I had an appointment today with Dr. Burke, my pulmonary doctor. It was cold and windy today and I could have happily stayed home in my pjs and warm slippers. Just going out has become a chore. The less I move, the less I'm in pain. The more I move, the less the pain med works. I try to time taking them to close to the time I'm going to have to do something. This morning I timed it so that I had a pill before getting bathed and dressed for my appointment, then waited to take the next dose just before we left for the appointment. Climbing in and out of the car is the worse part and really makes my spine scream. You get the picture- nothing is spontaneous now, have to plan and prepare for truly mundane things like simply bathing or getting into a car.
Unlike last time, the office was quiet when we arrived. It was right after lunch and the waiting room hadn't filled up yet. We were taken right back to Dr. Burke's office where the nurse chatted with us as she took my vitals and updated my records. She's very good at multi-tasking.. keeping the conversation going with us as she read and wrote in my file.
Dr. Burke came in- he's really a cool guy. Easy to talk to and willing to sit and answer questions and share information. He gave me a copy of my biopsy results to add to the piles of reports and notes I already have. One of these days I'm going to get them all in more organized piles. I'm not sure right off the top of my head what all these medical terms mean. Put simply I have stage 4 metastatic cancer. The primary site is either lung or thyroid, I have the type that makes it difficult to determine where it started. I don't think that really matters now that it has spread.
After we had finished talking, he said my case would now be in the hands of my oncology specialist, Dr. Vanderwall. He assured me I could call or come in anytime I needed and we said our goodbyes. I used to be a patient of his partner, but Dr. Burke inherited me when my original doctor retired. So I have only seen Dr. Burke a couple of times. But I am so grateful I had him to turn to during the start of this cancer journey. We were all a bit teary eyed when we got ready to leave. His staff was so sweet and warm, asking me to keep in touch and stop bye to see them. After seeing my cardiologist, Dr. Degroat, last week for probably the last time, and now saying farewells to Dr. Burke and his staff it felt like I was on a goodbye tour. Emotional day. And I'm too tired to share it all tonight. For another time... Next stop is an appointment with Dr. Vanderwall on Friday.