Today I had another minor chemo related problem--it's female and involves itching and lets stop there. But after the face thing, Bob says whenever anything
comes up, I have to call the doctor. So I did. The nurse said to call my pharmacy in a couple of hours and they'd have called in a prescription. At 5:30 the pharamcy hadn't gotten the call so I figured the doctor's office would call it in tomorrow. It's hardly an earth shattering health problem, and my oncologist's office is often dealing with minor problems like people who have septicemia or irregular heartbeat or are just basically dying. I'm kind of embarassed to have called, actually.
About 6:30, my phone rings and my doctor says, "Hi, how's your face?" He wanted to know which of the possible treatment options I wanted and to tell me how to deal with associated discomfort. An hour and a half after he's supposedly gone home. (Not that he ever does go home on time.) The nurse had realized she forgot to tell him and called from her car
. Only one doctor has ever called me at home before (and that's my GP who is also a truly good doctor and thoughtful guy.) All my life I've fought with the medical system who has done things like prescribe tetracyclene for me when I was on birth control. (There's a word for women who take birth control and tetracyclene at the same time. Mom.) I've given doctors histories they didn't want to hear. I've had a gynecologist at an HMO snarl at me, "You're going to have to relax." Now I have a doctor laughing and saying, "Do many people call you and ask you 'How's your face?'"
Thank you, doctor and nurses.
The pharmacy called me ten minutes later to say that my script was in, and when I went to pick it up, the pharmacist was actually not swamped. Months ago, when I first had neuropathy (nerve pain) and the doctor called in a prescription for pain meds, I went in to pick them up. The wait was forty minutes long, but I was so tired and in pain, I'd have waited all day. I said I'd wait, and I saw her back behind the counter glance up at me. Ten minutes later, they called my name for my pain meds. Tonight she wasn't so busy and I got to say thank you. Thank you pharmacist.
On a really bad day, Greg Feeley called me. I was bad tempered and unhappy and looked like the elephant woman and the minutes were going by like hours. I was in despair but afraid to admit it to myself or anyone else. I was not a good conversationalist. But he chattered and got me through that really bad day. Thank you, Greg.
This blog--I've gotten emails and comments from so many of you. From Sarah and Heather and Ruby Tuesday and Stephanie and Louise. From Ted and Gerg Van E, and David and Autumn and Claire and Bill (who pointed out, when I was needlessly worrying about my ativan that on his paramedic runs they aren't picking up armies of ativan addicts) my sister Pat, and Linda and Jim and Madeleine R. and Madeleine & Stuart (the magic jacket!) and Barth (the hat!) and Stephanie (the cheese!) and Leslie alias Feta Morgana, Derryl and Ken, Trey, Zakbar, Alis, Mary T., blaise, Paula F. and Pamela, Marite, Levin, ddragon, chance, Rick, Mike J. Julie and Tom K, Karen, gwenda, Gavin, Kelly, The Corpuscle, Darby, Mike W., Elad, Halifax (!), Mary Kay, Jon, Jeff V., bdunkle (I know who you are!) Pitman, Ellen, Pat C., Pat & Gloria, Adrienne, my favorite online cheerful oncologist, Demented Michelle, OldHorsetailSnake, Karen Meisner, Judy B., Emily, Deborah R., Kristin, Heather S., Richard, Steve L., Autumn and Jo Walton. And hello to all the beekeepers!
I know there are more people to thank. Bob, for one. Bob gets thanks and thanks and thanks. But it's so self-indulgent of me to be able to thank you all. You have mattered so much to me. This blog has mattered so much to me.
I watched coverage of the Ironman Hawaii, that insane triathalon where people swim, bike 112 miles on a road that crosses sunbaked lava fields, and then run a marathon. They showed people coming across the finish line--not the winners, just some of the hundreds who complete the race. I started crying. I think I'm like a runner who is getting close to the end but isn't there yet. I keep thinking about when the race is over, but I need to focus on running. I admit, I've been really tired the last couple of days, mentally and physically.
But you guys have been there, talking to me, while you run your own races and live your own complicated lives.
Thanks. Thanks so so much. I'm so glad to say thinks.