Monday, January 30, 2012

Delayed Missives from the Front

At the beginning of January, our heroine was scheduled for a CAT scan to determine whether or not The Powers That Be think she should switch the medication intended to inhibit her metastatic breast cancer.  Your humble scribe kept thinking she would coalesce this info into a more eloquent form, but, heck, let's just think of this as somewhat-aged dispatches from the front, shall we? 

Some of you will have read all this before.  You may skip to the bottom of the post. 

          DATELINE JAN 3, 2012
Tomorrow, Wed, at 9 am I go for another CAT scan.  Usually takes a couple of hours, mostly prep-- getting the needle in me, drinking the god awful contrast solution, then three minutes in the machine.  
Friday I am scheduled to go over results of the same with Dr L at Celilo, as part of my usual monthly visit-- which includes a blood draw and Zometa infusion and takes all bloody (no pun intended!) day... 

Tomorrow, I plan on checking again with BOTH the hospital (in HR where the scan takes place) AND with Celilo to confirm that he really will have some conclusive results that quickly...  I don't wanna get poked twice in one week for nothin! 

SO I will let you know if my Fri appointment ends up getting changed...Keep any spare fingers crossed!

          DATELINE JAN 6th, 2012
Everything A-OK!
They were able to use the IV site from Wed-- although it did cause me a bit of discomfort having that bit of plastic in my arm for two days-- still better than an extra poke.

Dr sez the CT Scan looks very good.  Basically no change (meaning no growth OR less then 1 cm of growth) from last scan.  So he now thinks I am doing "REMARKABLY WELL" on Arimedex and that we should soldier on with same routine. 

I will schedule another follow-up visit with Radiologist so I can see the latest scans myself, just cause, you know, I like to do to do that... 
And I remain, um, shall we say, less then fully re-assured by the latest in this good news/bad news/good news roller-coaster ride than I might have been even 6 months ago.  Don't get me wrong, I'll take the good news!  I just try to keep the whole big picture in mind.  I get another scan in 3 months.  So I guess we can say, Hooray for now!

Worse thing that happened today is I gave in to a Frito craving and now I feel a little yucky.   Going to nap.  Love to all y'all. 
My next Celilo infusion date is TOMORROW, JAN 31st-- which by some freak of calendar is four weeks from my last appointment, JAN 6th.  Go figure.
Re-reading the above myself I see I did NOT address what I think of as my biggest lesson/accomplishment from my tangle/tango with the medical establishment earlier this month.  Then I realized I had already written about it here on this blog, but it bears repeating, because the opportunity for the lesson itself keeps repeating, and because it is so damn true-- and because I continue to get better at it with practice!  Here it is:

I am getting better at respectfully standing my ground and asking for what I want from my medical team without working myself into a snit because they do not remember or already know what I know about my body, my situation,  and my preferences.  I am able to be a more competent member of my own team-- to be more responsible about how I participate and less panic-y and judgmental about how others participate.
I cannot emphasize how much easier this makes my life.  I have to hold my tongue and curb my impatience and refrain from judgement-- probably good practice for me anyway (If you think I can't hear you laughing out there, you are wrong!) -- but the rewards are so great and so immediate, that I think I am really starting to learn something here.  When I can engage in this way it causes less suffering all around-- to the clueless receptionist, the harried tech, the nurse who has been praying to Jesus all morning in anticipation of the hell of getting a needle in my arm-- and-- oh, yeah--  TO ME!

So.   Here's hoping the force of mindfulness is with me tomorrow.   Any stray kind thoughts sent to bolster this intention are appreciated.