This photo of Artie has nothing to do with what's below. But since this is a pretty text heavy (as well as heavy-weighted) blog post -- I thought she could help lighten the mood.
It all started over a month ago. See, I made the mistake of mentioning to my doctor that perhaps, maybe, one day, in the distant future, my husband and I may want to take on the role of parents -- of a child that we had conceived. Seems pretty typical? Who knew that would be such a complex statement.
Before I knew it, I had been part of a whirl-wind conversation including dates and times of an appointment for blood testing and had in my hand a list of vitamins my body apparently needed ASAP, and I'm pretty sure there was talk about daily exercise and an enormous amount of water consumption was also suggested. Without much thought, I threw that list in my bag, hopped into my new car (see, that's how long ago it was) and was on my merry way for lunch with a friend.
About a week later, I got a call from a doctor's office who my doctor had apparently put me in contact with and this new office was apparently where I would get this testing done. The woman on the phone was really nice, and explained to me that I was being sent to their office to see a Hematologist who apparently doubles as a Oncologist. Apparently, if you're one specialist -- you're also the other? She assured me that I was there for one thing -- to have blood drawn -- and that although it's scary to walk into a cancer center, to not be alarmed. There was no choice in when my appointment could be, she told me the date and time, I hung up the phone, and that was it.
A week after that, I got a package in the mail from the Dana-Farber center. I opened it and a whole plethora of information was in the packet, it was all addressed to me and I was a little confused. My appointment wasn't for another week so I carried on.
My mom came with me on the day of my appointment, and in all honesty, I had to hype myself up for having blood drawn, so I stopped at Dairy Queen on the way. My appointment was at 4PM, but they told me to come 20 minutes early to fill out paperwork. I walked in feeling pretty good about myself. Not knowing what to expect, and remembering what the woman on the phone told me, I walked up to the desk to tell the woman my name and quickly said "I'm just here for blood work". With a smile she sent me to the lab across the lobby-area and in I went to that woman and said "I'm just here for blood work". I gave her my insurance card and she found my chart, and she picked up the phone and said some things that I didn't understand and slowly the assurance left my body and I knew that I wasn't truly there for just blood work.
She told me that while I was having blood work done, I also had an appointment with the Oncologist and that I needed to go the triage room to get checked-in. I looked at her silently for about 45 seconds before I said "okay" and I turned around and went into the lobby. I think, at that point, I sort of cried -- I'm not too sure. But I went from desk to desk, and had people repeatedly ask me my name and birth date and hand me a ton of pamphlets that I hoped would not be necessary.
I sat in the waiting room with my mom and she asked me why the doctor sent me there in the first place and I told her that I wasn't too sure and that I thought I probably wasn't listening at the last appointment.
Finally, we got a room and were told the doctor was 45 minutes behind schedule (we had already been waiting about an hour) but that there was a kitchen down the hall and to help ourselves, there were iPads available for use and to let her know if we needed anything.
So we sat and we sat and we played Candy Crush on our phones and we looked through magazines and when the doctor finally came in (almost 2 hours later), he apologized a bunch and examined me and immediately started asking questions about family health. By the time we left that office to get my blood work done, it was past 7PM and the lab was closed, so I had to go across the street to the other lab. They took 8 vials of my blood and I was miserably on my way whining that my arm was wounded. Sure, I'm a little dramatic.
A few days later, I got another call from the Dana-Farber center telling me when my follow-up appointment was scheduled for. This time, I brought Sean with me.
The day of that appointment, I was a bit more prepared to meet with the doctor since I knew that was part of the deal and I went in anxious about the results but with the kind of attitude of "well, we'll see".
This time, the doctor wasn't too far behind schedule and he came in without a smile, introduced himself to Sean and started his spiel with "well, we found one thing that's a bit alarming".
To be continued...