Let’s recap here, shall we? About a year ago my new oncologist told me I was cancer free and no longer required further tests. She said to me – and I quote – “If that pain comes back then go to emergency”. But I was no longer on the watch list for possible cancer recurrence. WTF? As most people know, by the time you are in any kind of serious pain because of cancer, you are pretty much already dead.
Meanwhile, to this date nobody can explain why I’m even fucking alive, and apparently my case flummoxed pretty much everyone who was involved with it. This is why I had regular PET scans, twice a year for five years after my last chemo in 2009, then once a year for the following five. And then in January 2018 suddenly there was some issue about an inflammatory area that had increased from one PET to the next, and suddenly I was seeing a new onc who gave me a whack of other tests: CTs, colonoscopy, endoscopy… and then pronounced me cancer-free. As in, you can go away now.
I pushed hard to have at least SOME kind of follow-up testing, so new onc agreed to an abdominal ultrasound last summer. And guess what? There was some dodgy stuff there they couldn’t explain so the techicians requested an MRI on my liver. THEN I got my “mystery pain” back again, so the onc decided to do another CT because “they are more thorough”. Okey dokey.
Results from that CT showed more dodgy stuff, this time in my stomach, so I went for another endoscopy a couple of weeks ago, and they took some biopsy samples. The onc had said I should book another appointment with her when the biospy results were in (because I am supposed to know when that is, right??). Which brings us to today.
First, I received a call from the hospital today around 2:00 pm saying I had an oncology appointment on January 21 at 1:15 pm. Well okey-dokey. I just thought the biopsy report was ready and my onc wanted to give me the results. Though I was a bit concerned that they had actually called me… usually I have to hunt them down to get my next oncology appointment. So I wondered if this meant they had found something scary.
THEN LATER THAT SAME DAY I received a call from radiology at 5:00 pm saying I had an appointment on Monday – this coming Monday! January 13! – for an opaque enema. I didn’t know anything about this and don’t even know what a fucking opaque enema is (have since googled). The woman who called me from radiology was also confused. She said the request was filed today by my onc and was marked as preferential, meaning is should be sped through, so she called me when she saw that there was an opening in their schedule on Monday.
Then she explained the test preparation, a special diet for two days before and then the day before taking what looks like the same preparation for a colonoscopy: the dread envelopes of gack that you mix with water and down for an entire evening that totally cleans you out. But of course I don’t have the envelopes! And it’s Friday late afternoon. So then the woman told me that I would have to go to the hospital NOW and pick up the envelopes if I wanted the test on Monday. Well … impossible.
By this time both of us were very confused as to why my oncologist had requested a speedy test like this without even informing me. Anyhow, the next “preferential gap in the schedule” is January 23, two days after my next appointment with my onc on January 21. This works well for the opaque enema test because then I can pick up the dread envelopes that day and start with the two-day prep, but now I’m guessing she wanted the enema done before she sees me on the 21st? Well, who knows? And why should I be fucking have to guess about this??
Seriously … what kind of doctor makes scary test appointments for their patients without informing them in advance? The Radiology woman who called about the opaque enema appointment assumed that I had seen my oncologist this morning, and that’s why the request was made.
Meanwhile, my oncologist also has my mobile phone number. So if she had picked up the phone and said to me – sorry Shawn but you need to get this test done as soon as possible, it’s important – then I would have been in a taxi in a flash going to pick up the envelopes at the hospital. But as of now I still have no clear idea why this test was requested and I am really trying hard not to jump to conclusions or panic. And now I am going to Netflix with my cats. Can’t take any more bullshit today.