On 01.02.02, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Too late for surgery, I had chemotherapy, which failed. In May the chemotherapy was changed and I was soon in remission which was celebrated and welcome and lasted nine years - until October 2011. There was progression in 2011 so more treatment was indicated and I am now back in partial remission. But I'm not only a cancer patient - I also enjoy my family, walk my dogs and am learning to draw and paint. Life is good!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Thank you, thank you

The cosmos at the Friday Farmers' Market were beautiful this morning and I have just the right vase to set them in.  I also added a jade plant to the eastern window in the living room where I have a long table in exactly the right light.

Today was one of those days when I was particularly aware of how many people are trying to help me.  It started a couple days ago when I  ordered a refill for a pain medication.  I didn't know it then, but the online site is under construction so what is usually a two minute task just wasn't going quite right and I couldn't understand why.  Specifically, the site wouldn't let me pick up the prescription at the after hours pharmacy on the main campus in Santa Rosa - and I needed it too soon to wait for mail delivery.  I couldn't reach the doctor, also unusual, and I was afraid I would miss the 5:30 pm deadline for approval at the only pharmacy that would accept the order (because of the site construction issue).

The next step was to talk to a pharmacist, but neither of the numbers I had would let me talk to a live person to straighten this thing out.  I was getting panicky about running out of pain meds on a weekend when it would be more difficult to get what I needed.

Feeling a bit desperate, I called the oncology pharmacist in the chemotherapy suite.  I'm not a chemo patient right now - except quarterly for a bone strengthener - but they've adopted me as one of theirs because I sat there for most of the last 10-1/2 years getting infused with this or that.  In other words, they know me well.

The two oncology pharmacists understood the problem.  The prescribing physician, a radiation oncologist, apparently wasn't available, but they were able to track down my regular oncologist who wrote a new scrip - more tablets and a stronger dosage, both appreciated.  Then a medical assistant called with the information that the prescription would be ready in the after hours pharmacy so I could pick it up after the already scheduled PET scan.  And someone else called me to say the order was ready.  Who knows how many others were involved in filling and filing the package.

Then there were the PET scan people.  For all the imaging I've had in the last decade, PET scanning was not one.  It was a whole new staff, each one nicer than the one before.  I was there about two hours, mostly lying very still, but folks made sure I was warm enough and not claustrophobic and not straining my back or otherwise uncomfortable.  We even joked a bit.

Are you keeping count?  Altogether there must have been at least ten helpers today.  Not to mention Steve who drove me to the appointment, waited forever and then took me out to dinner afterwards.  My sense of gratitude and appreciation was increasing by the hour.

 And while I'm at it, I should mention the three doggies who were waiting at the front door at 9:30 pm, tails wagging, to greet me.

It worked.  They each got a cookie.

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