Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cancer is a Full-time Job

Who knew? Seriously. It takes everything out of me. Literally. You can imagine what that means.

Today I had my blood drawn, then wait for the results, then an appointment with my oncologist. He's still waiting on one more test result from the spinal tap, but he said it looks clear so far. He's going to the Caribbean tomorrow (and he so deserves it. I told him to spend one minute in the sun for me.), so I'll have to ask the on-call dr. to read me the results tomorrow.

Then I had to sort through a prescription that I was supposed to start on Tuesday. It costs a lot of money, and because I've already hit my prescription limit on my insurance, and I'll have to take this drug for basically the next two years, I have an amazing prescription-nurse who has been working since Thursday to find some prescription program to pay for it. We thought she found one, but it panned out. Then another one panned out today (because I'm a full-time student. Explain that!), which is when I started crying, while I was on the phone with the Arlington Free Clinic while sitting in her office. The nurse started crying too--she was so frustrated! The lady on the phone started crying, too. It was awful. At that point I was ready to give my first-born child and just pay for the stupid prescription, when my sweet nurse found another low-cost program that is shipping the meds to me tomorrow. We all cried again and then it was off to my next step: the chemo shot.

You would think when I'm scheduled for a chemo shot, that's easy, right? Well, they can't order the chemo until I get there. And today there happened to be a million department holiday parties all over the hospital, and apparently a meeting for the pharmacists. Now my pharmacist friend explained to me the other night how hard it is to mix chemo, but friends, it took a full 2 hours to mix a tiny shot. And as I sat there waiting, I looked around at my new peer group in the Infusion Center. I am the youngest by far--by say 50 years (ok. maybe 30 years.) Oh. my.

That took forever. And I was starving. So Stalwart Sue, who sat with me all day long, and I stopped at Burger King on the way home. Too bad it didn't last long. But thank goodness for Zofran. And Sprite. And my own bed. And Glee episodes on the DVR.

I'm looking for another job. I hate this one.


Erin said...

that's one crappy day on the job. But all jobs have bad days, right? They can't all be really bad days. Unless you are the person who has to clean the port-a-johns and then I think all days are bad. But you aren't that person, so it can't be bad everyday. :)

Birdie in DC said...

You are amazing! I am in awe of your sense of balance and your ability to convey the challenge with humor and an intentional decision to stay positive. Honestly, it's so frustrating that you have to fight the financial and medical system battle along with the physical battle. But you are doing an impressive job. Jenny FTW!

Lesli said...

Good jobs are hard to find these days and I am sorry that you got stuck with such an unpleasant one! You are doing it well, though, and will eventually work your way out of the job, or just get fired. And that will be a good thing. (I am not sure what getting a promotion would mean, so go for getting fired!)You are amazing and wonderful and I love you!