Am I The Only Cancer Patient In A Hurry?

January 31, 2011 at 1:57 PM (Energy, Funny, Karma, Real Life) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

WARNING: The following blog post contains a fair amount of selfish kvetching.

Last Friday morning, I had a CT scan scheduled for 12:00, which meant I needed to arrive for my delicious contrast (don’t forget to ask for Gastrografin in Crystal Light instead of the thick banana shake!) at 11:00. Now, as frequent readers will surely recognize, this runs into my inviolate naptime of 12:00, which allows me to get up at 2:35, get a parking place in the pickup line, and get my kids when they’re sprung at 3:00.

In the spirit of taking the bull by the horns, I left home at 9:45, which would normally get me to The Cancer Factory by 10:30 – nice and early, in hopes of pushing the whole process forward a little and getting me home for some vestige of my dear, sweet slumber. (It didn’t help that the cat was snoring peacefully under her paw and the furry nap blanket when I left.) Unfortunately, the universe had other plans.

Traffic was a nightmare. Pursuant to our drubbing of snow in the recent weeks, there is nowhere to put it, any of it. Thus people pulling off the interstate were unable to find parking places, meaning surface streets were jammed. As a result, the interstate was jammed, too. FOR EIGHTEEN MILES. So my quick little jaunt in town got me to the radiology department promptly five minutes late for my 11:00 appt. Thus I started my contrast drink at 11:15, and didn’t get my scan until 12:30.

While I sat and sat and sat and sat waiting for my scan, I couldn’t help but notice that not only did everyone else in the waiting room have a friend with them, but they were all placid and peaceful and walking slowly. I, on the other hand, was tapping my foot, looking impatiently down the hall, and checking the time repeatedly (why? So someone would notice and move me up the list? Bitch).

I was starving (and fuming about how I wouldn’t get home until 1:30) by the time I left, but as they’ve recently opened the new treatment building here at TCF, the cafeteria had moved there and it was too far to go for food; I’d have to wait until I got home.

And the people in front of me as I was leaving the building were walking too slowly. And the nice attendant who showed me how to use the new parking pay-station was helpful but clearly not going anywhere. Neither were the parking attendants who made me park FIVE floors underground, even though there were plenty of empty spaces above that. Neither were all the twits who were obviously out for a lunchtime scenic drive as I was trying to get back to the highway.

I know that most cancer patients tend to be older people, often retired, and that they have nothing to do that day but their appointments and possibly some liver ‘n’ onions at the Early Bird Special. I know that cancer patients, whatever their age, are worn-down and tired beyond comprehension. I know it’s uncommon to be a five-year cancer warrior who has to pick up her elementary school kids but sneak home for a nap first. I know that I’ve had a bit of a speed-demon issue (stop laughing) since I first learned how to drive. But seriously, I don’t have time to waste in traffic anymore! I can’t shuffle slowly into the elevator and whistle cheerfully while it hits every. floor. on. the. way. down. My life is SHORT, people, and I think I oughta get a special sticker or a dome light or something, at least a special parking place, to indicate that while I am a cancer patient, I’m also BUSY, and way too cute to be stuck in this hospital any longer.

At least I had a good excuse all lined up for the statie who never pulled me over: CT contrast creates a vigorous urge to be near your home plumbing. NOW.


Oh, the scan results? STABLE DISEASE. A little fluid around my left lung, but only 10% tumor growth since 12/15. I’ll see a thoracic surgeon in the next 10 days Thursday to see about tapping the fluid, but it appears that the drug is doing SOMETHING. I’ll take it.

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  1. ChemoBabe said,

    i love it! i want to get you “my days are numbered!” parking pass and siren. dammit!

    glad to hear the drug is having some benefit. may it continue to do so for a long long while. xo

  2. adele said,

    ha, great post. i always feel us– your readers– drawing in together like a campfire around your humor, energy & kickass perfect observations.

  3. AnnaR said,

    The elevator at my Scan place is so slow, some bright spark could seriously come up for a cure for cancer, in the time it takes to get on the elevator, after being pushed and shoved by all the oldies in walkers and wheelchairs, and then ride the elevator down ONE floor. And then don’t even get me started on the whole check-in, do the same paperwork for the millionth time over, wait the obligatory hour or two, drink the drank, have your veins stabbed by club-handed tech before they realize it’d b be a good idea to call the IV nurse, wait for that, then go wait some more, do the Scan, and then wait for the results……..oi I feel exhausted just thinking about it. Maybe time for my nap. All the best to you and LOVE the snark/kvetching always.

  4. Divaduchess said,

    Love your posts. I go to the scans with my mother and completely agree that most of those people apparently have no where else they need to be. And, while we wait, is it too much to ask for them to rotate the magazines? I really hate reading the dogeared magazines with pumpkins on the front with Valentine’s Day approaching.

  5. Dee said,

    I have had scan days like yours.Thanks for writing about it with more humor than mine would ever have. I too would love a “let me in the D*** parking deck I’m a cancer patient ” sign for my car.

  6. Bernie said,

    What a special lady you are and an inspiration. Love your humor, wish everyone could read your post as they would absolutely feel better…….:-) Hugs

  7. patricia said,

    Haaaaahhhh, is this your way of telling us you are a line hater?? I just might be line-phobic….any time I ever walk into a place and see that there is a line, I immediately want to jump out of my skin! We cancer patients are NOT slow movers (well we aren’t if we are able)! And then…I remember I used to be one of those visiting the scan room on a gurney or in a wheelchair, now take the railroad to the subway and walk 6 1/2 blocks and take the hospital shuttle. I love hearing you kvetch…it’s good for your soul! And, as always, your post has made the girl in the cubicle next to me want some of what I must be drinking…

    On the other side of these things….your post reminded me of when my son told me “Ms. C wants me to come up with better small moments to write about. I told her I only have big moments in my head, I don’t remember small moments. And she said I need to try harder in my writing, and not be so lazy.” I wanted so badly to give her a call… advise her that students need constructive criticism, not destructive….tell her that she knows how he needs to be nurtured and reminded that he can write, even though he thinks he cannot….or that… five years ago we were wondering if I would see him turn 7, and you think he is lazy??? But, instead I told him “Everything around you is always a potential small moment in our lives, one to be grateful for and cherish, all you have to do is open your eyes to them.”

    It is SOOOO good to hear the drugs are effective, every small improvement is one step closer to the goal. xxx’s, patricia

  8. Jennifer said,

    I would love to waste some time waiting with you the next time you go downtown! Too bad you don’t have narcolepsy, then you could just nap in between each of the steps. You know my yogi brain has much advice for you, but I’ll keep my mouth shut :). Glad to hear positive scans! Hope to see you soon!

  9. Kim Ostien said,

    yeah yeah yeah…..but those scan results! You can’t argue with that!

  10. Nancy said,

    Please read this in the not-yet-invented-but-much-needed sarcasm font.
    1. You should have been napping instead of blogging
    2. In my religion, if you kvetch this much, it means you’re doing pretty well.

    Seriously, good for you!

  11. Danielle said,

    Great post- you make me laugh! Glad the drug is helping out
    In my thoughts

  12. Nina the slackmistress said,

    Doing something>doing nothing.

    Old people always have a “pass” for being cranky or yelling at people. You should get a pass. (I am thinking of a SCREW YOU I HAVE CANCER button but I am inappropriate.)

  13. Poppit said,

    Just make sure when they drain the fluid off your lungs they don’t drain the piss and vinegar out too. Like they could. So glad to hear the good news

  14. Nancyspoint said,

    Sarah, I know this is all serious stuff, but I couldn’t stop chuckling as I read. Every time I go to oncology, I unfairly note how much older everyone else seems, as if getting cancer at an older age is better! I love the comment above about could someone please rotate the magazines! At least let’s have them all be from the CURRENT year! Well, I guess that’s not possible now since it’s only Feb. Oh well. Thanks for sharing your frustrations. Glad you got some good news in there.

  15. Bill said,

    I find that yelling and screaming the vilest profanity you can imagine helps a lot. It doesn’t help the situation mind you, and surprisingly often times makes the situation worse. However, I do feel as though something has been accomplished.

    Try that next time and let me know how it works out for you.

  16. Adrienne said,

    So glad your doing better, Deary….Go ahead and be pissy, you’ve earned the right!

  17. nancykhicks said,

    If you find out how to get the special sticker, dome light or parking place, let me know. I’m known to all my docs as “the impatient patient.” And proud of it, dammit.

  18. Ann said,

    Deep into chemo, I learned to slow down a little. I was too tired to do anything else. I thought that was a lesson I had learned. Now I’m speed-demoning it everywhere again too.

    Hope you are okay, please post!

  19. patricia said,

    Thinking of you …. xx

  20. Beth L. Gainer said,

    What a wonderful posting! Why don’t these medical personnel realize that they should work around YOUR schedule?

    Hope you can get your naps in from now on. Your blog is so well-done, that I’m including it in my blog roll.

    Thanks for posting this nice piece of work!

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