Thursday, March 22, 2012



I work full time now, and have Thursdays "off."  What this really means is, Thursdays are the days I spend either scheduling, going to, or discussing the results of medical appointments.  This is my day so far:

8:30 AM: I call the hospital to tell them that I can't make the 9 AM appointment my PCP had scheduled for me, because I didn't know about the appointment until last night and I was already booked at 9 AM.  The appointment was for an intravenous iron infusion, because I'm anemic and oral supplementation hasn't worked.  I have to go once a week, for three weeks in a row.  I said I'd look at my schedule and call back with dates/times that would work for me.
8:45 AM: I call the hospital back to tell them I can come from 9 to 10 AM on the next three Thursdays.  The woman informs me that actually, I will need to come for THREE HOURS each time.  I tell her I need to look at my schedule again and call her back with new dates/times.
9 AM: I shower
9:30 AM: I have my 6-month check up with my dermatologist, the one who diagnosed and treated my melanoma last fall.  The appointment takes 40 minutes and she shaves off another one of my moles to be biopsied.  The nurse puts a little bandage on it - on my hip - and tells me to leave it covered like that for 24 hours.
10:10 to 10:40 AM - I quickly go home to clean a bit, make a PB&J sandwich for later, check my email, etc.
10:45 AM - I go to my first physical therapy appointment, re: my arm/shoulder/hand pain that is a result of too much prolonged typing.  During the appointment, my phone rings, and I let it go to voicemail.
12:10 PM - I listen to the voicemail in the car: my PCP has scheduled me an appointment with a gynecologist for 3 Thursdays from now.
12:15 to 1:15 PM - I bring my friend's dog for a walk, like I do every Thursday at noon.  It's shockingly hot/sunny for March 22, and I spend the whole walk freaking out about the sunlight, having not brought sunblock, a hat, sunglasses, etc.  I obsess over trying to walk in the shady parts of the trail.
1:30 PM - I arrive home, and change my clothes, and in the process, discover that the bandage covering my biopsy site on my hip has been dislodged.  The bandage is now covered with fuzz from my clothing. Worried about the possibility of infection, I wash my hands, and am about to go cover the wound with a bigger bandage when the phone rings.
1:30 to 1:40 PM - I talk on the phone with my FORMER oncologist, who is calling to explain why she is calling THIRTY EIGHT DAYS after my ultrasound to tell me the results.  That is partially why she is my FORMER oncologist.  Making a cancer survivor wait THIRTY EIGHT DAYS to hear abnormal test results is unacceptable for any reason.  Yes, abnormal.  Now I have to schedule an endometrial biopsy.  That is, if someone allows me to have the procedure sedated in the OR, because I'm NOT risking the pain otherwise.
1:45 PM - I re-bandage my wound.
1:55 PM - Here I am.  I've been awake for 6.5 hours and have done almost NOTHING other than schedule doctor appointments, attend doctor appointments, or discuss the results of doctor appointments.  And I still have to call the hospital back to schedule the iron infusions.

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