Get it? “All White” as in “all right”? Clever, no??
Wednesday morning I rushed around to make sure I got out of the house and on the road in time to make it to my oncology appointment by 10:30. His office had moved since the last time I saw him so I wanted to make sure I had enough wiggle room to find the new one.
Two minutes down the road I glanced at my planner and I realized my appointment wasn’t until 11:45. ** Which begs the question, what do I have scheduled for 10:30 and when? I have no idea. ** Instead of turning around and going back home, however, I decided to take the scenic trip through Valley Forge to look for a tree. Last winter I became enamoured with a huge tree of some sort with a big, blackish trunk and beautiful WHITE branches. I’m pleased to report it’s still there. Now I need to go back with my camera so you can see it, too.
After finding my tree I got back on the road and located the new offices with nearly an hour to spare. What to do? What to do? I know! Track down the nearest Starbuck’s – STAT! Less then a mile down the road I spotted the glorious round, green sign with the funky lady in the middle. I think those signs have some kind of hidden homing device or something because my car just seems to be drawn to them. Anyway, I spent a lovely 45 minutes in Starbuck’s with a WHITE Chocolate Mocha and my current read (Bookends by Liz Curtis Higgs). So I had a pre-appointment coffee instead of my usual post-appointment drink.
The new offices are gorgeous and lucky for me the doctor had had an emergency, throwing him behind nearly an hour. I’m serious when I say “lucky” because that gave me even more time to read. When I was called back the nurse did all the preliminaries like weigh me (WAHHHH!!!), draw blood, check my vitals, etc., then showed me to a room where I got to read some more. It was shaping up to be a nice day. Except for the weighing part.
After a few minutes the WHITE Russian came in. He said, “It’s such a pleasure to see you. You’re the healthiest person I’ve seen all day.” Makes you wonder what kind of day he’d had, doesn’t it? I had three items to discuss with him:
1. Can I get off Tamoxifen and start on Arimidex or Femera?
Since I no longer have ovaries my estrogen levels are considered post-menopausal. Therefore, I can stop taking Tamoxifen and start on either one of those medications. He switched me to Arimidex, but the major side effect of that is arthritis. If I start suffering with joint pain and stiffness – more than I already do – then we’ll try Femera. The major side effect of that drug is higher cholesterol, but I don’t have any cholesterol problems so that might be okay. He then sent me next door to have a baseline bone density scan so we can watch how the Arimidex effects my bones.
I hate to sound vain, but I looked really good in my navy blue hospital gown, tan and brown striped socks and pink crocs with the oatmeal liner. I’m talking HAWT! And have any of you ever had a dexascan? You lie on this table and the technician lines up the machine to be centered on your abdomen below your navel. To line it up she kept pushing on my hip bones and my pelvic bone! She never told me she was going to do that and I just about jumped off the table because I was NOT expecting that! I am not that kind of girl! I may show my boobs to anyone who wants to see them, but that’s where I draw the line!
2. Can I have the hair removed from my left underarm by laser?
It’s not invasive and you don’t run the risk of a cut so it doesn’t threaten to cause lymphedema. I think I’ll be a bit wild and have BOTH underarms laserly de-haired.
3. What about the pain in my right hip and left lower ribs?
This, of course, was my main concern and with good reason. As I stated before, bone metastasis is very common with breast cancer. The doctor is not worried at all. My cancer markers are very low, my blood test doesn’t indicate anything going on with my bones, I’M NOT LOSING WEIGHT. ** When I complained about the not losing weight part even though I’m trying he said I have several factors working against me. My age, my total hysterectomy, my thyroid issues, the Tamoxifen, my love of Starbuck’s and all things chocolate (Okay. I give. I threw the last two in there.) I think onocologists are the only doctors who like their patients overweight. ** But because bone metastasis is always a concern he scheduled me for a bone scan next Tuesday.
Looking through my chart, he saw that my last bone scan was two years ago. At that time it showed degenerative disease (dramatic way of saying arthritis) in my clavical. My clavical! How does that even work? It’s not a joint, is it?? That makes no sense to me. Of course, this is me we’re talking about. If it’s weird and can happen…, well, you get the idea. He thinks the pain in my hip and my ribs may be arthritis.
All in all I’m feeling pretty good about everything. The appointment went very well and Dr. Mikhail eased whatever concern I had about the bone pain. And Katybug – it doesn’t feel like normal muscle pain. It’s hard to describe, but it does seem more “bony” than muscle.
OH! And get this. I had told the kids not to get on the bus, I would pick them up from school because we had to go buy a jacket for Taylor. I hadn’t planned on a dexascan, but by the time I got out of there I knew there was no way I could get to them. So I called Todd and asked him to call Katie’s school to let her know she had to take the bus home. I texted Taylor because I knew he’d check it as soon as school was out.
So I’m driving home, feeling good about things, listening to my favorite playlist on my iPod, when Katie calls me. “Mom! Where are you?” Long story short – the office called her last period teacher and told her, but the woman never told Katie. Todd was too far to get her, I was too far to get her, we tried calling a couple people about getting her but couldn’t get a hold of them. So I told her to go wait for me in the office and I’d get there as soon as I could. But the secretary couldn’t wait for me so she drove Katie home. The whole thing made me see WHITE! Like madder than seeing red! I’m still miffed about that.
Tuesday I’ll go get injected with radioactive dye that, unfortunately, will not make me glow. Then three hours later I’ll go back and take a rest on a cold, hard table while the scanner runs over me like a car wash. Hopefully I’ll be able to see my skeleton on the computer screen because it makes me look tall and skinny. Maybe a little too skinny.