The Man Who Has Everything

IMG_0879Well, Christmas is almost here and I still don’t have a gift for Steven nailed down. What do you get for the man who has everything?

When Steven really wants something he usually gets it. I don’t mean that in a real spoiled-y husband kind of way! It’s just that his wants are so few, that when there is something special that he has his eye on, one of us usually makes it happen – thus making it very hard for me when a special occasion arises like a birthday, an anniversary or Christmas, to hit a homerun as wife of the year in the gift department.

So this year I thought I was really going to kill it! What do you get for the man who has everything including…lymphoma? You get him a bone marrow transplant! I know that might not seem like something really dandy to most people but trust me, when you need one it’s the gift that keeps on giving! The bad thing is a bone marrow transplant is just like the latest and greatest toy. It’s really hard to get around the holidays.

All this past week, Dr. Sprawls’ staff has been trying to get Steven an appointment with the renowned Dr. Lynch at Shands medical center in Gainesville. They still haven’t been able to make it happen because of the end of year festivities that everyone else is enjoying. Add to that the little wrinkle that all Americans who work for a living know. “Use it or lose” it on vacation days is the status quo. In medical offices throughout the land, no one is sitting in their usual chair. The ins and outs of running an office have become a mumbo-jumbo of people trying to fake their way through the day in order to cover all the vacationing spots!

Getting the appointment is only the beginning of my woe. I really hate to be thinking of a bone marrow transplant as the Cabbage Patch doll of my current life, but it looks like that’s what it’s become. Not only am I having trouble getting one before Christmas, but I’m gonna pay through the nose for this little baby whenever it passes by. We met our “out of pocket” insurance for this year, but if this transplant nonsense starts at the beginning of 2015, I am screwed. The insurance game makes overnight shipping charges seem like gum ball money!

So for the holiday season we’ll be sitting by the phone awaiting the next phase of treatment…and probably scrounging the sofa for spare change. But no matter what comes next, we’re both glad I didn’t settle on getting him a tie.

Bee Tee Dubs. This post comes to you from the keypad of my iPhone 6. How current am I?

OOPS!

SPACE COAST CANCER CENTER OFFICE & TESTING CENTER - TITUSVILLE, FL

SPACE COAST CANCER CENTER OFFICE & TESTING CENTER – TITUSVILLE, FL

A full week has gone by and we’ve been sitting on good news, waiting for the last bit of confirmation to come in.  But the confirmation is still not here…and the good news I’m sitting on is tickling my butt.  Therefore, I’m going out on a limb and telling you WOO HOO!  It looks like the score is Harp’s 1 – Lymphoma 0 !

However, even pros screw up once in a while.   I consider us pros at this cancer thing…yet we overlooked a couple of things which added to this latest little snafu.  So, I’m going to share with you beacause I always hope that you can learn from our adventures down Lymphoma Lane!  And to reassure you that even after 8 years, we still overlook the obvious sometimes. 

I’ve previously written about The Holy Grail of Cancer – Steven’s LIVESTRONG binder that holds all his test results.  Normally, he totes that 20 lb. sucker (which not an exaggeration, BTW) every time we visit a doctor or lab.  He was feeling so positive, or herniated…I’m not sure whichon the day of his CT scan that he left  the book at home. Upon arrival at the facility, we found that the CDs of the December scans at Cancer Treatment Centers of America were not copied for comparison in “the system”.  In layman’s terms, this means, “We ain’t got ‘em.”  (Let’s count this as OOPS! #1 on our part NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOUMENTATION AT HOME.)

BANANA + BARIUM = YUMMY SHAKE?

BANANA + BARIUM = YUMMY SHAKE?

Steven threw back the barium second shooter and promised that we would get the CD to the oncology office for a courier ride back to the testing facility as soon as we could get back home to pick it up. At this point, I could see that my afternoon was shaping up to be a taxi service, since Steven was now full of barium and his bladder would be bursting…and radioactive…by the time all this shuttling was to happen! 

We hurried home after the test and I did a touch and go, and then headed out, CD in hand, for the rendezvous.  I made it seconds after the courier arrived for the hand off, and I assumed all was good.  (We’ll count this as OOPS! # 2, because we all know that when you “ASS-U-ME” you make an “ASS” out of “U” and “ME”) 

Either Steven or I should have called to make sure the comparison of tests was going well.  Here’s another helpful tip:  When tests are done at two different facilities, they don’t always have compatible equipment, which means they can’t read one another’s work.  YOU need to stay on top of that, because THEY won’t.  And, I guess I have to take this as OOPS! #3 on us. ALWAYS REMEMBER: if you forget OOPS! #1- #3, you’ll just keep on racking up the OOPSES! from there.

IMG_0131So last week we showed up for Steven’s appointment with Dr. Sprawls expecting to have this great news, with all kinds of backup to prove that we’re beating the crap out of cancer.  We got the good news, but not all the backup, which feels like hitting the jackpot on a slot machine without the bells and whistles and coins flying out.  We’re thrilled, but a little let down, too.  Again OOPS! on us for not confirming that all the test results were received by the doctor, in time for our appointment.  We should have rescheduled if we wanted the balloons, fireworks and champagne corks popping.  But we didn’t, so……….

Allegedly, the test results from the scan will be available for us today.  But sure as shit, if I wait to post this, something else will get in the way.  And I don’t want another “OOPS!” in my column.  So let’s just go with, “HOORAY” for today.  Steven feels great and seems to be way healthier than he’s been in years.  And as soon as I can see the written results of the CT scan from I’ll report back. And if I don’t get right back to you, well… OOPS! #5.

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