Friday, July 20, 2007


Yesterday morning I met with my oncologist, Dr. R. He's a good guy and I like him. But the person that I REALLY admire in his office is Janice, the woman who draws the blood...otherwise known as a phlebotomist. She is EXCELLENT! She knows exactly where my only good vein is and can get it on the first attempt all the time now. It took a few visits to perfect this part of the visit, but now it's great. About a year and a half ago my mom gave me a few of those little hand warmer packs and right before I'd go see Dr. R, I would open one up, activate it, and put it on my "good spot" and warm it up for Janice. When I ran out of them, Janice got some, but yesterday she was out of them. We went to Plan B then, and put a warm, wet paper towel on my arm. It worked, thank goodness. She and I have our routine down now....she uses a butterfly and I hold the empty vials while she gets started, then we trade as they fill up.

My numbers were good yesterday. In fact, my platelets were higher than they've ever been. They usually run a little low, but yesterday they were RIGHT ON! What a relief!

When I saw the doctor, he was very pleased with the numbers and how things are going for me, so after our long discussion, he said that I am now moving to the every 4 month plan, instead of my current every 3 month. YEAH!!!

Dr. R also told me about testing that they now can do on colon tumors. It was approved for breast cancer a while ago, but has just very recently been approved for colon cancer. It will test the tumor and determine if you are high risk or low risk for developing colon cancer again. If you are low risk, then Stage 2, like I had, will not need chemo or radiation. If you are high risk, then you will need chemo and/or radiation. I asked if there were still any slides of my tumor at the lab at the hospital and if they could be checked to determine my risk. He said that I've already been through the chemo, so it really wouldn't make a difference as far as that was concerned. But I mentioned that if I am HIGH risk, then I would possibly have colonoscopies and CT scans more often to keep a closer eye on things. He said that the insurance company may not cover the cost and it's pretty expensive. Then he said that he would have his office manager check on it. It would just give me some peace of mind.

Dr. R also mentioned that he had seen Patty, my sister-in-law, recently. I told him that I recommended him to her and he was pleased. He said that she was very fortunate and that if she had waited another 6 months to have her colonoscopy then the outcome would be a lot different. As it turned out Patty doesn't need chemo or radiation at all.

I also told him that whatever he paid Janice, wasn't enough, because she is SO good at doing her job! On my way out, I stopped by to tell her that it would be FOUR months until I saw her again and she was happy for me (probably for herself too!)

It was just a relief to get that visit over and done with. Each time I know that he probably won't be giving me any bad news, but still it's just the idea of seeing him that gets to me.


Melanie said...

So very happy to hear that all went well for you! It's just great that you found someone who can hit the right vein the first time!