Monday, August 31, 2009

For the Thousandth Time

Today, I reported to the hospital at 11:30, just as I was instructed. The PET scans are done in a portable unit that travels from one small hospital to another. The only day that they do PET scans here is on a Monday. When I pulled into the parking garage, I noticed that the tractor trailer unit was not there, and that made me a little nervous. I went into the hospital to register fully expecting to be told that my appointment was cancelled. It wasn't, but I did have to wait until 1 for my 12:00 appointment. I was so relieved that my appointment was not cancelled that, really, I was okay waiting in the hospital lobby.

I was reading my book and an elderly lady came down and sat across from me. I smiled and continued reading. Her daughter came in a while later, and said, "Oh, I didn't see you at first," to which the elderly lady responded, snappishly, "That's because I usually sit over there (gesturing to where I was sitting), but she was there, and I did not want to bother her." I was so surprised that I nearly burst out laughing on the spot, but I kept my face straight and my nose in my book.

Fellow cancer survivor Mary took a few minutes off from her desk to wander down and sit with me. She knows without words that this is a stressful time. I am just so anxious to be done, and to finally know, and to figure out what comes next. It is more helpful than I can say to have a friend who understands, no explanation required. I find myself getting a little weepy when she goes, overcome with gratitude for friends. Starvation, too, I imagine, not having eaten since 5 the previous night. Ack.

They finally came to get me. Another elderly lady got frustrated. "What about me?!!! My appointment is at 1!" and the attendant said, "Her appointment was at noon." On the walk back, the woman apologizes repeatedly for my wait. I don't tell her that I would have waited all afternoon, gladly, relieved as I was that the scan was not postponed until next week. I lay in a dark room for 45 minutes holding still, waiting for the radioactive marker to go through my system. I lay still for another half hour strapped in place while the scan was completed, listening to 92 Gold, and Fleetwood Mac singing about "Don't Stop Thinking about Tomorrow", and with my eyes still closed, smiled at the irony. When it was done, I tried to catch a glimpse of my pictures on the way out, but I could not.

The first time around, I knew that I had cancer. I simply did, don't ask me how. This time, I don't know, I honestly don't have the slightest idea of what I will find out. I walk out through the busy lobby. I look around at the people. So many people coming in, and walking out, each person with a story of their own. How will my story turn out? I cannot guess. The surgeon will have the report in 2-3 days I am told.

I get in my car and drive to the home of the 'other' Mary, my childhood friend, and we watch a comedian on the television and eat sandwiches, rolling about with laughter. By the time that I drive home, my shoulder throbs dully, and I wonder for the thousandth time what that means. For the thousandth time, I find myself getting emotional about my wonderful friends. I think again, for the thousandth time, I will be so everlastingly glad to finally know what is going on.

21 comments:

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Glad you got to get the scan today, I pray that your results are non-cancer :o)

Mrs. Spit said...

waiting with you. . .

Caroline said...

And you had the nerve to take her seat!!! That's actually pretty funny. Anyway, I'll be thinking of you and sending all sorts of good thoughts.

Redlefty said...

~It'll beeee, better than before.
Yesterday's gone. Yesterday's gone.~

Kelly said...

I'm glad that's over with!! Now just the wait for the results.....

And how dare you sit in that woman's seat! AND get taken back before that other woman!!

Still praying. I know God's got you covered no matter what the results.

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

I like your new look on the blog. I will continue to pray for you.

WhiteStone said...

Sure glad that the scan was not delayed! And I'm praying for good results!

Reb said...

ah the waiting! Feels like torture, and yet....you worry it's but a reprieve? Prayers that your results are stellar :) Your unique voice deserves to be heard for many many years to come.

steviewren said...

I read and then reread the paragraph about the results, and was relieved to read the doctor will have the results in 2 to 3 days and not the 2 to 3 weeks like I read the 1st time.

Fingers stuck in the crossed position tonight!

jeanie said...

Oh that is funny, the lady being so magnanimous about "her" chair.

Darn it, I now have a song I only know 1/2 the words to stuck in my head.

Best of luck - and I will be thinking of you 1000 times.

corymbia said...

I was thinking of you today.
...and I'm laughing at teh old girl and *her* seat. Funny how people get attached to things....

rhubarbwhine said...

So, today is done.

Funny lady and her chair, you did well to keep a straight face.

Oh - and BB did good. Why hasn't she made me one?

Bush Babe said...

Gosh... I am guessing the stress gets to everyone. Glad you hung onto your humour (I may have felt like bursting into tears!).

Lovin' Redlefty's comment!!
{hugs}
*fingers STILL crossed*
BB

Lila said...

Back when personal blogs weren't even on my radar, I clicked on A Novel Woman's at a book site I visit and then linked to yours from there. I admired how you overcame obstacles with aplomb and enjoyed your writing very much. When you wrote of your cancer diagnosis, I was shocked and wanted to stop reading since I only like to read blogs that make me laugh. However, I kept reading and I'm so glad that I did. Again, when you wrote about finding the lump under your arm, I could not beleive it. I admire the style and grace with which you have handled this and hope your PET scan results bring good news.

A Novel Woman said...

Ah, the old lady with her chair...

I would have stifled my giggling, then probably stretched out and declared, loudly, that by gosh, I believe I am sitting in The Most Comfortable chair in the whole clinic, no, probably the WHOLE WORLD, and that I will never give it up willingly, nay, now that I know for a fact it is the best chair EVER, I am going to claim this chair as my own, forever and always, and will begin an embroidered cushion with my name on it to place upon said chair to identify it as such.

Doesn't it make you wonder about her priorities, given the situation?

Here's hoping your scan is clean, and if it isn't... well, we'll deal with that as it comes. For now, know that you're not alone.

Lydia said...

Novel Woman, you crack me up. It is amazing how people can be -- ripples of happiness and hope or anger and envy... We certainly affect all those around us one way or another.

Thanks for being a rippler of hope, Deb. Lots of love to you.

Mikey said...

Praying for you girl. Got your card, thank you so much!!! You are the best, and I'll be praying as hard as I can for you. You inspire a lot of people, writing about this. I'm so grateful for you in our lives :)

kat97ski said...

Hang in there, Deb. You are one tough woman, the bugs didn't stand a chance with you around.
Keep up the humor, many appreciate it. I hope you get another good job soon.

Beth said...

Waiting and hoping with you...

PaintedPromise said...

"Thanks for being a rippler of hope, Deb."

AMEN to that!

Bush Babe said...

PS Rhubarb Whine - you haven't asked me!!!
:-)