Showing posts from March, 2023

One more ultrasound

At my latest oncology appointment, my new oncologist, Dr. Sharma, seemed concerned about the walnut sized lump at my left clavicle. It had been there for months but had seemed to be larger than it was when I first mentioned it to previous oncologist. I was grateful this new doctor was being proactive in ordering a test so quickly.  When I arrived at the cancer treatment center's imaging department, the room was packed. The only available chair was close to a wall mounted television set and very close to an automatic door. I knew the constant noise from the TV would interrupt my reading but wasn't prepared for the blast of cold air every time the door opened as someone entered. I waited about fifteen minutes and as soon as someone was called back, I got up to move and take their seat. I lucked up and got a seat in a warmer section of the room very close to the receptionist's desk.  My appointment was scheduled for 9:45 a.m. When 10:30 rolled around and I still hadn't bee

Sometimes Surveillance is Satisfactory

When survivorship becomes long-term, it can be an adjustment to move from active treatment to periodic surveillance. Yesterday, I was scheduled for my annual visit at the cancer treatment center. Since my last visit, the center had been bought by another company. I was nervous about the visit, not only because it had been a while since I’d been there, but also because I would be seeing a new oncologist. Front of the building Since being diagnosed with breast cancer, I’ve seen several oncologists. For one reason or another, I hadn’t been with one for more than 2 years. I always found it difficult to see a new doctor but learned to develop a “nutshell” version of my medical history to present at each visit. When I arrived at the cancer center, I lucked up and found a parking space close to the front door. The parking lot was packed and I was grateful, especially since I’d been having a lot of knee problems and walking was difficult. As I entered the building, I wasn’t prepared fo

I'm feeling enlightened

I was reading an article on the internet yesterday about a book written by author Scott Haas, entitled Why Be Happy. The article and premise of his book discussed the Japanese practice called ukeireru, which in essence means acceptance. It's the art of pausing and accepting the situations life throws at us before deciding upon a course of action.  The more I read, the more I realized I've been in the process of experiencing this type of skill for the past year or so and didn't even know there was a label for it.  At the end of last year, I decided, after a series of illnesses, that I needed to finally slow down and enjoy life. For the past 64 years I'd lived my life at breakneck speed trying to cram as much as possible into every single day, but that process was tiring and I wasn't fully enjoying life.  One day, while I was having a cup of an exotic tea I ordered from an English tea house, I sat at my kitchen table doing nothing other than savoring that cuppa. I foc

One Step Forward & One Step Back

 I finally got the results from the stomach biopsies last week but was so busy I forgot to blog about it, so please forgive me.Thankfully, I was right. It ended up being no news was good news.  When the doctor called to give me the report, I was so happy to hear him say they were benign tumors and we'd just keep an eye on them. Whew! I felt like I dodged a big bullet. That was my one step forward because knowing I wasn't going to immediately face another cancer diagnosis, I felt a huge weight lifted from my shoulders, or should I say belly? Lol! But after that phone call, I got to thinking. Was I really getting the kind of surveillance care I needed? After a cancer diagnosis, patients need to be kept under a watchful eye. Routine tests need to be performed and everything that can be done to prevent a possible recurrence needs to be done. I'm coming up on my 9th year post cancer and while I'm extremely blessed to be able to say that, since changing back to my old oncolog