Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Do you have an Oncologist?

Wednesday December 6 2017

They "popped the question"

Do you have an Oncologist? said the voice on the phone...
Of course I do! I thought, aren't those like pet rocks? Everyone that grew up in the 80s has a pet rock! Whaaaat? was my mind thinking

"no" I said quietly, dumbfounded

But that was last week, let's back up a bit to exactly 2 days before my 58th birthday.

Monday, November 27

The price of antibiotics these days...

I was fighting a chest congestion and low-grade fever for a few weeks and upon the third or fourth recurrence I decided to visit the doc's office and see if I could score some antibiotics. Two days before my 58th, I reasoned I was finally getting too old to fight infections by walking in the park and ignoring the fact that I may be sick. Before you criticize my strategy, please know that ignoring my body's silly complaints has worked all my life. Eventually I return to the perfect health I have enjoyed.

So I walk into the clinic and get my vitals checked (don't they make a person take off their shoes before weighing? sheesh...). They swipe a magic wand across my forehead and decide I don't have a fever at all; my magic wand at home says I do. But whatever, get me that medicine please and I'll be outta here.

Not so fast, they listen to me breath and send me to get a chest x-ray first, since I'm complaining of chest congestion. Simple chest x-ray, robe is too big (or I'm too small) and drags behind me. Back to "my" room for results. Antibiotics, please, and I'll be out of here.

Nobody likes to hear these news on a Monday morning

With that three minute evaluation and a chest x-ray, this clinic doc who has never seen or heard of me before throws out the "C" word. I'm looking at him incredulously, I'm sure. Trying not to. Felt like saying, "cool, can I NOW have some antibiotics?"
But I'm just sitting there. Listening.
...abnormal chest x-ray...blah blah...some anomalies...mass around the 7th rib...possible cancer...blah...need CT scan of chest...check on your insurance...do you have a regular doctor...(does he mean one that actually provides antibiotics for a recurring infection?)...

I'm helpless

Next I'm given a neato printed folder with lots of phone numbers, cool brochures, welcoming messages and other stuff I haven't gotten to yet, and I love to read. The CT scan done right then and there and I even get an appointment for MY assigned doctor, later that day.
I can't see my actual radiographs, of course, nor the suspicious spots on my bones. That spot on my rib they talk about did hurt a bit ago but I do so much physical activity (in the form of home maintenance and improvement, light construction, occasional splitting wood, towing a happy pup around the park...) that something hurts mildly nearly all the time.

I'm helpless to do anything except what they tell me to do. Except I start reading a ton of stuff at the Mayo Clinic website.

Doc's visit coming up. More fun stuff.

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