in about 2 hours if you wait here”. I explained again that my cancer clinic appointments were kinda important and asked how we might still see Dr. Blane at some point. She said to call when I was done at the hospital and she would put me on the waiting list then. That, I figure, would save about three minutes; the time it takes to drive to the clinic from the hospital. Shirley dubbed the place “The Bitch Clinic” and we left for the hospital.

So we arrived at the blood clinic over an hour early. No problem. The pre-teen student nurse introduced herself and asked if I would mind if she collected my samples. I quickly checked her hands for the nervous jitters and concluded she was probably ok. I told her my delicate veins are sometimes difficult for even the most experienced bloodletters. Then checked her hands again. Now she was nervous. I thought seriously about suggesting the real nurse take over at this point but one glance at her and I was pretty sure she wasn’t nervous but woudn’t hesitate to go on a deep vein drilling expedition in retaliation for undermining the confidence of her student. “You’ll do fine!” I assured the twelve year old. She did fine. Better than many experienced nurses.

Now we were over two hours early for my oncology appoinment so I figured I would stop by the outpatient daycare and see if they would remove my staples. Yes they would. I just needed to get a doctor to tell them to. So it isn’t yet 10:00 when I arrived at the oncology clinic to tell reception I have an 11:40 appointment but would like to talk to Dr. Shan (the medical oncologst) now so that I can go back to daycare. She won’t be in until 11:00.

Which brings me to the most pleasant part of my day. I remembered that the radiation oncologist, Dr. Rose, told me at our last appointment to call him if I needed anything. I called. As I was explaining the situation to his office, the man himself walked through the door. “I can do that for you”, he said and ushered me directly into an examination room. He snipped, tugged, slipped and shrugged, “sorry”, for ten or twelve minutes while I, in turn, laid, winced, shook and laughed, “its ok”, and the staples were gone. He said it was great fun doing something he hadn’t done since his surgical rotation as a medical student. As soon as he was done, and now that he know my surgery had happened, he said he was going back to his office to check the necropsy results. As I understand it, the tissues removed by Dr. Brown went to a biopsy team that will slice, dice, scan & test the bits and learn all kinds of cool stuff about my particular tumors. One of the things that can be learned is just how well the radiation worked its magic. Dr. Rose just had to go have a look right now. I guess its kind of his tumor too. I love that guy.

Shirley treated me to a latte and a cookie while we waited for the appointment with Dr. Shan. We won’t be doing any chemo until at least a month after the surgery, so early March. Even then, there is one drug in particular she can’t give me in the first round because I am still healing. She figures four to six rounds of chemo (that will be 8 – 12 weeks) then more scans for the the benefit of the liver surgeon. If the tests show that he can operate, that would be at least a month after chemo ends. So we are most likely looking at July sometime. Dr. Shan kindly but reluctantly, renewed my morphine so we never did need to return to The Bitch Clinic.

However, Dr. Shan did notice I was due for a port flush so what already seemed like a long day got a little longer. Then it got a lot longer. If they don’t use my power port to deliver poisonous chemicals to my bloodstream for a month, then they have to wash it out with a couple big syringes of saline. No big deal. Unless my overzealous platelets have decided to heal the exposed end of the pipeline running from the port into my jugular. My platelets, even while discouraged by daily blood thinner injections, will tend to do that. The nurses had to squirt a couple ccs of clot buster fluid into the port and leave it there for an hour. Shirley and I went to the pharmacy to get my drugs, returned to the hospital to complete the flush and got home around 4:00. It wasn’t the longest day by most people’s standards but we were both exhausted.

That, my friends, replaces the mysterious disappearing post from last Tuesday and is just about all I can manage to do today. It isn’t the week I sat down here to write but my bum hurts from sitting here so I’m done. I don’t know if it is as good, bad, accurate or as interesting as the original but it feels good to have it done. Now, to just click “post” aaaaand …


One thought on “Catching up

  1. Gary

    Keep fighting the good fight. There isn’t another.

    I don’t know about you, but, all these technical things usually distract me enough from the painful ones.

    BTW. Good writing. I especially liked the bit with you and Shirley Crawford. “Bitch Clinic”


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