"But music was his life, it was not his livelihood,and it made him feel so happy and it made him feel so good. And he sang from his heart and he sang from his soul. He did not know how well he sang; it just made him whole." - Harry Chapin - chorus of "Mr. Tanner."
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Translating "Doctor talk' into more understandable "English" . . .
What a difference it makes when you have someone who can "translate" something into a language you can understand.
My oncology nurse called me
this morning, after receiving a long list of questions I sent to her on Tuesday
night by email. She shared that as she read my email, she realized that there
had been a miscommunication ( and it truth, the miscommunication was a lot my
fault.) My emotions got pretty scrambled at the doctor’s office on Tuesday
morning, and neither Liz or I correctly understood what my oncologist was attempting
to communicate to us in “doctor language.”As a result, I “heard” that I was
having another treatment in April and I panicked a bit, and I “sort of / kind
of” got mad at the doctor.
when I get mad, I stop listening . . . something that is probably not news to
those who know me well.
Seems that when I get mad . . . people (including doctors) often become afraid of me . . .
So . . . here is the translation . . .
In reality, I am not having a
treatment in April.Rather, it will be
"determined" in April if I need another treatment and/or surgery.
As our nurse explains it . .
. I am going back to the oncologists in April for a “re-staging” which involves
- One or two injections of a
medicine that will allow me to not have to stop taking my new meds (synthetic
hormone), and to not have to do a full week long low-iodine fast
- Two days later I will orally
take a very small radioactive iodine marker (no isolation period involved)
- Two days after that, I will
have another scan on my neck.
The results of the scan, as
well as the results from new blood work, will help to determine 3 more things:
(We could know the answers to all this by the middle or end of April)
- If the “spot” (evidence of
thyroid cancer in my upper neck/lymph node) is still there . . .
- If another radioactive iodine
ablation (a 3 week process including diet and isolation) is necessary to take
care of it
- If surgery is required to
remove the lymph node (which is actually the “worst case scenario” according to
the nurse . . . one that I can very much live with.)
A result of another ablation
or surgery will be that I will have several more scans over the course of the
next few years.
The wait until April is to
give my neck more time to heal, and to allow the first treatment some time to
have full effect (apparently my recent treatment has a half-life, meaning it is
still “theoretically” working). The
cancer I have (follicular carcinoma) is the very slow growing.It has probably taken many years for that little
spot in my upper neck to get to the size that it is.
So, I am thankful for an oncologist who has everything under control, even if I'm out of control.
I am thankful for my oncology nurse who was patient to respond to my questions with a phone call instead of an email . . . and as a result, I am informed and on-board as a participant in the plan. I am much more at ease.