“Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there’s got to be a way through it.” Michael J Fox

I am proud to announce that my VIP status still exists in some parts of UCLA! Yesterday, we arrived at UCLA early. I saw my doctor walk by and he yelled, “hi, Joanie”. The office staff told me I would have to wait about 30 minutes. I sat down with my ipad ready to camp out, but one minute later my name was called?! I thought there was a mistake. After being brought to the back, I noticed a line of 4 patients waiting for my doctor. I was a bit confused, but went to the ultrasound. I was greeted by the audience of 1st year, 3rd year, fellow, and party. I did not care as I know this is a teaching hospital. Lights out and the party started, but the main doctor started doing my ultrasound. This seemed strange and then, my doctor walked in and took over. They remarked some additional findings and my doctor asked how I was feeling. I told him that I don’t like that I feel like I have cancer. A 3rd year remarks that “patient was diagnosed in 4/2010 with stage IV, 3 primary cancers”. Of course, I know that, but he seemed to think I may be in denial or really have a bad case of chemo brain! My doctor responded that he completely understood what I said and told the 3rd year to go answer the phone and leave. Then, fellow commented about something which I could not hear and my doctor told her to leave too. He told me to go to his side of the office in another room. They were all confused and I found this strangely funny. The nurses were starting to get angry as I walked past the line of 5 patients waiting. I entered the room and he did more examining on his own. We talked about my charts and questions. He doesn’t leave until we talked about everything. Several times nurses entered and made comments about other patients, but he ignored them. He told me that I need to have the 2nd treatment and most patients respond by the 2nd treatment. He also explained what happens as my cancer grows and what symptoms I may encounter. He told me most people wouldn’t even notice the bloating I have and we joked that it looked like I ate 3 cans of beans. He told me that if I really cannot button my pants to call him. I expressed my concern about tumor growth and he said he will not let it happen. I told him that I am counting on him and he responded that he knows. So, it is what it is and I will know more after the next treatment. Until then, I plan on having a lot of fun before that day arrives! I am focused less on what will be and more on what is happening now. I am determined like my doctor advised me to enjoy what I enjoy and stay away from what annoys me. It is better advice than taking deep breaths. He even gave me freedom to eat what I want, so I will try that advice too! Enjoy the sunshine!!

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3 Responses to ““Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there’s got to be a way through it.” Michael J Fox”

  1. Ruthie Says:

    Hi Joanie!
    Enjoying the sunshine and thinking of you 🙂 Gotta’ love the residents/interns, etc. While having Brandon I had an intern monitoring my contractions. At one point, he says, “oh that looked like it was a big one.” I wanted to strangle him and utter some choice words! I have often thought that part of med school should be a class on empathy and proper conduct, or maybe doctors should have to go through the common procedures of their specialty?! It sounds like you have some of the best doctors, nurses, etc on your side. I know you wouldn’t have it any other way! Hugs to you! Ruthie

  2. terry fierle Says:

    You r an amazing woman joanie. I cannot believe the strength you give so many of us on a day basis. We r learning from u what is important and not to sweat the small stuff. Pls call mr soon to set up a date. I love you.

    Terry

  3. Tara Says:

    Sending you so much love, Joanie! -Tara and Kirk

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