Waiting for the doc to come in to see you on CT scan-result days is horrible. I feel a mix of intense boredom and an inability to do anything (read, write, listen to music, talk, etc.) because I’m too hopped up on angst about my results.
I stare ahead at the hospital accoutrements, most of which are never used in these check-ups. I feel stifled by this setting, jittery, steeling myself for the possibility of bad news. The occasional ping of messages coming through on the computer in this room annoys me. The people walking by in the hallway having normal conversations annoy me. The hum of the fluorescent lights overhead annoys me. The dirty, partly peeled-off manufacturer’s sticker on the base of the hospital bed annoys me.
All of this because I’m so nervous to get the results.
And then, finally, Dr. M walks in, quickly, with an air of expediency. Does this mean he’s anxious about my results? Or is he just running late and trying to make up time in his overloaded schedule?
“Your scan looks great,” he says, before he’s even crossed the tiny room.
I feel like a an overfilled balloon that is finally relieved of some of its gaseous burden. Pheeeeeeeewwww.
(I often feel a literal gaseous burden, to be honest, but let’s just go with this metaphor for now.)
Today was my last appointment with Dr. M.
He’s leaving DF for another practice. He told me this on our last visit, when he had only begun to share the news. But it’s real now. Friday is his last day here.
This is the second time I’ve had to say goodbye to a medical oncologist. It’s no fun, let me tell you. It’s even worse this time, since Dr. M was such an integral aspect of my care for breast cancer, and he stepped up in a huge way when I had my recurrence last year. Losing a doctor whose decisive treatment decisions made a big difference in my health outcomes is like losing a family member. It’s hard to describe these feelings. It’s not love, exactly, but there’s an intense feeling of dependence on this person.
I’ll tell you about my new cancer sister, A, soon.