Back on track

Aug 24

So, I have this whole heart-may-be-damaged-from-chemotherapy-and-it-may-or-may-not-be-reversible thing going on.

Kind of a big deal.

I try not to worry.  Instead, I pray.  I’ve done a lot of praying.  At this point, I’m still more worried about the cancer than the heart.  You know, I worry about things in order.  And then I remember not to worry, and to pray instead.  Welcome to my brain.

Dr. Wonderful stopped giving me my Herceptin because Herceptin can make heart problems worse.  I really, really want/need my Herceptin to work on the cancer.  Obviously.

I found out about the heart “issue” on August 8th.  A cardiology appointment with Dr. G was scheduled for August 23rd.  I’ve been eagerly anticipating this appointment.  I need the cardiologist to fix my heart so that I can resume my cancer treatment.  This appointment was a big day; waiting two weeks for that day was hard enough.  Again, much praying going on.

Imagine my disappointment when I get a call at 4:45pm, the night before the appointment, telling me that Dr. G will not be coming in, and that they would be happy to reschedule my appointment for September 30th.  Um, yeah.  The G stands for Goober.  Dr. Goober stood me up.

“Um, no, that’s not going to work.  I’m a chemo patient and I’ve had to stop treatment until I see a cardiologist.”

Receptionist, “Well, I’m sorry ma’am, we have lots of patients with urgent issues and the soonest appointment we have available is at the end of September.”

Me, “No, really.  I’m 33.  I have breast cancer.  I need to see a cardiologist STAT.  I’ll drive anywhere in the city to any office, and I will see any doctor.”

Receptionist, “You can call our other office and see if they have openings.  Here is their number.  *CLICK*”  She hung up the phone on me.

Seriously?  I was Mad.  I was Frustrated.  I was Angry.  Clearly, this woman was having a bad day.  I’m guessing she had to spend the last hour of her work day making twenty or more phone calls to people with bad hearts and tell them the same news she told me.

I was reeling, so I called Dr. Wonderful’s nurse.  When I have a cancer problem, I call the nurses.  Nurse agreed with me, that we cannot possibly wait until September 30th to see a cardiologist.  She said she would work on it.  I breathed, I prayed, I went about the rest of my evening with dinner, and Greta making a mess, and bath time, and story time.  In between cancer-fighting, I’m still a very regular mom.  Nurse called me back to say that she had tried calling Dr. G’s office and used all of her substantial persuasive powers, but that they wouldn’t budge for her either.  Seriously?

Nurse consulted Dr. Wonderful.  He made one phone call, and suddenly, amazingly, splendidly, I had a 10am appointment with the pre-eminent cardiologist in the city, Dr. Gold.  (And probably Dr. Wonderful will not move Dr. Goober up on his list of consulting physicians.)

So this morning, I saw Dr. Gold.  Dr. Gold, if you are wondering, is fabulous.  Dr. Gold ran a few tests, listened to my heart, and explained to me the plan from a cardiac point of view.  It’s a simple plan:

1. Start me on medication that will hopefully either restore or maintain the function of my heart.  (Essentially, it’s a combination of blood pressure medications that, when used together, can fix my problem.)

2. Allow me to resume cancer treatment (ie, Herceptin infusion).

3. See me in 4-8 week and evaluate whether heart is strengthening, holding steady, or deteriorating.  As long as my heart doesn’t deteriorate, I can stay on the heart medicine and keep getting my cancer medicine.  Yippee!

I left Dr. Gold’s office this morning.  I started my heart medicine.  This afternoon, I was back in the Chemo Room getting my Herceptin.  We are back on track.  Dr. Wonderful and Dr. Awesome (the breast cancer experts) both think that Herceptin is my medical lifeline.  I am so happy to be back on track.

It is mind-boggling to think of all of the ways this cancer is being attacked.  There are so many medical-genius-brains working on my case.  They are doing a good job keeping my body patched up enough to give this cancer a good fight.  This week, Dr. Wonderful even leveraged his personal friendship with Dr. Gold to get me a VIP appointment.  These doctors.  They are amazing.  I am so grateful.

But its the prayers and the encouragement I get from friends, family and strangers that keep up my mental game.  I know that when I don’t have the courage or strength to pray for the Really Big Things I want, that you all are doing it for me.  I need that.  So thank you for leveraging your personal friendship with God on my behalf.  You are amazing.  I am so grateful.

40 comments

  1. Amanda /

    Glad the path led to a great doc. On Hercptin and getting my MUGAECO next week. This heart thing is rmy biggest concern as far as side effects. I’ll pray for both of us.

    As far as the appointment, work the system make sure you have them check other providers. Ou relatively small city has four or five MRI machines. When the theirs and another preferred provider were fulll we said call the other hospitals. Suddenly I had an appointment. I later ealized I probalbly made a nurse stay later than planned but heck, I’ve stayed at work late for a tax return that wasn’t due for two weeks but the client wanted it. Getting this test let me start treatment eight days later instead od ten which as you know is huge. The waiting game is no fun.

  2. My husband always says, “It’s nice to be nice to the nice.” that’s why your appointment with dr. Gold happened.

  3. Sharon Hajek /

    Awesome, wonderful, gold(en) you. Prayers like a meteor shower are descending from random people in random places and kissing you with faith and love. Today’s battle has been won, rest now, precious one.

  4. You are a wonder and an inspiration. You don’t know me from Adam, but consider me part of the army praying for you.

  5. GOD was working HIS Miracles again ~ Now you have a Better Heart Doctor !!!!!! Back On Track is Right !!!!! Once again, One step @ a time ~ Continued Prayers & Peace !!!!!! :-)

  6. Jennifer /

    The path is twisty, isn’t it? But somehow, looking back, it’s like seeing the path from above, and the twists make sense. In the Bible, God didn’t choose the strongest people, the most eloquent speakers, or those with the best characters to do His work. He chose everyday, fallible people like us. You are so gracious, changing the world and doing good work for Him. God Bless you and your family.

  7. It’s amazing how little I know about cancer/chemo treatment. Like just how much goes into it, how many parts there are to it: you having to stop treatment to take care of another problem, and amid all this : life goes on.

    Amazing.

    Praying for you, dear lady. Thank you for the honor of inviting us along to support you in any way we can.

  8. So glad to know prayers are being answered. Again YAY! For Herceptin. ( I only have 4 more treatments to go) Keep checking things off that list to “free” :)

  9. jen geverdt /

    I love Dr Wonderful. I keep meeting people who also love him. He is a gift.

  10. Sweet thing- I don’t know you- I only know the story you’ve been telling. You don’t know me. But I want you to know I am praying for you every stinkin’ day, and I read your posts like it is my job and hit my knees. You keep on doing your thing and loving your people- this story is going to have a really good ending.

  11. I read your post and I prayed: Thank you Lord for this girl, on a white screen, who shows me what your love is all about. Thank you that she moves me to pray. Thank you for Dr. Wonderful and Dr. Gold and for her husband and daughter. Thank you that every time I read what she writes, she brings me closer to You. I pray with my whole heart, and believe with my whole soul that you will use her to touch many and then will heal all the parts of her body that need healing, because you know for all the days of her life she will give every ounce of praise to You. And she will remind us all to do the same.

    Jen, I care about you, and I love you, and every person in your life is lucky to know you, and your girls have pretty much the most amazing and awesome mom ever, and I look forward to hearing about how you use your stories and your miracles to teach them when we both have 2 teenagers in the house who are making us question our motherhood entirely.

    Praying for you, dear sister. God’s got this, thank you for sharing. xoxo

  12. Wow, GREAT job being assertive when they tried to push the appointment back too far! It can be so hard in those situations to remain polite while saying that something is totally unacceptable, and of course it’s so much easier to just say, “Um, okay . . . ” But think what would have happened if you’d done that! Kudos to you!

  13. Golden. As has already been stated, *HE* knows the number of your days. Trust. Pray. Act. And allow others to intercede for you.
    “The battle is raging. Good will triumph.” Hang on & look up! ♥

  14. Dave Schreier /

    Praying to the God of true hope.

  15. Bonniebj /

    Once again the Lord intervenes and works His wonders through vessels that are AVAILABLE !! Thrilled Jen absolutely thrilled and encouraged!! The cloud of witnesses are still praying and always interceding on your behalf. Each day certainly has its own troubles – aren’t we glad that it’s the Lord who fights for us. Have a great day today!!!

  16. meganclare /

    Love you Jen.

  17. I am praying for you. xxxxxooooo

  18. Such good news re the Herceptin. Dr. Wonderful sounds, well, wonderful. :) Sending you love.

  19. Say goodbye to all those “goobers” and keep hanging with the hearts of gold! Praying for you always and sending positive thoughts your way!

  20. Fran Brock /

    Jen I was in your Dad’s office and talked with him. I am so glad to get you web site. I remember you and your sister’ as little girl’ in Beckett.
    I have sent you and your Mom’s name to several prayer groups.
    We are expecting a miracle for you. Your faith and the love of all that know you will carry you in the dark times.

  21. Laura /

    Just another stranger praying for you. I think about you every day! Praying for your heart and for the upcoming surgery. You are loved!

  22. Fran Brock /

    Jen I was in your Dad’s office and talked with him. Your Mom sent me this web site. I remember you and your sister’s as little girls in Beckett. I have sent your and your Mother’s name to several prayer groups. We are expecting a miracle for you. Prayers are going up every where every day for you, your Mom and your family.
    On the 30th there will be lots of prayers for you and your family.
    Fran Brock

    • Fran Brock /

      Jen I did not think the comments went through the first time so you have two from me.

  23. Love that Dr Wonderful, and his staff, worked their wonderful magic and got you in with Gold! You are so right, call the nurses, they are miracle workers. Prayers continue.
    Herceptin is great stuff! In with the Herceptin, out with the cancer….!

  24. The daily prayers are getting more and more specific, but they are ALWAYS surrounded in love! And I’m glad your doctors’ team is as good as Gold!!

  25. Your ability to not blow a gasket, BLOW MY MIND. I was ready to start screaming for you. Oh. My. Word. Lesson learned beautiful woman. Thank you for being an example of love and light for me today. I needed it. Sending many prayers your way!

  26. babydayswithhayes /

    I’ve been blog stalking you :) and praying for you ever since I clicked on the link from Momastery. You are such a shining example of faith, and you’ve helped me in my journey of faith. I’m 31 and was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy last fall after my second baby…I have to say it’s pretty scary and unreal to be told that your heart is weak. I’m only guessing that that’s what you’ve been told about your heart, but I want you to know that the drugs are amazing! It’s crazy to me that these teeny tiny pills can increase my heart’s function. They’ve upped my Rx, and my heart has regained a lot of strength. I pray this is true for you and that the Herceptin kicks ALL of the cancer’s butt!

  27. Marion /

    Jen, so glad to hear the good news of your PET scan results and getting in with Dr Gold! Sending lots of prayers and love to both you and Maren this week…a milestone for each of you! Please let me know if there is anything we can do to help out over the next few weeks: playdates, meals, etc.

  28. jen powers /

    Awesome news. Yay for herceptin back in place. Praise God for Dr. Gold…and Dr. Wonderful. Ellery & I are happy dancing to Jesus in your honor. We will especially be praying for a fully healed heart during bedtime prayers these next few weeks. Love to you!

  29. annaswa /

    I’m in tears, again, after reading this story. I was so relieved that you got a new appointment with a new doctor! I am quite impressed with Dr. Wonderful and I feel overwhelmingly glad that you are back on track, fighting. Thank you for sharing your journey; you are an inspiration.

  30. Amy Godknecht /

    Total stranger here…praying for YOU! You are such an inspiration to me. Praying your heart heals and the cancer is OBLITERATED!

  31. I’ve been reading your blog, and just wanted to let you know you have another person who is cheering you on.

  32. Michelle /

    Oh, thank goodness you were able to get that appointment today and get back on track! You don’t need that kind of frustration…..physically or mentally! As Dory from “Finding Nemo” says…..”just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming”. (I have an almost 5 year old, too!) 😉

  33. Denise O'Mara /

    Great news, Love you Neecie

  34. suenitz /

    Jen, I have grown to love praying for you. God is so good and loves us so much. Your walk with Him is beautiful, and He surely is smiling down on you. He led you to Dr. Gold because that was part of His plan. Maybe it was to help Dr. Wonderful’s team to become stronger. Only God knows but as we continue to trust Him He will make us stronger too. You are a beautiful example of faith, hope, love, trust and strength. How blessed are we who have been touched by your spirit.

  35. YAY for Dr. Wonderful! And YAY for God!

  36. WOW! Alexandra (Empress) sent me over because she knows I pray. So I will. And I’ll follow your progress. Good will triumph.

  37. Amyrhoo /

    So do you still get to go running?

  38. ugh—That lady on the first phone call sounds like she works in my Pediatric’s office. The reason I will be transferring my kids to a new one.

    I am sooooo glad it worked out for you. You kept your cool much better than I am capable of. XO Jen

  39. Just another stranger thinking, praying, hoping and wishing for you to be cancer-free, heart-strong and back doing your most important job full-time. I love that you didn’t take ‘no’ for an answer and found another way to the heart doc that you needed to see – your tenacity is going to set you free :)