I sat nervously tapping my foot on Tuesday as the printer in Dr. Panwalkar's exam room sputtered out my lab results. I thought I was sunk. Low counts would prohibit me from doing chemo. So many of my counts were low- but my neutrophil counts were just high enough for me to squeak by.
So we chatted about my digestive issues, and Dr. Panwalkar graciously re-filled my lidocaine/antacid cocktail. As he was figuring out the amount to prescribe he asked, "Is it bad and you take a dose or two, (and then he leans closer and says quietly) or is it BAD and you drink it all day long." Rick and I both nodded as I said BAAADDD. He promptly prescribed TWO bottles.
He then checked me over from head to toe and asked all the usual questions. We told him about our proposed insurance change that would provide more coverage affordably. I told him sheepishly a lot of paper work would probably come his way and he smiled and said "of course, its okay," and dismissed the inconvenience I know will come with it. We told him it was our plan A, and that we had plans B and C, and he nodded... knowing. He knows. I am sure he has heard a variation of our story a hundred times. I marvel how he keeps coming back every day to face us all again. Our woes, our burdens, our pain... the cancer. Thank goodness he knows and still comes back.
Thank goodness I also know he will laugh, loudly with his sides shaking, at the most innocuous things. Thank goodness, I know there will be laughter. And concern and care.
We conclude our visit and I decide to ask for a "state of the union" address... a "how am I doin' Doc?" kind of summary.
And this is reason # 156 why I love Dr. Panwalkar. He smiles and says, "Well, you LOOK good, how do you feel?" And I say, "I FEEL good." So he says "Then, you are GOOD."
He then walks us down the hall to infusion where we part ways at the waiting room. I go to sit down, but I know to look back one last time. He is also looking back over his shoulder and when our eyes meet he raises 3 fingers and nods goodbye. I nod back knowing his shorthand now. He is saying he will see me in three weeks.
As I sit waiting for my pre-meds to kick in the scheduling nurse drops by. She gets me an appointment for next week and then asks if I need lab work. I answer yes, but then we see Dr. Panwalkar has said no labs for next week. She smiles at me and says, "well, you must be doing good."
I smile back and say, indeed, I am. For now, I am doing good.
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