Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Appointment

I was on the the last page of the third book in the Hunger Games trilogy when Dr. Keppen tapped on the door to the room. I tore myself away and immediately began sweating. What did the blood work reveal? Hold on I am getting ahead of myself...

The morning began normal enough. Wakey wakey, walky walky, talky talky...home by 6:30. I tried to shower but for some reason I got sidetracked making lists of my errands so it was after 7 before I cleaned up. I had to hit the bank before I left town and here it doesn't open until 8:30 am. Subconsciously I knew I had several "errands" planned to distract me from the real reason I had to get to town. Right before I left the house I texted my college roomie and made a lunch date. Now I had something to look forward to, good or bad news couldn't change that.

Two hours and the same number of errands later I arrived at the Cancer Center. A quick ride up the elevator and I was on the right floor. They gave me the beeper coaster thingamabob that is so weird and not convenient to carry with my purse, two books, sweater and phone. I really had to use the restroom (damn coffee) so that was my first stop after checking in. I was carrying so much that I had no place to set the stuff down (you know how disgusting those floors are) so I plopped my purse into the other sink and went to wash. Before I could, I heard the automatic faucet turn on and I saw the water pour, at full strength, into my purse and onto the annoying beeper thingy. I tried to get everything out of the sink before it got too wet. For the next hour I dripped like a leaky faucet.

I left a drying path of droplets all the way to the laboratory where I sat and waited to get poked. I read  a few pages until I heard a familiar voice say, "Haven't seen you for quite some time, thank goodness." The technician did a great job of chit chatting and doing her job so well that I could not even feel the needle enter my arm. Though, as I watched each vial fill up I wondered how they can do that one handed. She repeatedly removed a vial, tilted it up and down and effortlessly inserted another vial on the needle with a single hand. I kept thinking about what would happen if i coughed or twitched. Would the needle go through my arm? Why does my brain always think of these awful things? She removed the needle, the rubber strap, and her strong hold on my arm and grabbed a cotton ball and a piece of tape to stop the trickle of blood. "Apply a bit of pressure there, dear," she said to me. "Good luck." she nodded to me as I picked up my stuff and walked down the hall and around the corner to the waiting room.

I usually love watching people. The people in waiting rooms are so interesting. There is always some drama going on and I love guessing what they do or what they are "in" for. You can always identify the ones who are coming for infusion. They usually have a large bag of stuff to occupy them and maybe some snacks. They are comfortably dressed in casual clothes or sweats. If they have been going through treatment for a while they may have a bandanna or a hat on their thinning or bald head. Some have a tubes on their chest coming from their port. Many have an iv pole or a wheelchair, recovering from surgery. We all have one terrible thing in common. The "C" word.

But this time I had no desire to people watch. The Mocking Jay was enough to keep me distracted. The hour and 15 minutes I had to wait flew by. When my beeper went off it startled me and then I smiled because I was relieved that I didn't break the darn thing by letting it go for a swim in my purse. The nurse walked me back to the room.

I rattled off the list of my vitamins. She typed them in. She asked me the required questions. I answered them between nervous fidgets. She tried to take my blood pressure. The first time she reminded me gently to not cross my legs. The second time she asked me not to wring my hands. The third time she asked me to sit on the paper sheet so she could do it the "old fashioned way".

"I guess I am a little nervous." I said.

"It's normal." she answered.

I bet. I thought in my anxious nervous brain I didn't say it out loud. I also thought this. Let's get on with it.

"So," she asked as she glanced at my book with the blue and silver cover "Are you team Peeta or team Gale?" We discussed the book for a few minutes and then she left me to finish the last 10 pages.

Minutes later the rap on the door jolted me back into reality.

So, the results?

The Doctor clears his throat. "Let's see....um hmmm....yep." "Um I  just want to look at these other numbers, too... yep everything checks out. I'd like to see you in a year again."

Then I let out a BIG HUGE SIGH.

Thanks so very much for your prayers.
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