Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I am so cheap.

Today I FINALLY had my appointment with my oncologist.  I was supposed to see him 4 months after my last appointment in March, but his office called me and postponed my appointment, twice.  My head tells me that seeing him a month and a half later than he had originally wanted to see me doesn't really matter.  But then the panicky other side of me says what if something is wrong then I won't know for a month and a half longer. 

Every little ache and pain is cancer.  If I have a headache it's in my brain.  If I cough it's in my lungs.  If I have a backache it's in my bones.  I think most people who have had a cancer diagnosis experience this, it's called "canceritis".

First thing Dr. asks as he walks in the room is "Does 50 feel any different?"  Ah, brownie points for him, he actually looked at my chart, must have made a note in March, I had told him at that time that I was running a mile a day everyday till my birthday.  So of course I told him about the parade.  He was very impressed.  Of course all this small talk has distracted me and I end up forgetting to ask all my questions darn it.

Although when he asked if I was having any problems I did remember to tell him that I had been experiencing stabbing pains on my right side at the ribs....told him of course my first thought was "could it be cancer in my liver?, but it's probably more like gallbladder".  He asked if I had any gallbladder disease in the past.....or was that my own diagnosis (he didn't actually say it like that, but that was the jest of it).  I always self diagnose.  And I had eaten a Philly cheese steak sandwich at Hooters a couple of days ago and I figure it was just too much yuk for my gallbladder.  (I didn't tell him about the meal at Hooters....) 

Why the heck was I eating at Hooters?  Two of my nephews had birthdays and that's where they wanted to celebrate.  And the Philly cheese steak....not so good.  I think everything on the menu is over 1,000 calories each, and full of cholesterol and fat....no wonder my gallbladder or liver, or whatever it is had protested.

I don't really think it's cancer, but the Dr. is very thorough and routinely runs labs.  He said he will call me on Thursday and let me know the results, but that he doesn't expect anything to be out of line.  He will get more brownie points if I actually get a phone call on Thursday, but I'm not going to expect it.  I figure I will not get the results of Tuesday's blood until 4 months from now at my next appointment, assuming they do not reschedule that one.....right smack in the middle of holiday season, between Thanksgiving and Christmas.....

As I'm leaving the parking lot, I pull up to the little booth and hand my ticket to the attendant.  He's a young guy, shaggy blond hair, looks like a surfer dude, sporting those geeky thick rimmed glasses that are so popular with all the kids right now.  Not your usual parking attendant.  I must admit, I found it refreshing.  Until he says "That will be five dollars".  "FIVE DOLLARS!?"  (here the written word is completely inept at conveying the incredulousness in my voice).  "Wow, that is a lot, I wasn't even here an hour!"  He looks at his screen, "hmmmm, says 14 hours and 45 minutes, that's weird".  Actually it's not weird.  "Oops, I gave you the wrong ticket, I was here last night but the booth was closed when I left". 

Once a month I attend a "Relaxation and Visualization" class at this same location. It is supposed to teach me how to reduce the effect of stressors on my body.  Would probably be better if I actually practiced what I learn, instead I experience stress at the beginning of every class when the facilitator asks "how has your month been", and I have to confess that I have yet again failed to practice what he's preaching.  There are usually just 2 or 3 of us who attend regularly, with an occasional new person.  Not only are we learning relaxation techniques (I actually dosed off twice last night), it sometimes takes on the characteristics of a group therapy session.  Take last night, first we got in a relaxed state (accomplished with a series of deep breathing and then consciously relaxing various body parts until we are completely relaxed) then he gave us positive affirmations to boost self esteem.  Suggestions like "I am fine just the way I am", stuff like that.  After each exercise we go around the room and share how our experience was for the particular exercise.  Each one of us shared how it took us awhile to stop the mind chatter, all three of us had experienced episodes recently where we had felt judged by others, and had difficulty getting past the reliving of those experiences to the believing of the affirmations.  Geeze, what a mess we all are I thought, and had visions of Bob Newhart and his band of crazies.....surely we're not that bad, right?

I found the correct ticket and gave it to surfer dude  New price was $1, now that felt like a bargain.  And I only experienced a tiny bit of stress wondering if he was going to try to make me pay for the 12 hours I technically was not parked there.  No problem, he threw that one away.  Dude, Cool.

And for miles......ran "The Summit Run" tonight 5.27 stress relieving hard miles, 934.96 to go.

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