Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tough Medicine: The Sequel

So, today was The Big Day. The Day of Reckoning. Judgment Day. The Final Exam.

The day I was to find out if I had to do Round Two; a fresh hell of Carac Chemotherapy.

What was left of my face was a bloody, scabby, itchy, burny, dry, yet oozy, mess. My very own hand, the Applicator of Creamy Doom, had become my worst enemy. The voices in my head, arguing about whether we "Must!" or whether we "Can't!" smear the flesh-eating Horror in a Tube on the ravaged landscape yet another time, reached crescendo after crescendo; screaming like banshees in between. I was alternately ecstatic about my doctor's visit; and abjectly terrified.

I awoke 4 hours before my 8:30 AM appointment, so I would have plenty of time to fret. There was still product in my chemo tube. What if I hadn't used enough? What if I had used too much, and would now require surgery to repair the permanent scarring? And, what if...what if...I had to do this all over?

I had read the statistics. 30% of people prescribed the Carac treatment cannot finish the first round. I realized that NOWHERE in the literature is the failure rate of second rounds addressed. I would imagine that is because there are no known survivors.

CoffeeCoffeeCoffee; the whole time knowing that I had to wash my face, removing the chemo cream that was holding it together at the moment, and then refrain from applying sunscreen - the same sunscreen that stung and burned and made me want to climb in the freezer and close the door behind me and rest my head on the Double Brownie Lowfat Double Churned Active Culture Frozen Yogurt and freeze to death - and yet sunscreen was mildly moisturizing and seemed to hold some of the blood in where I had chasms that could hold full-sized rivers. No sunscreen for me this morning, no sir! Au naturel.

I did the math. It would take me exactly 6 minutes to get to my doctor's office. So, if I washed my face 10 minutes before my appointment time, I would only have 4 minutes of naked pain before I got my marching orders.

Of course, any medical practice worth its Biohazard Box is running a half-hour late before it even opens. So there I was, nakedfaced and burning; trying to read a book about quilts that just happened to be in my trunk, because a friend had given it to me the night before. No, I haven't got the foggiest idea how to quilt. And, even though I remembered my reading glasses (which hurt to wear, by the way,) I had read at least 2 chapters before I realized the book was upside down.

Weeks later, my name was finally called. Someone in polyester scrubs featuring woodland creatures, escorted me to my next waiting area; noting that, "WOW! That's quite a rash you have there! It must hurt!" Fortunately my pulled hamstring was aching...I have a pretty decent karate kick when I feel good.

The Woodland Creature Lady assured me it would be "just a sec" before Doc appeared. Let me pause to define "sec". A "sec" is the time it takes Doc to see Patient A and her Band-Aided chin, talk into the tape recorder regarding Patient A; see Patient B who was referred by her daughter, talk into the tape recorder regarding Patient B, talk in the hall to two co-workers, talk in the hall to someone, presumably the Woodland Creature lady about me, and knock on the door. I know this because the walls there seem to be made out of mostly thin air, with some small amount of fiber added to hold generic white paint.

My face, which is now sans any type of goo for a couple of hours, is pretty unhappy; not to mention flaky and so dehydrated that the corners of my eyes have drawn together. I have univision. I feel terrible. If I don't get a good report; well, let's just say it won't go well for someone.

Doc gasps when she sees me. She says, "You must hate me!" I assure her that "hate" is an awfully strong word. I am more in the "dislike" camp.

Sensing my hostility, she is quick to say that I have had an "excellent reaction." That I "really lit up." and that she is "so pleased."

That makes one of us.

She sends me off for steroid cream, to stop the chemical reaction, I am done. DONEDONEDONE. For two years!!!!!

All I have to do is go to the pharmacy, to get the 'scrip filled. What could possibly go wrong?

Ooh! Cliffhanger!!!

1 comment:

Diary of a Young Designer said...

Wish you lots of blessings! ANd hope everything works out perfectly for you!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!