So I saw the White Russian today. As doctor’s appointments go it was fairly pleasant. My biggest complaint every time I go is that they’re too prompt and I don’t get to read nearly as much in the waiting room as I’d like to. Which was a crying shame today because I’m reading this fabulous book that Laurie Kingston, a Mothers With Cancer friend of mine, wrote: Not Done Yet: Living Through Breast Cancer. She started a blog at the time of her breast cancer diagnosis and the book is a compilation of her posts. I’ll be doing a complete review when I finish, but suffice it to say I’m thoroughly enjoying it. Kind of a weird thing to say considering it’s about her experience with breast cancer, isn’t it? But she’s funny and her way of dealing with things strongly resonates with me. And that’s all you get until I finish, which could have been today if the oncologist’s office was just a little less efficient.
On the way back to the scale I asked the nurse if I could just tell her how much I weighed and if so, I’m 125. She answered with, “So am I. But you’re going to have to stand on the scale anyway.” Then we went in the room for the preliminary vitals and blood work. Because I had lymph nodes removed I can’t have blood pressure or blood draws or anything that could aggravate the lymph system and cause lymphedema in my left arm. When the nurse asked which arm I drew a total blank. For a minute I couldn’t remember which side was okay to use. We both laughed and agreed that was a great thing.
Vitals taken and blood sucked, she handed me a robe and left the room. Which meant I had to disrobe from the waist up. Which meant persons other than myself would be seeing my underarms. D’oh!! Not only are left armed vitals off limits, so is shaving the left underarm. If you’ve been around here for the last couple of years you know I went through three sessions of laser hair removal which seemed to do the trick. Except it didn’t and now I have to go back for a touch up, though I keep forgetting to make the appointment and I hardly ever Veet because it’s so inconvenient and it kind of burns, too. But do you know what I say to sparsely hairy armpits at the doctor’s office? “Whatever.”
The appointment itself was very good and almost great. I think we spent at least half the time discussing college choices for Taylor – my doctor is pushing for Penn State and laments that his girls chose Yale, Harvard and Temple. Not a huge concern for us. But this appointment was supposed to be about me so let’s get back to that.
My blood work was great (surprise, surprise, my white count was on the low side of normal). My vitals were great. My tumor markers were low. Everything was as it should be which is very good. I’ll get a bone density test in January, see the doctor in March and we’ll be that much closer to my 5 years.
The one glitch in the appointment is that I will be on the Arimidex two years longer than originally prescribed. The plan had been post-chemo treatment for five years which for me was two years of Tamoxifen followed by three years of Arimidex. There’s been a new study, however, that says there’s a better success rate when the patient stays on the Arimidex for five whole years regardless of how long she had been on any other post-chemo medication. A little disappointing, but I’m not going to complain about it (at least not at the moment). It’s small beans compared to the grand scheme of things.
Finally I checked out and high tailed it for the Starbuck’s down the street for my venti White Chocolate Mocha with whip to complete my visit. Because a trip to the doctor’s isn’t over until I’m sipping that sweet nectar of life and making yummy sounds. Besides, my oncologist’s office is about 40 minutes away and I needed something for the ride home.