Yesterday felt like a bit of a disaster from start to finish. I woke up with a feeling of dread that has not been present in recent weeks. It certainly didn’t go away when I realized my oncologist and nurse had not really communicated about why I was visiting them at 8:00 on a Monday. They called this meeting; not me.
(Did I even mention that I had an unexpected meeting with my oncologist? They called me late Thursday and asked me to come in and discuss treatment/clinical trial options.)
Dr. C’s approach is to present the facts and then the patient makes the decision as to what treatment option to go with. And it’s not what I’m used to. I’m accustomed to visiting my primary care doctor with a cold, high blood pressure, stiff knee, etc. and he tells me how we’ll fix it. I take Camden and Rory to their pediatrician because they’re running a fever and Dr. H makes them all better.
Cancer is different. You don’t get “all better.” You try to make an informed choice and hope it’s the right one. When I asked Dr. C for her recommendation yesterday, she wouldn’t give me a recommendation . . . just presented the facts again and waited for me to make a choice. I’m not really a fan of that. I'm not really a fan of cancer.
For now we’ve decided to proceed with the already-scheduled course of action and to ignore (for now) some of the riskier drugs. I am having an echocardiogram this afternoon to make sure my heart is healthy enough for chemo and then I will receive my first infusion Tuesday, December 2. Dr. C is also going to refer me to local hospitals who have clinical trials that might be helpful.
I may have had my first crying fit and ungrateful feelings yesterday, but this morning I woke up in a much better frame of mind and am able to remember a few things.
- The valet at the cancer clinic who whispered “may Christ be with you today” as he handed me my keys.
- The receptionist who always says, “Well, hello, Gorgeous!”
- That even though Brian wasn’t able to attend the appointment, Becky was able to video conference and be present.
- I might have taken a major fall at work yesterday, but NO ONE SAW!
- The kids had a great day with a family from our church yesterday.
- I got to snuggle with a newborn for an hour after work. There’s not much better therapy than that.
- The phone call with Becky last night to debrief the doctor’s appointment. While I felt very discouraged, she saw things differently and that’s always good.
- I was the weak one last night while Brian was strong. Funny how that always happens – we’re never weak at the same time.
Today I’m trying to fit in 6.5 hours of work into 4 from home (with 2 very hyped up kids I might add), and then I’ll head to Nashville for another doctor’s appointment. Getting back into cancer mode feels hard, like an uphill battle. But I think I can do it if I can just remember to take it one step at a time.