I had my six month onc checkup Thursday. This time I only started getting truly anxious a week ahead of it, rather than a month, so I think I’m getting better at dealing with this difficult post-cancer life. That being said, the appt didn’t go as I’d hoped – not to say I have bad news! – but I feel a little disappointed in my formerly beloved hospital/doctor because it is now 2 days later & I still don’t know for sure what my MRI results are. So I’m now in that “trying not to worry about scans that I’ve done” mode. I hate this.
I had a breast MRI. My onc has me alternating one of those and a mammo every 6 months. I guess until I reach the magic 5-year anniversary. I know MRIs show more detail and are therefore able to spy abnormalities a little sooner than mammos, so the MRIs kind of scare me more because one might see something. Of course, I’d also be grateful for it picking up something that could be life-savingly early, so – like all of us, I suppose – its kind of a love-hate thing for the scanning technologies.
Right from the get-go things were weird. First the whole Angelina Jolie thing started 2 days before my appt, so breast cancer is everywhere in the media and people are talking about it, and I’m trying to keep cool about it in advance of my appt. So that made things a little strange going into my anxiety-filled week.
Then my experience at Univ of Penn Hospital was not what it normally is. After I got to that “back-stage” MRI gowning area, techs kept coming in looking for patients who weren’t there. It was just me and 2 other women but the doors would open and they’d call out for people not there. As for the other 2 that were there: one was waiting for her images on a CD that apparently took forever (she was angry) and the other one left (also angry) without having her scan because she had another appointment and was late for that because of the radiology dept being so behind schedule.
Then, my name was finally called & the tech started taking me to the MRI room. I had to point out to her that I didn’t have my IV for the contrast dye (she never checked), & this surprised her (!). She had to scramble to find someone to do that, after which I was taken in for the actual MRI.
That seemed to go ok – but it is so uncomfortable to lay face-down in the machine for 45 minutes. Despite it’s meager padding, the plastic thing that one must rest her sternum on for a breast MRI gets to be painful by the end. I had deep marks in my skin that last a while after the scan.
Soon after, up to my doc’s office to get the results and have the check-up. The physical exam went fine, I have no real symptoms to report but then – she checks and: no radiologist’s report or images for my onc to review & pass along to me. Doc said don’t worry, we’ll call you Friday with results.
One of my BFFs, who accompanied me since my husband was in Texas on business, said to doc: “No I know her – she won’t sleep without knowing – can she call YOU tomorrow for results?” And my doc says “Yes of course” and gives me hug and she’s gone out of my life (hopefully for another 6 months).
I waited until 3pm yesterday for them to call. No call.
I called. Doc’s secretary said she was in meeting, will tell her to call as soon as she can. I said yes please do because I’d like to have results before weekend. She asks what number to call. I say call my cell because I don’t want to miss the phone & have 2 kids coming home in next hour on two different school buses and will be out of house to do so.
Never got a call.
So now its Saturday and I’m supposed to get together with my circle of girlfriends tonight for the first time in a while. Our plan was to hang out, have a few cocktails, celebrate my anticipated-and-much-hoped-for good news and have a great night together.
I will still try to do so, and I know I will tell them the truth and then downplay my worry. They will be supportive and upbeat and tell me not to worry. And I will say “I know, I know.”
But I won’t have as much fun as I would have, because there is this little voice in the back of my head. And it worries.
I don’t want to let this ruin my day/night/weekend, but I know you all know how tough a task that can be. And I know there are sweet, lovely folks here with more to worry about but I just had to get this out.
I’m trying to do the brave face for my two daughers, who both asked me Thursday and again yesterday for results. They want to stop worrying too. And I’m Miss Brave-Face for even my husband, who got home full of jet-lag last night. And I’ll do it tonight with my girlfirends so I don’t ruin their good time. But I am worried. And pissed off.
If you read this all the way through, thank you. And I’m sorry for the rant. I just had to unload….and pass time until Monday, when I hope to get these results.
P.S. Do you think it would be ok to get drunk tonight? LOL! Just kidding.
Maybe not all the way drunk, but consider this your hall pass to “self-medicate.” Have a great time with the girlfriends! Hug, B
Every time I read something like this it makes me furious. I am not for more government interference but there should be a law that if you are waiting for results regarding cancer they should have to be communicated to the patient within 24 hours. I think oncos should have someone appointed in theri office to do this..yes they may be too busy..awesome..but appoint someone who can…that steps up patient care to a whole new level. I feel terrible you have to experience this kind of anxiety.
Yes i think you can do anything you want! ..just remember friends don’t let friends….......... wait for scan results:) Lots of love and prayers your way, Lori
Waiting for results just stinks, especially when a brief phone call from them would’ve made such a huge difference. I’m sorry they didn’t call you. I’ve often thought that everyone in anoncologist’s office should have to have had cancer as part of their training. I really believe that if they truly understood the worry they cause, things would be different.
Have a blast tonight in spite of this!
It’s never good waiting for results, and even worse when they’ve been promised and don’t happen. Enjoy the alcohol therapy, and shelve the worrying til Monday. Sincerely hope there’s nothing to worry about though – love and prayers, Marney D. xx