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Initial visit with the oncologist

Posted on August 11, 2018 at 5:05 PM
Yesterday, I had my first appointment with my oncologist. This was an experience that I really didn't think would be all that earth shattering-and it's not, really..it's just that I noticing things I might not have given a second thought about before. Anyway, just getting there was a trip. The building was pretty large, with many entrances. My niece's husband was kind enough to take me to the appointment, and I have to stop here to say how terrific he and my niece have been since all of this started. He is a gentle, kind soul, and I am grateful to have met and to know him. So we are both wandering around this building, trying to figure out where we are supposed to go, he makes two calls to the actual office. The first call he was given incorrect directions, but the second one turned out okay, and we arrived. The whole sigining in process was almost intimidating, with the person behind the desk asking for insurance cards, ID cards, here- sign this ......a few more questions....and that will be $$ copay. I then follow the nurse to the back and get weighed...then have vital signs taken. She asks a few questions, and says the doctor will be in shortly. I wouldn't exactly call it shortly, but I guess it depends on whose frame of reference you are using. I can say it wasn't horribly long, but it wasn't "shortly"either. So the doc comes in, asks some questions about how things have been going. States the cancer was on/in the rectum but didn't seem to be anywhere else. During my stay at the hospital, there was a day when I was walking, and breathing became very difficult. My oxygen level was down in the 70's (which seriously is NOT good- should be mid 90's - 100.) Turned out, I had both pneumonia and plueral effusion. Plueral effusion is basically fluid trapped between the lung and the Pleural cavity which surrounds the lung-----they ended up removing that fluid - and today the oncologist tells me there were no cancer cells in that fluid. So, that was good news. He then tells me the plan is to have a PET scan to make sure the cancer isn't anywhere else, and then I will have a portacath inserted surgically- after all of that is done, I will start chemo and radiation. Did I have any questions. I said I did have questions about the chemo, and he said we will talk about that later....and that this was going to be easy and not to worry. WOW. Really? I mean, I like the optomism, but seriously? From there is was back out to reception. and she is telling me all these things that need to be set up, one of them being an appointment with the surgeon for the porta cath--- I had to stop her and ask, "Do I make that appointment or do you?". She said I do and then talked about the PET scan and labwork, again, I asked if this was something I needed to schedule. She said no, that they have to go through the insurance first to make sure it was approved. I stood there staring at her as she smiled at me. And a little, tiny thing snapped in me, and i got a little, tiny bit cranky and said, " Ok, I know you do this every day and God only knows how many times. But this is the first time I have every been actually sick with anything serious. This is my first rodeo, so you are going to have to help me out here. Once the insurance has approved the tests and all, are you going to set the appointment or do I?" She then said they would and that I would get a phone call with the date and time. So I thanked her. The point here, in case it's not that obvious, is that although the doctors and nursed and receptionists and med techs do this all the time, I would like them all to try to remember that not everyone knows how this works and may need some assistance in understanding. As a patient, you are uncomfortable just being there in the first place- at this point, you have already been through quite a bit. Chances are, you are not feeling your best, to say the least, and everyone seems to be rushing through everything. You don't know if people are actually seeing you or hearing you and it is not only annoying, but worrisome. I want the people who are going to be working on helping me heal, to HEAR me when I speak. And to SEE me as a person, not "next". On an energetic level. Things are a bit haywire right now. Still not sleeping well, at least not consistantly. Emotions are kind of all over the place. I tear up at the oddest times- sometimes with sadness, sometimes with frustration and sometimes with happiness or gratefulness or love. Sometimes I feel like just snapping at people. (I try not to do that). My Solar Plexus feels bruised. There is no other words for it. It is sore, tender to touch...... I am doing self Reiki daily- sometimes a full Reiki and sometimes just on specific areas. I think it helps. One other thing I wanted to mention- is the way things seem to be in layers. I don't know if I mentioned it before, but lying in bed the other night, wishing I could just go to sleep, I began just paying attention to my breathing without trying to control it. Something I often advise my Reiki clients to do. As I did this, I noticed muscle tension in my neck, shoulders and back. As I was breathing I then used Reiki to relax those muscles and after a few minutes, I did- only to notice that underneath that, was more tension. Again, I was able to relax those muscles, and again, I found anohter layer of tension. This continued until I fell asleep. I have since noticed that with almost everything. The stomach discomfort/pain, emotions....it all seems to be layered. Sometimes I can go through it and relax and calm those layers - some are easier to calm than others.....but I am realizing this is every bit as important to my recovery than the chemo. So, today was not a great day, but it has been okay. I have talked alot of this out with my sister and my friend Maria. Funny, I also recieved an email from my astrologer, talking about how I have kept myself on the sidelines, and the energy of a solar eclipse triggers a strong desire to get into the game more confidently....require me to look at my current limitations and honestly evaluate how I could serve myself much better ....it was just so on target and so timely. So, in a way, this has been a really good day!

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