I am not a numbers girl. It took me three hours to complete my statistics final in graduate school, and I almost hugged Dr. Luo when I squeaked out of there with a low B. Based on my work that semester, a B should really not have been attainable. But on that rare occasion, I got by.
Being diagnosed with any kind of disease, is really a study in numbers. The statistics are staggering, and I have not even begun to process all the new ways you could describe my new found status as a breast cancer patient.
I was initially, curious about how 3 different doctors, on my "team" for fighting cancer, might get along.
But, I've been encouraged that all three of the doctors I have seen so far have been mostly on the same page. They don't necessarily contradict one another, however they certainly have very different and distinct personalities. As I've shed some of my inhibitions on researching breast cancer I've come to understand how lucky I am in how personalized my care has been.
Dr. P really takes his time with me. He has said I can call him 24/7, so that even if I am awake and have questions about something at 2 am, I should call. I love how each time I see him, I am reminded of his compassion. He is young-ish, but I like that it makes him more human, less science sometimes. I feel like he drops the doctorly demeanor at times, and makes a quick smile, before composing himself and getting back to business. When he found out I have no mental health benefits with my insurance plan, his eyes flashed with a burst of anger, and then he reassured me, "Then, I will see you and help you," he said. "You don't need to worry about that."
Dr. N, the radiation oncologist is cheery and upbeat. She has a quick wit, but when she gets down to business, she is bright and passionate about medicine. She was "stoked" about the clinical trial that Dr. P had found for me. She thought it was a huge coincidence that he opened the envelope with that trial at the same time, I became his patient and needed a trial such as that. Another God thing, if you ask me. You can't help but feel upbeat around Dr. N.
My surgeon, Dr. B, on the other hand, is jovial and pleasant, an older gentleman, but the speech that I get from him, seems like one he rattles off every day. There is no break in his demeanor, he has seen it way too many times. He is certainly kind and caring. But his parting words caused me to pause. When I asked if he would take my lymph nodes, he said no. He saw no reason to. He also did not recommend having a double masectomy, as I had anticipated.
I am beginning to see the differences between stage III cancer and stage IV. I knew the numbers would look different, but I am paying no attention to any numbers they may or may not have given me. I cannot be reduced by a number. Hope, to me is unquantifiable. I refuse to start being a numbers girl.
Dr. B's parting words to me were "remember, curing this cancer is rare." I couldn't help think, but he doesn't realize just how "rare" I am.
So what happens when you "freak out" in the MRI tube? They reschedule you for Monday, with sedation. I am usually not a claustrophobic type, but the "Jason" type mask over my face combined with being shoved into a tiny tube for 45 minutes with a jackhammer/woodpecker on steroids drilling around you? Yeah, complete inability to cope on my part. Hello Xanax! I was forewarned they will give me enough to make me pretty drowsy, and then I may need to sleep it off the rest of the day tomorrow.
I continue to be flooded with uplifting cards, packages in the mail, emails, texts, and baskets of goodies! Thank you for nourishing my soul and loving on me. I always think love grows when it is shared, and I hope to multiply and reflect back the love that has been shared with me.
At last count over 250 dollars worth of bracelets have been purchased in just a couple of days. Wow! Thank you all!