Since the last 12 days and most them of them without any word from Denver camp nor Montrose, I had Dr. D’s words running incessantly around my head. ‘Maybe we can’t remove this tumor surgically.’ I was in a deep shock. So, how else can it be removed? She did not address this issue. I imagine, perhaps it would be chemo and for good measure, radiation.
I had a call to my doc, here, well, we already went through all of that. I even called again. No answer. I felt totally alone in trying to figure out what to do with this huge problem.
Several e-mails were sent back and forth to Professor in Germany, who was my only link. He replied at once, every time.
I’d sent medical records and scan results. He answered promptly and was concerned, as the tumor had grown and did not see why we had to do another, expensive P.E.T. When I told Professor that Dr. D had stated she ‘may’ not be able to remove tumor, his next e-mail said, ‘if this is so, then to come Wuerzburg. I’ll be here for you.’
Denver co-ordinator had called Thursday afternoon to schedule a P.E.T scan, in Denver, for the following Wednesday morning. I was totally stressed out, how on earth could I manage to get there, again. Who could drive? Where to stay? How to get around? I don’t have unlimited funds. I’d spend over $350.00 on the last, useless trip. I asked, if I could have this done in Grand Junction. I said, I don’t live around the corner and to expect me to come there for a scan and then be told she may not be able to do surgery, was unreasonable. Unless they could tell me, why a P.E.T in Denver was more sophisticated than the one in Grand Junction. (I had called my son while coordinator was conferring with doc and he led me through the mental maze.)
She called back to tell me that this was alright and they’ll set it up. My blood pressure has been really high with all these stressful talks, then e-mails to figure out, if I had to go to Germany, where I could convalesce? How much would that surgery cost? All my adult life I’d paid into Social Security, to have some help in my ‘old age’. Now, that I was finally old enough for Medicare, I’d have to pay 100% over there? NOT fair. Not fair at all. But, to even have someone offer this kind of help has me very emotional. In one e-mail, he wrote that he could not open the disc and so could not look at it. But, he was sure he could do surgery.
(Remember? Dr. D. had not looked at it either but cautioned, that she may not.) I’m not giving up on her because she is good. I need good, or, as they said, ‘the best’.
Yesterday morning, my friends, Monika and Inge B. and I, drove to Grand Junction. They’ve been with me, for every P.E.T scan, starting nearly 2 years ago. It had been snowing when we left. For a large part of the way, there was very thick fog. I was so very thankful that I did not have to go to Denver, over those passes. I would’ve stressed out a lot more.
The ladies at the reception recognized me and were glad to see me, although not glad (she said) that I had to be back. The nurse, who inserted the catheder, also remembered me and said, ‘How nice to see you again. You’re just like a breath of fresh air when you come.’ I had to be poked 3x before it my veine finally agreed. She also gave me a large cup of (nasty tasting) thick, contrast. Then, to lay down, resting in the big chair. Curtains drawn all around. You can’t read. You can’t talk. Just laying there. For nearly an hour. That’s such a long time and feels like punishment for me. I’d tried to visualize the tumor hanging in there, dried up. This would be so ideal compared to what I’d be facing.
Finally, bathroom break and then into the room with the big, doughnut shaped, scan machine. At least, they’re not closed in any more, like those narrow coffin-ones they had, even just 2 years ago. Both arms go over the head and are strapped down. Then, mid section is strapped in. (I asked, if this was a straight jacket? Was I in the right place. ha.)
Then, the scan began. Of course, right away, my nose itched. Can’t scratch. Have to lie perfectly still. Then, my eye itched. I’ve tried very hard to ignore all those suddenly, itching body parts. It seemed like a long, long time. Finally the movement to get out of the scan. The nice radiologist, who has done my last 3 scans, assured me that he would give me extra discs, so I would not be anywhere without them. Of course, he can’t tell me what he saw.
My friends were outside waiting and after I received the discs we left. It’s a good place to go and I was not stressed at all. I know, it’s because it’s not so huge and impersonal like Denver University. It’s also because I know these people and they know me.
My doc had finally called Monday eve. He appologized as he was at the hospital all week. He told me all my decisions were really good ones, and ‘right on’ and to involve Professor, as well. He also told me, he would call me at once, today, when he received P.E.T result.
So. Pilgrims. Within a few hours or tomorrow, I should know where to go. Denver or Wuerzburg. My son has agreed to come with me, no matter where I go. My daughter, who has family and can’t leave, is close with support, love and keeping the home front.
( I am selling some ‘stuff’ to finance at least the ticket.) I try not to think about this huge obstacle of money.