Western education 2013

Friday, May 17, 2013

...... here we go again?

...... not sure but I figure since I am beginning a new journey of testing for a lump discovered nestled into the left clavical above my last journey's lump...... I just as well document this one and hope it is a short chapter without too much drama.

On the 8th of May, I headed out to St. Joes for an ultrasound of the annoying lump.  It is so nicely nestled into the clavical and hard to find.  Once you do locate it and pop it above the bone, you notice how round, smooth and easy it is to move it around.  Not entirely sure if it is a lymph node, cyst or golf ball but after a few minutes, the technologist locates another one.  My neck aches as she puts pressure around the neck just above the clavical.  I try not to have that sinking feeling but my gut tells me that this is just the beginning....

May 14 brings a quick call from my Medical Oncologist's nurse to ask when I will be available for tests they want me to have completed before meeting with Dr. Locke on the 21st of May.  I tell them I am available anytime and any day...

On the 15th of May.... 4 years to the day of discovering the first lump in the breast 6 inches below this recent arrival.  The day starts out sunny, warm and beautiful and then the phone rings.  It is the secretary of my Medical Oncologist and she needs to make two appointments for me.  A CT scan and of course that ever precautionary bone scan.  My stomache twists as she indicates that the CT scan is booked for Friday morning, which is only 2 days away and the Bone Scan is booked for Tuesday morning/afternoon.  I will head over to see Dr. Locke right after the scan is completed.  I thought about the appointment I missed in March for Dr. Locke because it just simply escaped me....things always happen for a reason.  I am keeping positive.  After all, four years ago it became all too apparent that my life might not meet with the expectations of retirement and I learned to accept those things that I could not change and appreciate that each of our journeys will come to an end.  I learned to live each day and find the best that each day has to offer.  Later, when waiting for the CT scan, a patient would be pushed past the waiting room declaring that the sun was out and that he had nothing to complain about....yup, he gets it.

I rose at 7:10 this morning, jumped in the shower, checked the lump (hoping it would have disappeared....always hopeful) and dressed in simple casual no zipper jeans and a loose blouse.  I arrived at the emergency CT scan waiting room after booking into University patient admissions.  Oh yum, we are all sitting there and sipping peach juice for an hour before our and now 4 of my best friends.  All joking aside, this stuff could use a little sugar, vodka and an umbrella.  The intake receptionist is kept busy serving one 'customer' after another.  Good thing I showed up at 8:10am instead of 9 am for the appointment time.  It takes 1 hour to drink all of the yummy peach-ade.

The ladies I was speaking with in the waiting room made the wait much more fun with their sense of humour and then later, with their story.....which remarkably sounds a whole lot like my own.  Military family, uprooted every 2 years and feeling a disconnect with childhood - I remarked about my own daughter being popular with her classmates and feeling like she belonged by having the time to create her own close group of friends over the years.  Yes, there were some advantages to growing up in a military home, but it wasn't for my children and I am grateful that they have the roots I did not have.  While my eldest is trying to get in, I know he will always know where home is.

I am asked to return to the waiting room after the technologist inserts an IV tap into the vein.  The gentleman in the gurney a few feet away will be taken ahead of me... he celebrated his 68th birthday on the same day as me.  I wish him happy birthday as I stroll past him to wait a few more minutes in the waiting room.  It gives me more time to speak with the woman who is there with her mother.  We must have covered every major milestone in our lives and amazed at some of the parallels in them.

It is finally my turn and I now have to drink more in the way of water to fill my stomache.  I also have to empty the bladder that the 1L of yummy (ok, you get the point) juice filled.  The technologist is waiting for me at the CT scanner holding what looks like a facial cream container and a spoon.  She wants me to EAT it????  I do not know what facial cream tastes like but if it is anything like this, no thanks!!!  It is supposed to coat the esophogas and make it easier to image.  Well it coated it alright.  Now to lay down and let the machine do its thing....yup, a recorded male voice telling me to breathe in and hold it and then to breathe again.  Next the injection.  Yup I feel the really warm burning sensation through every vein in my body.  Minutes later, the technologist comes in and bids me goodbye.  The next patient has arrived from emerge and I can see them preparing to lift her as I sit back in the waiting area while holding pressure on the huge gap left by the IV.  The doors begin to close as the patient yells out in pain.

I am sitting across from this woman again and she holds out a business card.  She isn't sure how i will react to this kind gesture.  I take it and smile at her.  I will try to keep in touch and let her know what happens next.

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