The day before, I went to my six month colon cancer check-up. Okay so, I was actually I was five months late but there I was, sitting in the waiting room watching a gigantic family slurp down bottles of Pepsi and Mountain Dew.(I think that s!@t is killing us. One big gulp at a time. Sweet Jesus.) I texted my sympathetic friend. Do you know she exchanged pleasantries with me for the entire 20 minutes they were running behind? (Gifts come in many forms. I tay ya.) I was really anxious(<---understatement) because this was supposed to be the episode in which a camera entered my a-hole aided by a live enema delivered on site by a massively unlucky nurse.
Got called in. The doctor was in fine form. It was actually The Best Appointment I've Ever Had With Him. (This is sharp haircut/good shoes. Not pink shirt.) We had a real back and forth about what we thought. I told him what I thought I'd do about this hernia thang. I explained to him that I'd like to see someone other than Pink Shirt 'due to communication problems' and I never used the phrase 'a@#hole' once.
The thing with the surgical relationship that I've learned over the last almost year now-you do spend very little time with them overall? But it's a long term thing. Somebody was telling me I should go with Pink Shirt-just for the convenience/expertise factor but he's gonna be poking at me in the hospital and I want someone with whom I can have an intelligent conversation lacking an F-U thought bubble over my head.
I was awarded the prize of NOT having the enema(oh joy/ rapture)in exchange for another colonoscopy coming soon. Okay said I. Works for me.
He said I needed my CEA and I said okay and we both kinda said that we thought I was probably fine in the cosmic sense. Everything was kinda pointing to fine anyway and off I went.
I was so happy, I took the steps.
The Lab is on the first floor of the hospital. At different points in my hospital experience, I'd actually grown to really appreciate the women who work in this department. They put up with a whole lotta nonsense and I'm just guessing they're not rolling in dough and even though they've been flat out rude to me on occasion-I just keep pushing my 'hey how's YOUR day going?' thing until I break them down.
That all ended on Wednesday.
I can't decide if she was dour or sullen or maybe she was even sullendour which would be a terrible thing, but she refused to acknowledge me. I said, is this the time where I tell you I'm a hard stick and they never get blood out of my right arm? She totally ignored me. Went ahead and tied the orange rubber thing around my right arm(I have now learned that I am to immediately ask for someone else. I can even say, I'd like someone from the ER to do this. I really didn't know this officially until today.) and here's what happened:
Right arm? She had the needle dangling half way in and had to call her friend over to try and assist and yeah her friend couldn't get it either because hello, I just TOLD her it wasn't going to work.
Other arm? Her friend got it.
So entirely not cool.
So Thursday, when I'm at the switchboard, my phone was ringing. And I thought ho-lee s@#$ that has GOT to be bad news(because when it's no news-they send the results via email and when it's Very Bad, the doctor calls) I am not taking it here.
I left work 10 minutes early because I wanted to hear the message before my visit to the social worker. I thought, okay if this is something horrendous-wouldn't it be delightful to go straight to the social worker and figure things out?
The message was this: cccchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Like they hung up-whomever they were. Now I'm thinking Uh-oh. He wants to speak to me in person. This is Very Bad.
Because this is the way your mind works 11 months after cancer.
Got home, talkin' to P, I say-is that your phone? Because I heard a zzzz-zzzz-zzzz.
I missed the call. It was the nurse. Please call her back right away.
Called the number, left a message. Said something like, hey and I hope this isn't horrendous news because you're making me very nervous.
And here it is, on the back of an envelope:
It says: Amanda(that was the nurse's name). CEA 1.1 fine.
I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain
There's more than one answer to these questions
Pointing me in crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine.