Friday, May 06, 2011


I finally got the long awaited phone call of the pathology and cytology reports on the fluid that was removed. Although it didn't look "normal" it was fine. No cancer cells in it, no bacteria in it, so it was all good. The doctor wants to see me in a week for further discussion about what is going on.

Today was a difficult day. Although I go to lung rehab on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons (with travel this is a three hour commitment), I had today to do other things. The day began with a visit to the hospital lab to check my coumadin. It was finally high enough to stop the injections of Lovenox, which are painful and have my stomach purple and blue. When I arrived there were no handicapped parking spaces and I had to walk much further than when I can get one. I was gasping for breath (yes I had a portable oxygen tank on) as I arrived at the desk. Kim one of the phlebotomists who I see regularly insisted that I not walk back to my car. She located a wheelchair and was kind enough to wheel me out to the car and made sure I was inside before she walked away. An act of kindness such as that is deeply appreciated. I then had to go to Pearle where I had to take my sunglasses back as they had an issue. It was hell getting into that place from there handicapped spot but the gentleman fixed the glasses and I was relieved that they were finally fixed correctly. From there I took myself to the grocery store. A pretty well located parking spot there. I grabbed a cart which gives me support and helps carry my purse and the oxygen, and picked up things I desperately needed such as milk and bread.
I realized as I stood in the checkout line that a woman was staring at me. While she looked away once in awhile she looked at me as though I had horns coming out of my head. I locked eyes with her at one point and smiled so that she would realize I was not a monster. She quickly looked away. At lung rehab other patients tell me they experience the same thing. I would never have stared at someone wearing an oxygen cannular. I can't help wondering if they think I was a four pack a day person. I want to tell them that I never smoked. Of course, I tried it but never had a smoking habit. I want to tell them that this is the price I seem to be paying for having enjoyed thirty cancer free years. Then I catch myself thinking that it's not really their business and I owe them no explanation. I am still hoping for a diagnosis (other than respiratory failure which the doctor wrote on a work note.) I don't know that she will ever know how much of one problem and how much of another weighs into the problems. I have scars from previous bouts of pneumonia but I have fibrosis from the radiation. I am still hoping that I will not have oxygen for the rest of my life. Right now I am totally dependent on it and cannot return to work without it.

On a completely different note, it's almost Mother's Day. I have a nice basket prepared for my mother. It has a puzzle (she loves having one to work on), a bracelet (Pandora style) with two charms, a book and a mug that says Mom with a matching tea towel. I believe my sister will be here from New York. She is coming an average of twice a month. Her daughter will be getting married in September at a fabulous place at the shore. It will be a beach ceremony followed by a reception. Thank God they are having this in New Jersey because trying to travel with all oxygen would be a nightmare. I would have to have a company send a tank to a hotel and it would be overwhelming at this time. I am trying to help my sister plan a shower here but I am limited in what I can do. They don't want me cooking while wearing oxygen and the minute I remove it, I have real problems. We'll see. Since this is my niece and my Godchild, I want to do something really special for her. She is so adorable, a petite natural blonde that looks wonderful in anything she wears. She also has a flare for fashion and I am so eager to see her gown. Something good to look forward to. I really needed that.


Virginia said...

Glad to hear the lab results came back with good news. As far as the lady that was inappropriate.... never waste any energy on people like that. (I can tell you this from a liftime of experience...) What a stranger might think doesn't matter one bit!


How rude that lady was, staring. Just let it roll off your shoulders. I'm glad the news was good. You have a wonderful Mother's Day. ENJOY!

Ronni Gordon said...

Hurray for no cancer cells!

Susan C said...

Finally catching up on my blog reading.

So sorry that you're still having breathing difficulty. Sounds like everything is such a struggle. Wishing it weren't so and sending love your way.