Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Check-Up in CancerWorld!

Every three months for the next two years I have to check-in with CancerWorld. My first check-up has been a series of comical errors that I thought I would share with you all.

 When I last saw the Doctor in CancerWorld in November, they scheduled my first check-up for March 16. Back then November felt very far away. Blood work is required for this visit so I was asked to go to the doctors office the Monday before and do the lab work so the test would be back before the office visit.

I showed up for the lab work on March 14 and the receptionist looked at me quite oddly. She asked me for my appointment time and I told her I was only there for lab work. She searched frantically through her computer before she announced, "My appointment was ONE MONTH ago!"  My head was swimming, how did I miss an appointment by a month? This could not be, I had my calendar in my car and I had wrote the appointment in my calendar as I was standing in front of the receptionist back in November.

So, I say to her, this is just not possible. The receptionist looks at me and says, "You were here in November." To this I agree! Then like I am a child, she counts on her fingers, "December, January, February". And with that she holds up three fingers. I am embarrassed! How did I miss an appointment by a month?

I went out to the car and got my calendar. I want to make sure I know my work schedule when rescheduling the appointment. That is when I realize that February and March both started on a Tuesday and the days are the same. I wrote my appointment on the wrong month from the very beginning!

They reschedule me for two weeks later, this past Monday to do the blood work and today for the appointment with the Doctor. I go on Monday, dreading the needle poke. In case you all have forgotten, I have horrible veins and do not do well with needle sticks.

Walking into the CancerWorld, I am nervous. Being there, seeing the other sick patients just brings back all of these feelings that I never want to be there again. I really thought I had moved past my Cancer diagnosis until I am there and I am still a patient.

Being a child of the 80's I am usually pretty in tuned to "my music" as the Boy calls it. So, as I am sitting in the crowded lobby (Monday's are incredibly busy in CancerWorld) listening to the Muzac and realize they are playing 80's dance music. As I sit and ponder how odd even I think that is, they call my name to be next. Let the battle of the needle begin!

I am so happy to report that as I sit in the lab tech's chair and offer her my arms, the lab tech is patient. And boy does her patience pay off! She got a great vein and left virtually no mark on my arm! There is a first time for everything! The last thing the lab tech says to me is that she wants me to wait for my blood levels.

Blood levels are a big deal in CancerWorld. Mine were only good one time, my baseline before I started Chemo. A persons blood levels determine whether they stay out of the hospital, can get treatment, or have to take the dreaded injection of Nupogen. I had kinda forgot about my blood levels since I was no longer doing treatment. The last time they were checked in November, after finishing treatment, my levels were low. Very low. So I agree to wait for my levels.

Now, here is the funny part. I already mentioned Muzac was playing 80's dance music right. When I get back out to the lobby, I kid you not, Muzac is playing "Another one bites the dust!" This is probably the LAST song you want to hear in CancerWorld! As I am sitting stunned I can overhear another patient say to his wife, "someone should talk to them about their selection of music!"

My blood levels came back and finally, my levels have returned to a normal level. White blood count, hemoglobin, CBC, ect. Everything was normal levels. My "Cancer Markers" were low, which my understanding is good. I was told that 3% of Hodgkins patients will suffer a failure of chemo and have a re-occurance within the first year.

I have been given a green light for the next three months. In June I will  repeat the CAT scan of the neck, upper body and pelvis area. I was also told that IF I were to ever get this cancer again, it would not show up in the same spot, but in another region of the lymphnode system. So, they will CAT scan my entire system to make sure all is clear.

Now for the real question, how long do you think my hair will be at my six month check-up?

1 comment:

  1. I know what you mean, I felt like that the other week when I was in for my annual MRI. I went back to feeling like a patient again, when I think I've moved on. I've got more tests coming up though so it never really ends completely for ages huh?
    I bet your hair will be real long - perhaps around your ears by then. Is it growing fast?