Back on track
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.