Archive for November, 2005

Miraculous Mercer Health Systems

Okay, my primary care physician is at Mercer Health Systems. And usually they’re wonderful, but they’ve fallen behind since I’ve been to see all these specialists. F’rexample, three days after my surgical biopsy, they called to give me the results of the needle biopsy, more than a week earlier.

But they’re trying to keep me informed.

Still, the letter I got yesterday had me confused. It states:

The results of your lab tests in our office on 10/31/06 have returned. Biopsy procedure was successful.

I wasn’t in their office on 10/31. I’ve never had a biopsy in their office. I did have a procedure elsewhere that day, but not a biopsy. I wouldn’t really call any of my biopsies successful (okay, to software engineers, a successful test is one that exposes a fault, so maybe they are successful since they’re finding cancer, but this wasn’t written by a software engineer).

But I looked more carefully at the form. The procedure was done on 10/31/06–next year. I am hopeful, but it’s nice to know my biopsy in a year will be clean!

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The Orange and Blue

If you’ve seen as much Florida football as I have this season, you’ve seen the “Go Gators” commercial. It’s something like:

“…Go Gators. Go write the great American novel. Go Gators. Go cure cancer…”

Well, it became very clear to me today that UF must be very involved in cancer treatment. The dye from the tracer during surgery turned my urine bright, bright blue. The chemotherapy today turned it a brighter orange. (And better yet, it’s radioactive!)

But, if that’s what I’m talking about, it must have gone well. And so far, it has!

For a more detailed (if not as colorful) account of the day, read on.

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And so we start


we leave for the first chemotherapy appointment in 10 minutes. I wish I could have updated this log before now, but I have no idea what I’m feeling…I’m nervous and scared but just want to get this over and see what it’s all about. Maybe I have nothing to worry about? Maybe it’ll devastate me?

I’ll know soon.

No word on the PET scan. I played phone tag with Sharon from the doctor’s office for 3 hours yesterday, figuring she was going to say something about it. No, turns out she wanted to remind me of today’s appointment. Like I could forget. Of course, last week, they just left that message on the answering machine, so I expected something more serious.

Glad it wasn’t.

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No news is…

good news? I talked to the nurse educator today about the results of my echocardiogram last week. (I was calling to make sure I could have wine Wednesday night and breakfast Thursday.) She said it was just great.

But no news is also no news. Since my PET scan results werre supposed to be in Monday, I asked how they were. She laughed and said they never were delivered on time and she didn’t have them yet. But when they’re delivered, if anything’s wrong, I’ll hear about it.

Ya know, these people have to deliver so much bad news, you’d think they’d let me know the PET scan is okay. But for now, that’s what I’m going to believe.

My first chemo session should be over in 48 hours. Not that I’m counting or anything…

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A Change of Perspective

I feel so blessed to have so many people, even some I’ve never met, supporting me through this. (And I feel so guilty that I’m not able to correspond with each of you and thank you all personally.) Around Thursday, my perspective seemed to change. For the better I think.

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A Very Good Day

I was not a cancer patient today. It was a very good day.

Sure, I still have cancer, but I got to focus on another part of my life instead of the cancer. It was a very good day.

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A good week to have over

Six days! I’m not scheduled to see another doctor or specialist or medical professional of any type for 6 days!

And today, with just two appointments wasn’t all that bad.

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PET scan logic?


So I’m having a PET scan in the morning. Fine.

They want me to drink lots of water today and up until the time of the scan. (I think the exact wording was “as much as you can hold.”) Fine.

They’ll inject me with a radiopharmaceutical. Fine.

They’ll then restrict “movement, reading, or any other activity” for 90 to 150 minutes. (Reading’s an activity!?) After all that water? Not so fine.

But, hey, if this is what I’m worrying about, it should be fine.

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Thurday’s Appointments

Well, I had three appointments today designed to get me ready for chemo next week.

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Elastic by the yard

Yes, I did see 3 more health professionals today, but is that really news? I’ll get to the gory details in a later post.

My big news is that I have a handicapped parking permit! No fuss, no hassle and I think I jumped ahead of 10 people in the DMV line to get it. (I think I was at the “special needs” line, while they were in the “driver’s license” line…I had an I number–I913, while they all had B numbers, like B234.)

The bad news is the doctor had to check a box explaining why I needed the permit. Instead of the “Is so ambulatory disabled that he or she cannot walk 200 feet without stopping to rest,” he checked the “Cannot walk with the use of assistance from a brace, a cane, a crutch, another person, a prosthetic device, a wheelchair, or other assistive device” box. My, this chemo may be interesting.

(Also intersting, one of the boxes is “Is a blind individual…” Not too disturbing ’til you realize you need a driver’s license to get the permit.)

I really don’t intend to use the permit anywhere other than at school when chemo sessions leave me tired, where there’s a lovely line of unused handicapped spaces a minute’s walk from my office. As a friend said, “You’ll have better things to spend your energy on.”

But oh, what a test of character! On the drive home, I kept trying to remember the wording of an old saying related to this. The Internet is great…I found it in just minutes once I got home and greeted the beasties. I wasn’t surprised to see it attributed to Piet Hein:

Yes, he was tempted, and he fell,
but judge him not too hard.
It does take character to sell
elastic by the yard.

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