Monday, August 23, 2010

If I had a nickel . . .

Last week we were sitting in a doctor's examining room and for the umpteenth time one of us posed the question: how much money would we have if we had a nickel for every hour we've spent waiting in a doctor's office? We would have earned our nickel, and then some, on that day. In fact, that doctor always apologizes for keeping us waiting before he says hello. Friday we went to Corinth and waited some more, though it wasn't as bad as it could have been. The appointment clerk had originally scheduled us for 9 a.m. even with my telling her that we couldn't get there that early and why. I simply asked someone else if it could be changed; she does understand our situation and gladly changed it. If we had arrived by nine the wait would have been over two hours--and I would not have been happy. Today I had a check up with the primary care doctor to have blood tests and discuss my blood pressure. The wait for him was minimal, but this afternoon we visited the eye clinic for Tom to have pre-surgery tests done. They involved a wait! When he finally was seen and his blood pressure checked, it was found to be too low to have his cataract surgery next week. The tech got on the phone, checked with the primary care to see when Tom could be seen and was told we could come straight there. More waiting, but, after all, we weren't on the schedule. When the doctor came in, he laughed when he saw us back and said, "What have you done today beside sit in doctors' offices? You look exhausted." He did give the go ahead for the surgery. Too bad Tom and I can't share blood pressure!

My visit with the oncologist Friday did not change my treatment schedule. He continues to be concerned with my higher blood pressure and wants it down before resuming the Avastin. We are to get a monitor so I can track the pressure daily, let him know and hopefully, start the Avastin again. The good news is that the CA125 has dropped a few tenths of a point, after having increased little by little for the last several months. One doctor is concerned with the stroke possibility; another doesn't like my aenemic state; I want to keep attacking the cancer and live to the fullest in the meanwhile!

Finally the heat has broken some! We are actually promised some days this week down into the eighties and someone said they heard we had a fifties forecast for a night later in the week. Whew! The heat has been stiffling, but I'll have to say that the humidity isn't as bad as what we experienced in Mississippi all the years we lived there.

What I have written seems full of complaints: too much waiting; blood pressure issues for us both; issues with the chemo treatments; heat and humidity, but I don't mean them as complaints. On the way home this afternoon I couldn't help but chuckle thinking about the ups and downs of the day. It wasn't dull! We have wonderful doctors with caring, compassionate staffs. The blood pressure can be monitored and adjusted; the treatments keep me fatigued most of the time, but they also are keeping the cancer at arm's length. We are glad to be alive.

Pastor Margaret

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