Two years ago today I had my FIRST evaluative appointment in a department called... "HEMATOLOGY-ONCOLOGY"
I was smart enough to know what those terms TECHNICALLY meant by definition ... but I was not at all connecting the significance to me!
I arrived at Kaiser check-in for this appointment (that, bad me, I had put off for a month!), and was quite surprised to see the word ONCOLOGY connected on the sign to HEMATOLOGY!
W H A T ??? Huh? Seriously people, I'm in the WRONG department!
Honestly, I was aware there was "something" going on with me and my blood... but I took a casual, over-confident attitude about it
Fortunately, my very diligent GP had called several times the previous month, advising me that "something" was seriously wrong with my blood levels.
He advised me that I needed additional blood work and I needed to be on Iron immediately, as I was dangerously anemic
He referred me to a HEMATOLOGIST fast!
Ha! I thought... nothing's REALLY WRONG with me... I'm OK!
I'm just a little bit tired (lie!)
I'm doing too much, for too many (understatement!)
Random intense headaches (I never had headaches before)
Just a little bit dizzy (scary dizzy sometimes!)
Just a little bit low on iron (very low!)
Just a little bit anemic (very anemic!)
Just losing blood everyday from various areas:
Nose bleeds = Allergies I thought (daily nose bleeds... a lot!)
Mid-life female bleeding issues = normal I thought (a lot! = not normal)
Just a bit thinner than usual, but enjoying that (true enough!)
Feeling faint sometimes (scary, passing out faint!)
Feeling dehydrated all the time (weird feelings with this)
Exhausted and fatigued - I'm just doing too much (way too much!)
I rationalized it all... (O yes I did, dumb me!)
I checked in... lightheartedly...
Jim and I moved towards the waiting area...
I noticed that several patients in the waiting area looked sickly, sort of "cancerous"... their color was off, and several had scarves or hats on, or VERY short hair-
Geeezzzz, I thought, I certainly don't belong in this department as I comforted myself and Jim with the thought that Hematology was on ONE SIDE of the department and Oncology would be ON THE OTHER SIDE, of course detached from where we were headed...
I don't remember many details from this appointment and the appointments thereafter
It was a blur then and still is..
But I do recall everyone seemed to be in a bit of panic over my situation, and I just knew I was fine...
I met my wonderful RN Jalee and my amazing doctor, Dr Lee, that fateful day
Vitals were taken
Previous blood tests were explained and analyzed
Questions were asked
And I was sent immediately to take more blood tests...
So much is a blur from that point on
More blood tests, questions and assessments
More concern that I should be hospitalized immediately as several blood levels were DANGEROUSLY LOW or HIGH
Ok, I'll eat better I rationalized
I'll hydrate more... make better blood I thought...
Jim's in a bit of a panic
I'm thinking about being on Winter Break and enjoying the holidays, Dang it!
4 days later, calls from Nurse Jalee and Dr Lee needing to see me for an "emergency" appointment
12 - 18 - 2009
My blood levels are not good
Platelets are dangerously low
My white count is way down
Something about Calcium and Protein levels too high
Jim and Alissa go with me as earlier Alissa needed xrays for a sprained foot
They're asked to leave the room...
I knew things were getting serious
Surprise----- I'm quickly prepped for a Bone Marrow Biopsy
I'm realizing there's something kinda serious going on with me
During the very painful biopsy I suddenly become emotional, begin to cry
I'm realizing that I can't joke about this anymore
I'm a sick lil puppy...
Why else would they need this intense type of assessment
What's all this mean?
I thank Jalee and Dr Lee for taking such good care of me
It was late, cold and drizzly when we drove home
My thoughts spinning
My world was changing fast
How indeed it was, I would soon find out...
A day before New Year's, 12- 30- 2009
I was due to return for THE RESULTS...
To Be Continued...
Oh, Julie, your beautifully written memoir hits home (or right in the gut) for so many of us out here in the MM Blogosphere! I convinced myself that I had gall bladder problems (hey - my mom and sister had gotten through it) until I was told that my kidneys had failed and was hospitalized on the renal unit to begin dialysis immediately! Then I convinced myself that I had taken too much Advil to help with the intense back pain - surely THAT was why my kidneys failed. Oh...the webs we weave!ReplyDelete