Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Orthopedic Visit....

I gave myself a day to "settle down" after reading the infamous MRI report, and immediately began writing. Writing has always been a good tool for me to use when faced with the issues of life. I find it calming in many ways and it's also a good coping mechanism for me while working things out. I've always been a "list maker" anyway.....groceries or pros & cons or whatever! So I started a Journal on an old beat up pad of paper (practically yellowed from age!). The very first thing I wrote was "Life as I know it.....ended today". And how very true that is turning out to be! I will "copy" my very first written entry for you to read, so you can see where I was at first diagnosis and how far I've traveled since then.....and geez, the journey's just begun! I don't just mean the physical aspects of what's going on with me either, I also mean the mental and emotional aspects of this disease as well. I'm finding out more and more each day that Cancer is much much more than the physical. There is emotional, mental, spiritual and financial aspects to this disease as well. I will shorten this part of the journey for you after a few more entries on here, which will then bring you up to date and the entries will be in "real time". So let's get back to the Orthopedist visit and then I will write verbatim my very first entry into the World of Cancer. So here it is the dreaded day, January 22, 2007 when we go to the doctor's appointment to review the results of the MRI. My Mom came with me, she actually insisted on driving (which was a blessing) because my back was in such bad shape (more on my "ANGEL" of a Mom later) so of course with Mom driving we get there 20 minutes early (jab, jab LOL) . Ahhhhh....doctors waiting rooms......outdated magazines, sterile looking because of ugly drug ads or body parts enlarged and framed (not real body parts, mind you), uncomfortable chairs, phones constantly ringing and a clear acrylic thingie hanging on the walls with assorted pamphlets, that I swear no one takes because they were all full! they try to make it unpleasant? LOL Sorry, I digress, and believe me I've been known to do that once or twice in my life :), but chemo brain has made that aspect of my personality magnified, I'm even annoying myself!! Again...back to the doctor visit. He said he had read the results (gee, so have I, but I didn't tell him that) and the next words I have etched in my brain forever......"I will be referring you to a Radiology Oncologist for the tumors" that he sees on the scan. So.....that was that. He left the room, never to be seen or heard from again. I picked up my referral papers from the front desk and out the door I went. I didn't cry, I wasn't upset, I was just going through the motions of a doctor's appointment since I pretty much knew what he was going to tell me anyway. Plus, if you can't tell by, I didn't really care for the Orthopedic doctor. No personality and crappy bedside manner. I need a doctor that knows his stuff AND has a personality, so I'm glad our relationship was short lived. Because of the status of the tumors though, I got an appointment with the Radiology Oncologist on January 25, 2007 ,so that was a good thing. I was at the point now of still not knowing WHAT kind of cancer I had. My brain was working overtime thinking of the different kinds of cancers that would first present with back pain and infections (the pee pee, remember? LOL) I finally figured out that I couldn't figure it out , although my first guess of course, would have been bone cancer. I met Gr. Graham, the Radiology Oncologist on the 25th as scheduled and liked him right away (yay) and he meant business! After meeting with him, everything happened so fast. I had a bone scan and a CT scan the next day. And then 5 days later, February 1, 2007 I had a CT guided needle biopsy (fun to have on a boring day) and then on February 6, 2007, I had a complete bone survey and my first radiation treatment for the tumors. All in all I had 18 radiation treatments to the 2 tumors and my radiation was completed. I graduated from Radiation!! YAY!! You think I'm kidding, but I'm not and have the Graduation Certificate to prove it! It says " This certificate is awarded to Jan who has satisfied all the requirements and has successfully passed the examination on a hard table, cold room, awkward positions and cold hands. You are now entitled to announce to the world......I am finished, I am done, through and otherwise graduated with Honors I might add." It was signed and dated the 1st day of March, 2007 with the Doctor's signature! there, how many of you have this kind of degree?? The person who really deserved the "degree" though was my Mom. Every single time she drove me to the hospital for each and every test and each and every radiation treatment. Thanks Mom!

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