Tuesday, September 29, 2009

“No News” Sucks!

Whoever said, “No News is good news,” must have had their head buried in the sand. Some things I want to know, and I want to know NOW. I have been silent on this blog for a few weeks now, waiting for resolution of a health issue. Waiting Sucks!

When I started writing this blog, I called it “Aspiring Writer.” For about a year, I wrote mostly about the book I was writing and hoping to publish. But with everything else going on in my life, writing was just one of many things on my list of things to do, to see, to accomplish. I changed the title to “Checking off the Bucket List.” Aside from self-publishing my book in 2008, I became involved in the Obama campaign and the witnessing of the election of the first black President of the United States.

I have since gone in many directions with my Bucket List, writing about the things that give me pleasure and the things that keep me awake at night. Everything from that pesky “Check Engine Light,” to figuring out my new digital camera, to travel around the world.

My life has been blessed. At 63 years of age
(I'll be 64 on October 7...don't tell), the youngest of seven siblings, I have out-lived my mother who died at age 54, my first husband who died at age 58, and one sister who died at age 58. I often said that I was living in the gravy. I have been reasonably healthy, an active Senior Citizen. My blood pressure is under control thanks to four daily meds, and I stay up-to-date with the commonly prescribed cancer screenings. If I have a pain I can’t explain, I nag my doctor until I have reason for it.

That brings me to the subject of this entry. I have experienced some non-specific abdominal discomfort for some time now. At first it was a stitch in my side that I had had for most of my life but became more intense in the last few months. I told my doctor and he suggested exercise to strengthen my core muscles. I did that and strengthened my core, and added what seemed to be muscle fatigue. I was never in enough discomfort to take pain killers, although my doctor had prescribed pain patches that I used a few times over the last few months. I became more concerned when I just could not manage an exercise ball. I didn’t have the balance to stay on it very well in a sitting position. I could do crunches from a lying position on the ball, but any pressure on my abdomen made me nauseous enough to quit the ball.

I continued to nag my doctor, until he ordered a CT scan. My insurance denied that request; they wanted me to have ultra-sound first. This is when the waiting started. The radiologists wouldn’t tell me anything specific, but the first ultra-sound showed a cyst on my left ovary. She said it wouldn’t be a concern if it weren’t for MY AGE. So they got approval for a pelvic scan and the CT that the doctor wanted in the first place.

Four business days after the first procedure, I had no word from my doctor, so I called and left a voicemail message. It’s impossible to talk to a human directly in that office. Day five, and still no word, I leave a panicky message. “
I need someone to tell me I don’t have cancer.” Day six, I hear from my Doctor’s nurse. They have the 2 ultra-sounds. My doctor wants to send the ovary to my OB-GYN, and the nurse asks for that name and number. They still haven’t seen the CT. Day eight, I call my gyno. The receptionist says I should get a card in the mail. I have to explain that it is more urgent than that. So she leaves a note for the gyno. Gyno calls that evening. Describes what she sees on the ultrasound. I had my annual exam just 2 months ago, and considering the size of the cyst, she would have felt it. She doesn’t say it, but I hear, “it must be growing fast.” She wants to order blood tests.

I go in the morning of day nine, get blood drawn for a CA125 and a CEA test. I had done my homework. I knew what a CA125 was, and I was getting nervous. By day 11 the waiting is getting on my nerves. I finally hear from my primary physician’s nurse, the CT scan was normal.
(He thinks I’m a hypochondriac.) Day 12 I call my gyno. She’s with a patient, but conveys the message that my numbers are OK, not to worry. She calls me after office hours. We talk about the procedure. I’m a good candidate for laparoscopy. Might have to stay overnight. She’ll hand it over to her office manager to get insurance approval, and schedule the procedure.

Today is day fifteen. That’s
15 business days. So we’re talking three weeks since I had the first ultra-sound. Still no news. I called this afternoon and the office manager is out until tomorrow.

Looming in the background is my dear husband who booked us last year on a cruise leaving from Barcelona on November 6. Ports of call are Athens, Malta, Rhodes, Cyprus, Sicily and the biggie....

Waiting sucks!!

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