I went to see Dr P this morning. It was one of those days where the waiting room is emphatically not empty, so I had a while to wait, and therefore had to remind myself of my waiting room policy – NO LOOKING AROUND. I did pretty well (except for the stinkeye I aimed at Wife of Wheelchair-Bound Patient, who took a phone call that was quite long and just a tad too loud).
B, my phlebotomist, greeted me warmly. He hasn’t started classes yet so he’s not rushing around as much as usual. All these people to check in with. Medical Assistant N had a good flight to Florida (he’d been nervous to fly because it was right after San Bernardino) and his mom and sister have been staying with him for two weeks so he’s going a little nuts. Nurse Practitioner R not back at work yet, still on maternity leave. (Dr P did show me photos of the baby, however.) Got a good hug from Nurse Practitioner K on my way out. These are my people. My cancer people. Funny, I have never tried to cultivate any sort of relationship with the women at the front desk. They don’t put out very friendly vibes.
So that left Dr P. I wasn’t feeling as chatty today, because I’ve been worried about the dizzy spells I get when I go to stand up. My bloodwork looked fine, so that was a relief. My blood pressure wasn’t all that low, but Dr P feels that this may be what is causing the diziness, and that it’s a symptom of steroid withdrawal. Maybe. I don’t know. It didn’t happen last time! Anyhow, the answer, according to Dr P, is to eat more salt. Not a great goal to have when you’re also preparing to lose weight.
I had promised myself a few weeks ago that I’d ask Dr P the Big Question today. And when the seated portion of our visit was wrapping up, before the physical exam, I did. Except I started crying before I could even get the words out.
It may be easy for me to joke about my situation here, and in person, and even with my caregivers, but today I wanted to take things seriously. After all, last April I experienced the highest high and lowest low within a 24 hour period. You don’t go through something like that without being sort of traumatized. (It’s no accident that the therapist I have wound up with also works with people suffering from PTSD.)
I asked Dr P how I was doing. What things look like and whether she could even hazard a guess as to how things might go in the future. She said things look really, really good right now, and the fact that my bloodwork is good and the results of the gamma knife surgery were so good means she thinks my chances are excellent. Then, to my relief, she repeated something another patient had said to her today: “So doc, does that mean I can buy green bananas?” (As in, will I still be around when they ripen?) I loved that. I’ll return to it often. It’s as good a metric as any.
After getting some lunch, I trudged uphill on 34th St in the bitter cold to return some clothes. My eardrums actually hurt from the cold. I was planning to shop for clothes for myself, but only half-heartedly, because I don’t like buying clothes when I’m at a weight I consider temporary. But I found a store with a going out of business sale, everything half off. So I got a winter hat for Young A, mittens for Young J, and a bunch of tops for me, and a summer dress that intrigued me but is most definitely not my size. It is an attainable size, so I call it my aspirational dress, and if it doesn’t fit by summer… it only cost me $10, so I can afford to give it away.
I can buy green bananas and aspirational dresses and make future plans. Of course, I’d also like to find a damn job already, but one must start somewhere.