Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Survivor's Journey, Part 2

Well, THAT all happened shortly before Thanksgiving break, so the staff at the university health center said they'd send the results up to my family doctor.

I don't really remember much about that - I do, however, recall that I wound up with a referral to a surgical oncologist. So anyway, one of my first days back, Mom drove me up to the hospital to meet with the oncologist.

He said that the results of the swab analysis were inconclusive, but given my family history (cancer is absolutely rampant on my dad's side) he felt it might be a good idea to do a biopsy on some of the affected tissue.

I just sort of sat there silently, feeling a little awkward. This was really the first time a decision like this had been directed at ME, not at my folks. I think the oncologist picked up on my uncertainty, and he said he'd give us a fewe minutes to talk about it.

So he went out of the room, and I looked at my mom. I knew she could see the concern on my face. But I don't think she was expecting to hear what I asked: "Will our insurance cover this?"

Boy, did she ever let me have it! Of COURSE insurance would cover this and even if it didn't, this was NOT something that was optional (young lady), and it WAS going to be taken care of and you better NOT try to avoid this like you did with your appointments at the dentist(young lady), not with your family history... etc. etc.! (There were more "young lady" interjections, but I stopped counting.)

So I went in for surgery a day or two later. It wasn't a big deal - just day surgery. I remember that they said the anesthetic would smell like root beer, and it totally did. It was more like sweet A&W than snappy Barq's. I was supposed to count back slowly from ten... I'm not sure if I even got to eight!

The next thing I know, I'm waking up in a recovery room. There were like three or four other beds in this one big room, but they were all empty. Oh, and my chest was taped up. I was groggy as anything, and OH, was I ever hungry. I hadn't had anything to eat all day because of the surgery!

The nurses told me that I likely wouldn't be able to eat anything, because one of the side effects of the general anesthetic was pretty severe nausea. I said I feel fine, thank you, just a little woozy, and I'm hungry. So I commanded my parents to go to Arby's and pick up what was at that time my standard Arby's meal: Giant roast beef value meal with a small jamocha shake instead of a soda, curly fries, topped off with a cherry turnover. YUM.

They kept the saline drip in me until my folks got back with the food, to help counteract any lingering effects of the anesthetic. They returned, the IV drip waas pulled out, and the nurse said "let's start with some lemon-lime soda and some saltines, just to make sure your tummy's okay."

Fine. Whatever. I want my damn food.

I didn't even get to the saltines. I took one sip of the soda and it came right back up. (I still didn't feel nauseous.)

They kept me a little while longer, but it was getting late, and I knew if I didn't get out of there soon I'd have to stay overnight, and I wanted to GO HOME. (Mostly because I doubted the nurses would let me nuke the Arby's for a midnight snack.) So I made it quite clear that unless they reeeeally needed to observe me, I wanted to scram. And when I was finally able to sip a bit of soda without sending it back up, they signed me out!

Anyway, a few days later, it was back to uni. I finished out the semester without further incident, but I learned an important lesson: don't mess with momma!


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