Monday, October 19, 2015

There's a first time for everything

For the first time in a some 12 years of going to Dana-Farber, I totally messed up on my appointments, going to Boston today thinking I was seeing two doctors when actually I was seeing none.

I think it started when I wanted to wear a certain pair of earrings that are my recent favorites but reached for a different pair that caught my eye first, thereby messing up my mojo.

Actually, I know how it happened. I had written on today's calendar that I was seeing Laura Goguen, the tongue doctor, at 9:45 a.m. At one point that was true, but they had rescheduled it for December and I had forgotten to cross out today's appointment. Then, for some reason, in my mind I had transported next week's appointment with Melissa to today, and yes, I write things down, but I had just spoken to her about our shared belief that it was today at 1, and it never got corrected.

So when the driver today arrived 15 minutes late, and we got stuck in traffic, I thought I would be late when actually I was about two months.

I realized this when I went up to the 11th floor to head and neck oncology and tried to check in and they told me my appointment was in December. I asked if Dr. Goguen could see me today instead but she was already too booked.

I had better luck getting in to see Melissa. She sent down the orders for my blood work, I went and got it, and we had our appointment. She said I shouldn't be too hard on myself because once in 13 years isn't bad.

A man in the waiting room, who had heard me standing at the check-in window sounding flustered when I explained my mix-up, said not to worry, he had taken multiple wrong turns on the way in, even though he totally knows the way. A little solidarity in confusedness is a good thing.

I asked Melissa why she thought my stomach problems had returned, and she said that although it is not totally clear, it is probably a combination of Graft-vs-Host of the gut and a reactivation of the colitis that I previously had. Meanwhile, it is still new to me to have normal platelets, so when she said they were at 162, it was magic to my ears.

But first, I had done some other odd things, such as forgetting to check in at Lab Services and going directly to the waiting room, a problem which was only remedied when I asked at the desk how much longer I would need to wait and the staffer said (nicely, though), it would help if I checked in. The time was not wasted, however, because I met a nice white Standard poodle service dog, Freddy, and bonded with a woman who was on a new immunotherapy trial for her kidney cancer and was doing very well despite having been told more than a year ago she had three months to live and who told me, "Every day is a gift."

Even odder, when I went to try to get in to see Melissa, I went to the seventh floor instead of the eighth, which is the leukemia floor. But this mistake turned out to be providential because I practically walked right into my friend John Stifler. I knew he was bringing a friend to Dana-Farber for chemotherapy, but I didn't know where they would be.

It turned out to be perfect timing for them to bring me back to Western Massachusetts. So I got to cancel my ride and go back with friends.

This is a change of pace. Instead of writing about crazy drivers, I wrote about crazy me.

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