Thursday, December 11, 2008

I Dropped My Oncologist

Well, I did it. It was so uncomfortable for me! OMG!!

My mom went with me for moral support (Andrew's in Europe) and, boy, was I glad she was there. We went in and I asked the receptionist how to switch oncologists. She said I could and that she'd find out how. My mom and I were just sitting there discussing with the receptionist why and a lady came in and started filling up her coffee cup. Little did we know it was the office manager. Well, actually, she was more important than the office manager but I can't remember what her official title was - kinda like a patient advocate.

Anyway, she asked what was happening and I told her and she asked if I would like her to/could she come into the meeting with the doctor. I said sure. The more support I had, the better. So, in we went. I had my regular appointment and then I started asking him more questions about the lymph node (which he swore had no issues) and the nodule. He kept saying that the nodule (that's the thing I had the biopsy on in October) and the lymph node issue were the same. I kept saying they weren't. He read the biopsy report over and over and I kept reiterating that there were two issues. He kept disagreeing and we kept going around and around again. My mom tried to help, too. It was just so frustrating. Finally, after about 15 minutes of doing this, he saw that, yes, there are two issues.

By this point I'm thinking "OMG! Is this a language barrier (he's Brazilian) or am I smarter than the oncologist who isn't reading the results properly?" In the end he admitted that I was right. Did this feel good? No. Not at all. I was relieved that he finally saw what I saw but it was really annoying and frustrating. Usually, when I'm right? I'm all proud and ha ha ha-ish. In yo' face sucka!! This time? I was just tired of the whole thing. I explained to him that I really felt we had a communication issue and that I felt he was dismissive to me and that I really need to switch doctors. This whole thing took about 1/2 hour. By the end of it I was shaking and just relieved that it was over.

I'm really glad that the office lady was there to see the entire thing unfold. My hope is not that she sees I'm right. That is so beside the point. My hope is that other women will not have to go through the frustration and doubt that I had to go through. I can, honestly, feel my blood pressure rising as I write about it. I have been asked why I didn't just switch doctors and not go through the whole "confrontation" with the doctor. My answer is that, first off, I wanted to give him a chance to rectify the situation. I also wanted him to know why I was leaving to go to someone else. I really, really hope that he'll try harder and do better with the next woman to walk in his office.

Anyway, I'm switching to a lady doctor in the same office. I've heard nice things about her and I hope with my entire heart that I will like her.

Last night, I had a huge asthma attack. I'm off the prednisone, now, and I woke up at midnight coughing and not able to breathe. It was so scary! I was all alone in the house. I grabbed my nebulizer (a breathing machine) and started that up. Thank goodness that helped but I'm sure breathless today and my chest hurts so much. It's like I have bruised lungs. Jeff & Chanel are coming home tonight so I'll feel much better having them in the house in case it happens again. I think it has to do with the stress of the whole "dropping the oncologist" thing, though. I do think stress contributes to asthma.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to Jeff and Chanel coming home tonight. I'm looking forward to Andrew coming home on Saturday. I'm looking forward to Scott & Kevin coming home on Sunday. I'm looking forward to going to CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG on Sunday. It's a theatre production and he's taking me for my birthday!! Yeah!!! I'm also looking forward to a birthday party on Monday night! It's very last minute but I really, really wanted one so my mom and dad are throwing one for me. So fun!!!

That's all for now.

ps - Tuesday was Donny's birthday, just fyi!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Antibiotics Are Kicking In!!

Yay!!! I'm feeling quite a bit better today. Just a little coughing and no barking cough, either.

I have decided to drop my current oncologist. I've decided this because I am really dreading going in for my Herceptin on Wednesday. That's not at all like me. I enjoy going in and getting the Herceptin. Welcoming this cancer fighting drug into my body. I even cheer it on (in my head).

Go Herceptin Go, Fight Herceptin Fight, Win

Herceptin Win, Go Fight Win!!!

Over and over. But now that I have a shithead asshole oncologist I don't want to go so I'm switching. He switched offices and there's a lady oncologist who, I've been told, is nice. I only have three more Herceptins left so I'm doing it.

Then....if I like the lady I'll stay with her and if I don't I'll find a new one. There's got to be one around here I like, right? I'm just asking for someone who will listen and then talk to me in a non-dismissive fashion. I don't think that's too much to ask.

I feel good about this decision and I feel good that I'm feeling better.

Onward and upward, right?


Thursday, December 4, 2008

I'm Back and Sick....shit!

Well...It happened. My asthma reared it's Fuckerhead again. Ugh! I hate asthma.

We had a great trip, though.

We (Jeff, Andrew and I) flew in to Buffalo, got our rental car and headed to my sister, Kim's. It was very relaxing. We laughed a lot and loved a lot. I got to see sweet Tyler and Jeff got to go hunting for the first time. They didn't get anything but he loved it. I sure wouldn't be surprised to see Jeff move up north some day. I love Kim's family and they go to bed nice and early, like us, so it was wonderful that way, too.

Then, on Tuesday, we headed to Niagara Falls via the Buffalo airport. Scott and Kevin flew in from Orlando and we went across the border Tuesday night instead of Wednesday when we thought it might be more crowded. The boys got in at midnight(ish) so we stayed at a cheap hotel. It was actually pretty ok.

Then Wednesday we went to visit my brother, Steve and his daughter, Sam. We went to Swiss Chalet for lunch. Sam's such a hoot. Seriously! That kid makes me laugh so hard. She's got a very dry sense of humour. Sometimes it takes me a second or two to "get it" and then I laugh and then she laughs 'cause I didn't get it very quickly and it's all very funny. My brother told us all about his trip out west this past summer and I told him some "Donny" stories and he laughed at me and it was very fun.

From there we went to Jane (Andrew sister) and Craig's place for a night. They have three kids, Cameron (grade 8), Riley (grade 3 ish) and Abby (kindergarten). They couldn't be more different. Amazing how that happens, eh? Anyway, it was fun.

The next day (Thursday) we went and had lunch with Andrew's mom and then we went to Steve (Andrew's brother) and Monika's. We got there before them and checked out their new decor. Something's always changing in that house. They're renovators. They have three boys Michael, Daniel and Adam (ages 10, 8 & 6 respectively - I think). Scott, Kevin & I went and watched Daniel and Adam do their martial arts class. OMG! the corners of my mind.......oops, sorry. Got lost for a moment, there. It was fun/funny. Went back to their place for dinner and wine. Well, everyone else had wine. I will go back a moment...

Friday night, before we even started our trip? My tummy was very, very upset. So upset that I actually fell asleep on the toilet in the middle of the night. on a couple of planes the next day? Not good. First off, like many women? I do not poop in public. That's right, I said it. I do not poop in public. Well, with this? No choice. So, I was in the bathroom at the airport and I yelled out "Sorry!" and let it rip. LOL!!! I'm not kidding. Then I'd flush the toilet as I'm "doing it" in hopes that I won't smell up the joint. How's that for telling it like it is. It was awful!! So, when we got to Kim's? First thing I did was run to their bathroom, yell sorry and let it rip. ROFL!! This stayed like that all the way until Thursday. I missed some amazing wine through it all and that's where I remembered it because Steve and Monika had some good wine and Craig had bought my very favourite wine in the world and I missed it all 'cause of some stupid stomach bug.

OK, back to the trip. Friday we headed out to Niagara Falls for the 80th birthday festivities. We took Steve & Monika's three boys. Mum C had a beautiful suite overlooking the falls. I dubbed this "the party suite" and that's what it turned into. We were all on the same floor and it was so much fun! Unfortunately, I started to come down with a cough on Friday afternoon. My bark cough - which is never good. By Sunday, the big breakfast morning when all of us could be together and get a big family picture? I was sicker than sick. I stayed in bed until we had to leave. I had a fever and was coughing and sneezing and my nose ran so far away I had to find it before we got to the border. Crap! You know, I don't even remember coming home...much. I remember lying across a bunch of seats. I remember being wheeled around by some guy who wanted me to talk and I finally said "If you stop making me talk I'll give you a big tip at the end." I'm so not kidding. He started to say something again and I just put my finger to my lips and said "shhhhh". Bitch, eh? I don't actually remember much else. I slept a lot.

So, all in all it was a good trip. Missed seeing my sister, Karen again. She lives a couple of hours outside Toronto and it's just too far for us to go on such a short trip and too far for her to come on a weeknight. Next time, I hope.

I went to the doctor on Tuesday. Got antibiotics, prednisone, medicine for my nebulizer and a note to be off work for a week. From here? The antibiotic will give me a yeast infection (that's cunt itch for all you men out there. ROFL!!!), the prednisone will make me mean, hungry and have a moon face. It's already coming. I hate prednisone but it's saved my life in the past so I have to take it, don't I. The nebulizer's fine. I'm trying a new medicine that's ok. whatever.

I guess that's all for me. I'm tired. It took me all day to write this (write, go to bed, write, go to bed etc until 7:08 at night) and I don't feel like spellchecking so just bear with me on that.

TTFN peeps