27 June 2007

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

The Tom Petty song has been going through my head the last couple of days. It seems like the very first lesson I learned in dealing with illness (still, as of now, technically UNdiagnosed illness, I might add) is that my patience will be tested - almost daily. Patience has never been one of my strongest traits to begin with, so this should be quite the adventure.

If none of this makes any sense to you, your best bet might be to start here.

The past few days I have been dealing with a seemingly endless run of phone calls. It is the "appointment circle of life."

  • Call (the cancer center) and schedule an appointment - hear that the next available appointment is 3 1/2 weeks away.
  • Argue that there must be an appoinment sooner than that.
  • Listen as I am told that an appointment MIGHT open up, but there is no guarantee.
  • Call the urologist's office and ask if it was ideal to wait 3 1/2 weeks for an appointment, or should I start to consider other options?
  • Wait for phone call from the urologist.
  • Wait for phone call from cancer center to tell me that there is a cancellation.
  • Call from urologist - he thinks we should punt the cancer center and try another specialist (university hospital).
  • Call from new specialist to schedule appointment - need to do pre-appointment triage first.
  • Call new specialist to schedule appointment.
  • Call from cancer center telling me that an earlier appointment opened.
  • Call to urologist to confirm cancer center appointment and dispose of new specialist appointment.
  • Call to cancer center confirming new appointment.
It may not be the cancer that kills me - but this stuff will drive me nuts. Even still, the "pushed up" appointment at Moffitt isn't until July 5. It's only next week, but it seems like a forever-and-a-half.

Instead of waiting around here for the appointment next week, I decided that if I have to wait - then I am going to get out of town for a couple of days. I have some flex time at work, and the July 4 holiday coming up, so I booked a flight out of town Saturday morning. I figure that if I am still feeling healthy enough to do something fun now, why wait until after treatments start and I don't feel like (or physically cannot) do anything fun for any extended period of time.

Fortunately, I have good friends that recognize I need a little push every now and again to do these types of things. Friends that care - and live in fun places that I would want to visit. So, a free flight and free rental car later, I am off to the Taste of Chicago this weekend. Fortunately, the Cubbies are in town, too, and the White Sox are home early next week against the Baltimore Orioles. Food and baseball. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

In the meantime, Tom Petty will continue to ring in my ears. Food and baseball should work to be a good distraction. Besides, at least it's not that God-awful "Live Like You Were Dyin'" song that I manage to hear on the radio about six times a day!


ellen in nj said...

I'm glad to hear that you will be in the care of the "best bladder guys in the southeast".

And that you will be able to squeeze in a fun trip to Chicago this weekend. I've been to that "Taste of Chicago" a few times. It's real good, but it's also real HOT and HUMID there. My best tip is to cool off on the log flume ride, like I did!

Hey, the Jersey Shore is a fun place to visit, too. (it beats North Dakota, anyway)

Wishing you the best for a smooth surgery on the 5th, and a speedy recovery!


Anonymous said...

Came across your blog via another site. I wish you the best for treatment and recovery. I know someone who had bladder cancer and they have been cancer free for years; and this was at a time when treatment wasn't where it is now.
Enjoy your trip.

The Travelin' Man said...

Ellen - I am pretty sure that I won't be having a surgical procedure on the 5th (maybe another cystoscopy - yay!). My understanding is that this is a consultation visit with a cursory examination - which, I suspect, means that it really is just an appointment to make another appointment.

On the other hand, I am pretty sure if the guy decided that he could remove the "alien" inside me that day, I would hop on the table and look for the anesthesia tube!

Anonymous said...

Steve, I am sorry that you have to go through this but be thankful that it is a treatable problem.

I was telling Al that you were a fun guy to be around. I certainly enjoyed our time in Texas and Nashville.

Enjoy Chicago


The Travelin' Man said...

Thanks, Paul.

I enjoyed meeting with you, as well, as we discussed. I am already looking forward to next year's President's Day outing - and no stinkin' cancer is going to keep me from chowing down at that time!