Saturday, April 14, 2012

Bad Cells

Message 1  March 20, morning.   Hello!  Can you let me know the results of the post-cancer tests performed last week? Thank you, TS.

Message 2  March 21, morning.   Mr. S: It appears the order for the cytology test was cancelled by the lab, I'm not sure why. Please go to any Kaiser lab in the near future to complete the test. Send another message like this one week after the test is done to review.

Message 3  April 6, morning.  Hello, have my test results come in?

Message 4  April 6, late morning.  The cytology test showed a few abnormal cells. Doctor K recommends you have the test done again and a cystoscopy with him in mid to late June.
The schedule for June is open. Call us now to make the appointment. Go to the lab one week before the appointment to complete the test, the order is in our system.

Message  5  April 6, early afternoon. Hi. Thanks for the response. That's a rather scary test result. What, exactly, does that mean? Is the cancer still present or reappearing? Any information would be welcome. Thanks, TS

Message 6  April 6, late afternoon. The test does not identify specifically if the cells are cancerous or not. Inflammation can cause a similar result. You need to be closely monitored.

What do you mean, “closely monitored?”  How closely, exactly? And if I need to be monitored that closely, how come I have to wait until June to get another test? What if STUFF happens between now and June? This makes no sense at all.

But by now, of course, it is late Friday afternoon and no one is in the doctor’s office.

Abnormal cells… I’m sure I have more than a few abnormal cells in my body, as well as asocial cells, depressed cells, paranoid cells and a few cells that have gone plain bonkers over the years for lack of anything better to do,  So I must remain calm, more will be revealed…

Except that probably not. When I was first diagnosed late last fall, the doctor refused to use the word cancer and so I used it first and even after those two dread syllables were put out there, he kept waffling. A shrink I know suggested the good doctor might have issues with the word, which of course led me to have issues with the doctor.  And how did they lose my test results in the first place? What kind of a place loses test results and doesn’t even tell you about it?

Retreat into peace, serenity, even breathing. Attempt Buddha-like stillness.  Imagine good cells battling abnormal cells and winning. The good cells have tiny white hats and look like Roy Rogers, except for those that have breasts and look like Dale Evans. The bad cells resemble Richard Boone, the mean-looking actor who was Paladin in Have Gun, Will Travel. But wait! The abnormal cells don’t play by the rules! They’re ambushing the little white-hat cells! So much for visualization. This has a strange sense of déjà vu to it. 

I imagine the good cells have small bazookas and they’re blowing the bejesus out of the Paladin cells. I can almost feel the tiny explosions!  Go little good cells, go!

Monday I’ll call the doctor again, try to get some more information, find out what kind of for-real-ammo will work. More later.

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