Friday, March 8, 2013

Dr. Johnson and The Visit

The Dodge entered the circular driveway; the daughter and I alighted at the front door while the husband went to park.

The glass doors to the building were massive and quietly slipped open as the sensor captured our presence. The waiting room was huge and attractively furnished. Directly ahead behind the glass partition, two staff members waited to serve.

Louise arrived almost immediately and the husband appeared at the same time. More paperwork needed to be completed; I've thought about running duplicate copies of one and handing it to whoever I see sitting behind a glass enclosure....maybe the guy at the parking garage would like one? I jest...

Soon we were escorted back to be an inner office where I was weighted and vitals done.

The oncologist walked in and introduced herself. She is a petite brunette with the brightest blue eyes. Dressed in a black vest over a black shirt and slacks, her footsteps could be heard approaching the examining room. The husband, the daughter and Louise were seated around the room while I sat on the examining table.

She opened her laptop and began a history and physical on me. The CT scan jacket was on the table beside her. She didn't mention anything about the tests that were done on me but she did say "it looks like breast cancer." At this, I suspected the CT scan showed no evidence of a primary and the breast was the primary which was a major relief.

The first thing she said is "we can fix this". There was not a dry eye in the room. She told me to forget about my oncology experience..things have changed. I asked if they were still giving Taxol for breast cancer and she said "no". She wanted to know why I asked. I remember having to watch our patients closely for cardiac arrest while we were administering it and I was always on my toes when it was hanging.

Before we left, she escorted us around the outpatient chemo room. She wanted to show me a medi port, forgetting that I had accessed and worked with them many times in the past.

I am to be scheduled for an appointment with a surgeon to have a medi port placed. The surgeon will examine the area to see if he wants to operate first or if the chemo is to be administered first. There will be surgery, there will be chemo and there will be radiation.

Did I mention it's March? March 2009 I had a Total Knee Replacement. March 2010 I had an achilles tendon/bone spur surgery and here it is...March 2013. At least it is easy to remember when filling out all those forms on admit.

One step at a time for the present. One procedure at a time. I'm so thankful for family and friends and all the support I have received. The husband and the daughter are always with me on this journey. Louise is there too. Wanda, the X sister in law has offered to come from WV and my old school pal Kathy in Myrtle Beach has offered to be here for me. I appreciate these good friends.

It has been said that the number of really good friends in one lifetime is 4 to 5 people. I count those listed as such.


  1. "Beware the Ides of March" (Shakespeare)..strange that March seems to be your month for medical problems. But what I am most focussed on here is "We can fix this". That's the important thing to remember. So the journey begins, and you have wonderful support. You WILL get through this. xxxx

    1. was such a relief when she said "we can fix this"

  2. Ann, if you have to have breast cancer, then these are the times to do it. I have so many friends that had it and came out with a great prognosis and after 10 years are still doing great. I had a scare last year. Every single time I get a mamo they see something and then I have the sonogram and then surgery for benign tumors. I am about to give up mommograms but the doctor won't let me. I'm due again now. Last year they opened me up and sprinkled in a powder made from a pig's bladder. After all the abcesses were gone, I am back to normal. Yuk, our breasts just seem to be vulnerable to the craziest things. I wish you the best in your surgery and treatments. I will be thinking of you and although you aren't a real praying person, I will still pray for you. ;>)

    1. Joan, Dr. Johnson said of the eight women working in that outpatient setting, one would have breast cancer before the year was up. How strange that so many are afflicted with this. I missed my mammo last year...and just got one done this month. My byn doc retired and I hadn't found another one and put off having that mammo last year. I appreciate your prayers though I don't have the same commitment to them. I respect your desire to honor me with yours.

  3. you know you are way more than just a are family to me..which is why i love you so.

    1. I love you Kathy (now known as "Mary") You have always been a loyal friend and more like a family member. I guess we have known each other since we were 9yrs old!

  4. Charlotte Ann, I surely sorry you have to go through this. I'm sending nothing but positive energy your way.


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