Today’s Thoughts….

March 28, 2014// It’s that time again.  I’ve made my round of doctor’s appointments this week.  I still see four doctors regularly – Urology and Pain Management every three months; GYN/Oncology every six months; and I see an Internal Medicine Specialist as my PCP every six months or whenever I need to.  This time around I saw all four.  I’m very frustrated by the urology office.  Among other lasting damages from the cancer, I only have one functioning kidney, and it does not drain properly.  To accommodate that, I have a nephrostomy.  This is a tube that has been surgically inserted into my kidney, comes through a hole in my back, runs down my leg to a collection bag.  Hey, saves on toilet paper, right?  There are many physical limitations to a nephrostomy, but it’s better than the alternative.  Unfortunately since it’s a plastic/rubber tube, it has to be changed every three months. For the rest of my life. But the frustrating part is the urologist’s office.  They have to schedule the procedure at the hospital each time, and each time it’s like pulling teeth.  I sometimes wonder if they don’t take my case seriously since they were not involved in the actual treatment of my cancer.  I lived in Florida when I was diagnosed and treated, only moved back to Virginia when treatment was complete (out of work on disability, had to move home to make ends meet.)  Anyhow, my appointment with the urologist was Monday, it’s Friday, and I still haven’t heard from them to schedule the procedure.  This happens every time.  Then when I finally have the procedure done, the staff at the hospital chastises me because the change is overdue. Ugghh!

But perhaps this frustration is there for a reason.  It gives me something else to focus on instead of the real anxiety, the oncology visit.  It’s been a little over three years since I got that first ‘all clear’, and I have had no symptoms that would suggest it has returned or spread to another area. But I don’t think the fear ever really goes away. Thankfully this time the doctor has suggested running another PET scan (basically a head to toe scan that should reveal any cancerous cells in the body.  Nothing is absolute, but this is awfully close.)  I have not had one run in two years. My original insurance denied the procedure as not medically necessary.  Then I was without insurance for a while.  I certainly could not pay for something like that.   But Medicare has finally kicked in and the doctor was pretty sure that Medicare would cover it. So, before too long I should have another PET scan done. First I have to get the results from the pap smear they did in the office yesterday.  Once it comes back all clear, they will schedule the PET scan.  And once the PET scan comes back negative, I may  be able to really relax, to accept the fact that the cancer is gone.  I will always have the physical limitations that resulted from the chemo, radiation, and the cancer it’s self, but I think a negative PET scan would do wonders for my mental state.  We’ll see.  Once step at a time.

(queen of the run-on, huh?  can you tell i wrote this at 2:30 in the am?)

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