Monthly Archives: December 2013

Cardiologist Appointment

DocOfc1Every doctor’s office has their own way of processing patients through to the visit with the doctor. My Cardiologist office processing was different than the other specialists, as they are also different from each other.  After finishing my paperwork, I sat in the waiting room, scanning the people, wondering which person in any group, was there to see the doctor.  I usually assumed that it was always the male person and wondered how ‘bad’ his health was.  I shall never know if my guesses were correct, it was just a way of busying my mind while awaiting my turn and avoiding any negative thoughts.

Anxious for how the meeting might go, since this Cardiologist was very new to this hospital system, I was banking on the hope that because he was a newer doctor, his attitude would be more amenable rather than arrogant like seasoned Cardiologists become.  Pleasantly, my hopes manifested correctly, he was magnificent!

NurseVitalsAnyway, prior to meeting the doctor, the nurse came in, went over my information and was going to take my blood pressure.  I told her to NOT take it from my right arm because that is that side where lymph nodes had been removed.  She told me that they NEVER take blood pressure on either arm from ANYONE who had a bilateral mastectomy, even if lymph nodes were only removed from one side.

BP_AnkleShe proceeded to wrap the bp cuff around my calf and it began to build pressure. When the reading appeared, it was some god-awful number like, like someone might have if they had severe high blood pressure and were going to stroke immediately!  I displayed my concern over the number, explaining to her that my blood pressure is and has always been low.  Heck, I just had a colonoscopy a few days ago and my bp was very low, as usual.  I asked her to please take the bp on my left arm.  She excused herself to make sure that doing so was alright with the doctor.  When she returned, she took the bp on my left arm and, as expected, my reading was nice and low, my norm.

After all of the processing with the nurse, it was only a short few minutes before the doctor stepped in. As expected, he was a thin man, most cardiologists I have ever met (during my husband’s illnesses) were all very, very thin, I’ll bet they NEVER eat a Snicker’s bar, even for fun!  He reviewed all of my information and casually mentioned something to the effect that, “…gee, you do have a lot of cancer in your family…”  What? I only informed of the cancers that both parents had, not mentioning cousins, aunts, grandparents and uncles, if he knew all of THAT information, he might really be impressed!



He instructed me to lie down while he checked my pulse areas, neck, groin, ankles, etc…  listened to my chest, rolled me on my side, etc…  He told me that he was puzzled, he did not find anything out of the ordinary with my heart and did not think that I had any heart problems at all.  My shortness of breath was leaning more toward my recent weight gain, but, to be certain, he was going to order an ultrasound of my heart, a cholesterol test and a sleep study.

So, January is going to be filled with more tests.  I’ll be happy if everything comes back normal, but not looking forward to trying to get back into exercising to loose all the weight I’ve gained since my initial operation.  Fighting this weight gain is going to be the absolute worst until I can breathe easier!! 



My colonoscopy was scheduled for today, Friday the 13th, another Friday the 13th in my year of 13’s.  So many occasions have taken place on a “13” this year, especially, beginning with my main surgery, the bilateral mastectomy on August 13th, the same “13” that recalls the anniversary of an horrific car wreck I survived back in ’96.  But, I digress.


Copyright: New Line Cinema

I did not remember my one and only previous colonoscopy being painful in any way, of course, that was more than ten years and 50 pounds ago.  I was not anticipating any pain other than hearing the news that I had colon cancer.  I was certain that I knew the diagnosis would be a bad one.  I knew that after a lifetime of colon problems, this was it, this was where those other cancer cells would take root.  After all, any physician I have seen, other than my oncologist, have said that even though they removed the breast cancer, there are thousands of other cancer cells in my body just waiting to take root somewhere.  I liken these cancer cells to a grubby thief, whittling away at my life piece by piece, organ by organ.

As I was roused out of unconsciousness, back in my little room, I screamed the “f” word loudly as my brain responded to the most god-awful hip pain I have ever experienced, except maybe during childbirth of children over 9 pounds.  I tried to shift my position to relieve the pain and found a position which lent less pain, not ‘no’ pain, but less pain.

Assortment of High Fiber Foods

High Fiber Foods

The doctor came to my room to give me the news… nothing was found, no polyps, no cancer, nothing except two minuscule areas of diverticulitis and some small hemorrhoids.  Her advice was to eat more fiber.

“Surely they missed something,” my thoughts continued, “this pain in my right side that has lasted for years is indicative of something!”

I told the doctor about the incredible pain, she suggested that I see an OB/GYN since that is the other type of “plumbing” in that abdominal area. Gheez! I’ll fit that right in, right in between my plastic surgeon visit that I am more than a month behind on with following up after my last ‘fill’, and my EKG and sleep study and Onocologist visit and…

Maybe it’s just sciatic pain from the herniated disc in that area which happened during the car wreck back in ’96, remember, that August 13 anniversary? I think that before I start assuming that it’s something major, I just might pay a visit to our Chiropractor. That’s only a $35 visit for an adjustment and it will be easy to see if that fixes my problem. Besides, I don’t have those “other lady parts” anymore, one ovary and my cervix were removed back in ’91 due to “suspicious pre-cancer cells”, I haven’t been for a pap smear since then because I didn’t think it was necessary since I no longer had a cervix. Hmmm… maybe I should see an OB/GYN just to make sure that that one remaining ovary doesn’t have a cyst or something. Yeah, after I’m finished with all of my cardiologist appointments, one thing at a time.