• 100 Days of Good Karma: Day 73 (Meeting with the Oncologist and Getting the Mom Look)

    the mom look

    Monday, September 22, 2014

    Day 73 of 100 Days of Good Karma.

    I met with the oncologist again.  My standing every-three-weeks date.  My friend Pam accompanied me.

    I was given a form to fill out with my current symptoms.  I checked the boxes that applied to me.

    • Yes to tingling in hands and feet.
    • Yes to fatigue.
    • Yes to experiencing feelings of worry and anxiety.  (I wondered if it would send up a red flag if I didn’t check that box.)

    My doctor’s nurse came in and went over my list of checked boxes.  She asked me a few questions about the side effects I was experiencing, gave me some advice on handling them.

    Then she asked,”Do you have thoughts of hurting yourself or others?” She asked this very blandly, as though sneaking the question in.

    “No!” I said, shooting Pam a shocked look.

    Pam cringed away from me playfully.

    I narrowed my eyes at her and she sat up straight.

    My nurse took this in stride.  “Okay, good, good,” she said and typed something longer than ‘no’ on the computer.

    Then I wondered if I’d answered a little too emphatically.  Did I just discredit myself?  And what did she just type?

    But she moved on.

    “The doctor will be in shortly.  She’s seeing a new patient so she might take a little longer than usual.”

    My heart cramped with sympathy around the words ‘seeing a new patient’, and we did wait a long time.  But I didn’t complain.

    Not so very long ago I was the new patient.  I remember how emotional that first visit with the oncologist was.

    Pam was with me then, too.  She has been a constant source of support since I was diagnosed.  I don’t know what I’d do without her.

    Even if she does get me into trouble with the mental health police.

    When she came in, the doctor was smiling, so I hope that means her meeting with the new patient went well.

    I longed to ask after this new member of the cancer community, but I knew she wouldn’t be able to tell me anything.  So I sent positive thoughts to the stranger down the hall, and hoped for their speedy recovery.

    The doctor got down to business.  We talked about the side effects I was experiencing.  I asked her if I should get a flu shot, unsure if my immune system was up to the job.

    “A flu shot is a good idea.  Have you ever had one before?”

    “I’m sure I have, but it’s probably been since high school.”

    This time it was Pam’s turn to shoot me a look.

    I winced.

    “I did not know that about you,” she said.  “I’ll make sure you get one from now on.”

    “Yes ma’am,” I said, only half joking.  Pam has the disappointed-mom-look down to a science.

    The doctor performed a breast exam.

    Today’s silver lining:  She said the tumors definitely felt softer to her.

    “I think you’re responding well,” she said.

    I breathed a sigh of relief.

    Another step down the road and still walking.

    What’s your silver lining today?  I love comments!


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14 Responsesso far.

  1. Thats good news, made my day!!!

  2. Alysha says:

    I just have to say, I love your outlook. A positive outlook is good for the soul. My silver lining is that my dreams are on their way to becoming a reality. I’m so glad you are responding well to treatment.

  3. Cousin John says:

    They always ask that question about hurting yourself or others. I was asked when I went in for a sore throat. We should start a “I only want to hurt people who ask silly questions … ” protest, don’t forget the psycho stare when answering.

  4. Leslee says:

    A big HELL YA to soft tissues!! You go girl

  5. Tina Smith says:

    “hurting yourself or others” is a depression check and also PTSD symptom. It’s not everyone that experiences it, but they want to catch it early if it means they could help someone sooner. I wonder what she was typing in her computer about it!!

    • Meghan says:

      I’m sure there are plenty of people who need help with depression while they’re going through cancer treatment, and I’ve heard a cancer diagnosis can bring flashes later that are similar to PTSD. I associate PTSD with war time and the military, but if receiving a cancer diagnosis isn’t a traumatic event, then I don’t know what is. It’s a pretty nasty burden to carry around. Her question just caught me off guard. I don’t think they’ve ever asked me that before, and I’d love to know what she typed into my record!

  6. pwsquare says:

    Aww sweety, I knew you weren’t going to hurt me. (At least I was hoping that you weren’t… just kidding!

  7. Phil or Paul or BEAVO (I answer to all 3) says:

    I’m reading this 4 days late and it made my day. Wish I would have read it earlier in the week!

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