Candid Cancer Camera? It must be!

So, these days have proved some of the most challenging physically for me since my diagnosis. Who knew something our body does easily like digestion could turn into a very painful process from beginning to end! In the meantime, I had already had this genetics appointment booked since the test takes months to process. It may be of help or not, but worth a try. Plus, the company, Ambry Genetics is in Aliso Viejo and on the cutting edge of this new technology, so gotta support them. Then, luckily my sis gave Alex an online website task which kept him busy, so I could sleep in. Most nights, I am not sleeping much (unfortunately Jim is not either). I was thrilled to have the extra hours, but as I walked down stairs the phone rang with a call from my UCLA doctor. He told me I needed to get the pre-op blood test or they won’t do the procedure tomorrow. Instead of going at 5am to UCLA, I thought Hoag was the better idea. So, I gathered all my papers for the genetics tests at Hoag Newport and went on my way. Strangely enough, there was no parking at Hoag Irvine ( a first). As I entered, I was greeted as if I go every day (it seems that way these days between the ER visit and repeat scan). Then, I entered the zone of registration. Let’s just say, thank goodness this girl was so sweet, but it was painful. I might as well learn the system, so I can enter my own tests into the system. She was having issues with each step, but my other choice was the lady who still works there and can only accomplish 1/2 a task per 15 minutes. Eventually, it all seemed to work or so I thought. The waiting area was full for lab work which is usually never the case. I had to be at Hoag Newport in an hour. (with beach traffic, you never know) Plus, I hadn’t eaten one thing since my forced hour long slow process eating breakfast. I knew I should eat even though all my hunger cues have been missing since the cancer cells are telling my body to not eat. After too much time waiting, I called my friend in the lab who is the manager. She coordinated from “down below” (she tells me they work in the basement) and helped to expedite things, plus have my favorite phlebotomist. Thank goodness he was there because I saw “the other one” who can barely draw blood from a healthy human. So, I was able to “cut” the line. Thank goodness I am a repeat customer. Forget the punch card, it really helps to make friends with the “good ones” at EVERY hospital. He reviewed my order and tried not to freak out. There was this really long list of tests. We both looked at it together and realized it was for someone else!!!! Are you kidding me? If he wasn’t there, I would have gotten tests I didn’t need and plus a host of other issues. Again, Lesson 525, always double check EVERYTHING!! People are involved with this process and most likely assume that most of them either don’t love their job, have average intelligence, and do not have the attention for all details. This is why I insist on sticking with the best. So, luckily the correction of my orders were fixed and hopefully, some patient wasn’t given some of my cancer blood tests and now thinking her doctor thinks she has cancer!?!?!?

Onto the next location in Newport…I managed to convince the reception that I had to eat something since now I had to get steroided up to prepare for my chemo. Steroids require food even if your cancer doesn’t want them. I met my ole’ friends from my PET scan (cute guy 1 and super nice family guy 2-both have done my PET scans) and some of the nurses from the cancer center who did my blood transfusions. Again, nice to know the right people. I did the blood tests for the genetics routine. I learned a few things and then asked my nurse about a dozen questions. She was extremely helpful and knowledgeable especially about Hoag Oncologists. Wow, it always helps to ask questions as I hear Jim’s voice in my head, saying ,”the worst case is they know nothing, but you usually learn something from everyone. ” Gotta love my Rock Star Husband.  Then, I said hello to all the rest of the nurses who said that they are here if I need them.

So, off to UCLA I will go tomorrow. It will be an all day fest and I will take any and all drugs offered. Hoping to sleep through it all! Staying positive and staying, NEGU (Never Ever Give Up) and praying and hoping and taking the pills…everyone better have a lot of fun tomorrow for me since I don’t think it will be that fun.


One Response to “Candid Cancer Camera? It must be!”

  1. terry fierle Says:

    joanie…please know u r in my thoughts every moment during your difficult ptocedures.

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