Mar 06, 2013 - 5:22 pm
This was a frustrating day…took over 4-hours for a blood draw and an onco consult:(
As soon as we hit their driveway we knew it was going to be a long day…so busy they had traffic controllers directing cars into waiting areas to queue just to get in line, LOL!
Front desk jammed…waiting room packed like sardines…SRO…then appt mishaps and reschedules followed by one couple who never checked in correctly and had the appt prior to ours…so we waited some more…
And then inside…waited…and waited…and waited some more…
And then came the apologies when he did show up at our door…1/2 a day gone from work on what should have been a routine visit.
That hospital is more packed now than I’ve ever seen it…the Cancer Business is obviously alive and well...
Anyway, he comes in and blah blah blah…I said let’s talk about these 8-words…
”New-Ill-Defined-Low-Density-Mass-1.5cm x 4.4cm”
The other day I alluded to the fact that it might be post-surgical & post-treatment scarring or some kind of ‘settling out’ from all of the work I had done in the liver…including a badly botched needle biopsy of the liver.
I asked my onc what he thought it was…
They were crammed for time and already late for their on-call assignment over at the hospital, so this consult was more like a Wham-Bam encounter at the No-Tell Motel on your lunch hour:)
He doesn’t really know…nothing conclusive…said he is not too concerned…
But then, he is not exactly an excitable fellow…and this isn’t exactly his cancer either…
I mean that’s a pretty big spot of ‘haziness.’ 4cm is noticeable….my liver tumor was 8cm….and my last lung tumor was 6cm….
That’s the best you can come up with for all of this damn money and time I’ve wasted this cycle? Hell, I had this much diagnosed yesterday (for free).
He hem-hawed and mumble-fkd his way through the shortened version…but didn’t say anything that was concrete or even speculative in nature.
They just “Don’t Really Know…”
He could sense the concern that I was expressing and said he would see me again in 3-months and he ordered an MRI that I could do if I can afford it then. He said if I could not do it, then to just cancel it. He is aware of my financial situation.
And that’s going to be an important decision…
See, as a nearly 9-year veteran of cancer, I’ve often talked about treating your cancer ‘like a business.’
Knee-jerk reactions cost us in so many ways…this happened to me right after SteveD in England did his hemi-pelvicectomy….my arm was numb from the shoulder down and my hands and fingers were trembling something fierce.
Because of the timing of Steve’s surgery, I got scared that they would have to amputate me up to my shoulder….so we did a PET….that knee jerk reaction cost me $1800 of real out of my own pocket money…I have it set up on an 18-month plan of $100 a month.
So, my panic set me back to 2015…and there have already been more scans that have been done….and many more to come…I’ll just never get out.
Years ago when I came here, I opened a post about the cost of financial ruin the longer you find yourself in a cancer fight. I’ve probably got 20-medical bills I’m paying on….1/2 of those went to collections that I’ve been trying to settle.
But, just those destroyed my credit…we found that our recently when we went for a loan we needed and they pulled up past cancer bills that had torpedoed a good credit record.
So, I have to be careful….I’ve got a few “Green” bullets, but not enough of them…I have to be careful when I decide to pull the trigger.
This got me into trouble before and actually ended me up in my last fight…cost me 3-years and nearly my life...
There are many components to fighting a cancer battle, but for the vast majority of us, we operate under the financial constraints of the insurance that we can barely afford – and even more to the truth – that we can barely afford TO USE.
So, the plan is to watch and wait…he’ll see me in 3-months and we’ll see if I do the MRI…if I don’t….then it would be CT in six-months at the next scheduled date.
I don’t know how I feel about all of this…
I’d be lying if I said it was not on my mind….quite a bit today obviously. I’m not scared…my thoughts are just how hard I would have to work – just to get back where I am right now….and that’s a burdensome thought right now.
But, I’ve got to have Faith and Trust here…
My onc doesn’t seem too worried…so I’ll try and follow his lead…
You know we all want to hear – what we want to hear…
And this visit just wasn’t conclusive – not thumbs up nor thumbs down…I guess we could sum it up by the Baseball Rule – “Tie Goes to the Runner…” :)
So, here’s what we’re gonna’ do now…:)
No worries from any of you….all will be well with me…it’s a funny feeling…I don’t know how to feel…other than confused that we couldn’t identify or nail this thing down further.
But, I can’t worry on this incessantly…and I don’t want you to either…your hands are already so full…he didn’t say cancer…so I’m going to go with ‘still clear’….at the 21 month mark….
A little bit of air out of my tires today, but tomorrow I’ll have moved through this and moving forward with what I have to do.
To be a long-term fighter….is to understand enough about cancer not to panic and come unglued when things don’t always appear to be what we hoped they would be.
I think the next 3-months might tell us more…
And so, I’m tabling the discussion I wanted to have with this post (sorry Pete) until I can see how this plays itself out. It can wait…
This is not the post that I had envisioned a couple of days ago…but, I wanted to let everyone know I was okay as I can be, so you wouldn’t worry incessantly. Thank you all for your prayers and concern! I sure appreciate you!