By Patty Lawrence
The only thing I am not behind on is haircuts.
The only reading material in the surgeon’s office are cancer magazines and a coffee table book on Spring Grove Cemetery. Spring Grove, renowned for its beautiful gardens and specimen trees, is a destination for gardeners and walkers. But seriously? Tombstone pictures for a room full of cancer patients. I hope there's more thoughtfulness on the other side of waiting room door.
How many more times is someone going to slip a plastic wrist band on me so I can be scanned?
Oh for the days driving in the car with a catchy tune, the windows down, and the lightness of being.
Sharon, the new nurse at the oncologist office, knows my name.
I slept so hard in the car that Andy planned to take me to the hospital if I didn’t wake up. Is that like sleep of the dead? How does one know?
Whack-a-mole. My head is finally popping up after the long sleep. I was more out of it than I knew. I am behind on every part of my life and that is a lot overwhelming.
Mary Jo Cropper Breast Center has two doors from the outside waiting room into the inside waiting rooms. The spaces physically mirror one another and both lead to the same mammography machines but that’s where the similarities end. The door on the right means you are in and out. That door is close to an outside wall. The door on the left has multiple hallways leading into other parts of the building. I entered the Good Door only once. Today was the one year check and again through the Bad Door. The good news is if you go into the Bad Door you get your results immediately. The results were Good.
One year ago I had surgery and went to the school science fair all taped up.
The last time I ran three miles was February 13, 2012. It was the day before I got on a plane to Miami and then I came home to surgery and then all the rest of the blurry year. Now I sort of run. Today was better than yesterday which was better than last week. One degree at a time.
The oncologist office is all about me and all the other me’s in the room. So today I asked the technician how she was and I meant it. I really asked. She said, “I’m having a bad hair day.” And then she went on for the next five minutes about having to pull her hair back and running into a friend a breakfast who commented on her bad hair. I sat there in my hat and did not say anything about a bad hair year and a half.
Today my oncologist said prognosis is good, chance for recurrence is slim so be well and happy. Today I get to see my girls grow up and grow old with Andy.
March 4, 2013. Last infusion. The year is a blink. The year was forever. It was hell. I discovered just how fortunate I am.
Whack-a mole. Still. One year later.
Port removal surgery was doctor visit number 103. Walking in to OR and being awake is better than being asleep, but so very odd. “Don’t worry,” Dr. Columbus says, “that smell is your flesh burning.” No pain meds afterward and the only instructions were let the tape fall off. Afterward Andy and I had Thai for lunch.
Sixteen days out from surgery and the tape fell. It looks remarkably like it when it got put in except for the big black and blue bruise and doesn’t really go with the other side that is red. I am so colorful.
With the button port that poked out of my chest gone, Jordan can rest her head on my shoulder again.
Approximate number of days that I have worn tape in the last year: 128. I hate tape.
Waldo. As in where in the world is. I have Waldo hair. Wavy, black, crazy hair that stands straight up. All I need is a striped shirt. Or I can be a Vulcan. Comb it flat and live long and prosper. I chose that.
I did not go to a single doctor in April. Not the oncologist, not the radiologist, not the surgeon, no pictures, no shots, no blood work, and no tests. I even refused to see the dentist and optometrist.
From Jordan: Your hair looks nice. Left unsaid … for a change.
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