The Pabster really saved the day yesterday.
I was very nervous about meeting with Dr Ana again, especially as I’d spent most of our last appointment crying my eyes out and not making a whole lot of sense. But luckily Pablo found time to come with me, even though he’s been crazy busy these days with a new work project, and it really helped having him there. Especially as he’d been there for the death sentence and also when I was suddenly pronounced miraculously “cured” in January…
So we met at the hospital and had just enough time to go through my notes when Dr Ana came in. Shortest waiting time ever! To sum up, I will be having a port put in the week before my second chemo session. The first session will be on Thursday at 12.00 in the hand … aaargh. But at least it will just be the one. I also got Dr Ana to change the anti-nausea meds to one called Emend, which I’ve heard good things about on the Colon Club forum. In fact, I’m going to have four different anti-nausea meds this time, so let’s hope they work! I also asked to have the last medical report corrected to show what actually happened at the January consultation, and this was when it was especially good to have Pablo there to back me up.
Having the lists – and especially the graph showing how long each side effect lasted during a cycle – was even more helpful than I’d thought it would be. Dr Ana especially liked the graph and said I should make one for each cycle.
We were there for about an hour and it became clear that all future communication is going to have to take continued studied preparation on my part. Also, I have to remain as “unconfrontational” as possible (apparently even floods of tears can be taken as “confrontational”) and this is another way that having lists and graphs help. So it’s a bit of a delicate balancing act, but the bottom line is that I need to make sure I get the best treatment possible, which also means carefully phrasing things so that the actual suggestion ends up coming from the doctor, as though it was their idea. Again, the lists and graphs help me stay calm because they act like a buffer – something to focus on – while I’m explaining symptoms, treatment, etc. Though I also think popping a couple of tranqs before each oncology appointment wouldn’t hurt either.
So, as The Pabster pointed out, we got everything I wanted out of that appointment. And also learned a few things. And so now it’s on to the next phase of treatment.
Gracias por venir conmigo, Pablito, mi héroe.