Tuesday, October 1, 2019

The First Day of the Rest of My Life – A Good Day – October 1, 2019 – Day 31

If you don't think every day is a good day, just try missing one. - Cavett Robert

Indeed, today was another good day! It was the 1st of October and Day 31 of my “adventure.” It was going to be a busy day, too. I had to check in with the registration people for my radiation and reaffirm my insurance information. I had to have lab work done before my chemotherapy tomorrow. Then I had to have my radiation treatment – all 15 minutes of it. And, finally, I had an appointment with my medical oncologists “first officer.”

All of that was accomplished in approximately one hour and fifteen minutes. Talk about efficient. And, yet, I never had the feeling any one of the staff people at the cancer center or I was being rushed. It just flowed. If it sounds like I'm impressed with this operation, you would be right. 

I also learned that this cancer center is only about two years old. I remember well the facilities when they were in the main hospital complex 20 years ago when I was the caregiver for my significant other at that time. They were still a great team of people, but this new center just makes it so much better, not to mention the improved technology and medical science.

The appointment with Rodney, my medical oncologist's primary assistant was very gratifying. He already had a copy of my lab reports back and everything continues to improve except my white cell count. The white cell count is expected to go down due to the chemotherapy. However, mine is still well in the safe zone and I'm not in any current danger of serious infection. All my other vital signs are solid and positive. Even my heart is very strong according to Rodney.

He, of course, asked if I was dealing with any side effects. I told him that the only thing I'm noticing is that the fatigue factor appears to be more intense. He said it was to be expected, especially undergoing both radiation and chemo at the same time. But, he was very pleased to know that nothing else was impacting me. He refilled a couple prescriptions for me, that I have to pick up in the next day or two.

I thought it was significant that my positive attitude, sense of humor and respect for every member of the cancer center staff I interface with as well as other patients was noted. Rodney says he touches base with everyone in my line of treatment or interacting with me at any level and said I get extremely high marks as a positive and very nice person. Well, doggone it, it pays to be nice because you're treated very nice.

So, tomorrow I'll have my fourth chemo session and my 11th radiation treatment. That means I've passed the halfway point in the chemotherapy and I'm more than one-third the way through my radiation regimen. 

Once again, my oncologist was booked up solid for days and days after Rodney wanted me to meet with the doc on October 23rd, the day of my last chemo treatment. But, Staci, the cheerful lady who administers my account and schedules appointments for me, said she would work something out. This afternoon, Staci called me and said, she juggled the schedule and had me seeing Dr. Gemma, my oncologist on October 23rd as Rodney wanted it set up.

I've said this before. I certainly would never have wanted to be knocked to my knees by cancer (again, after dealing with prostate cancer 17 years ago). But, so far, an experience such as that I'm going through could be so much worse. It's certainly not a walk in the park, but these people are doing their best to make it seem like that, at least to me.

Before I left I met up with another old friend who drives a shuttle bus for a local senior assisted living facility near the hospital as a part-time job. He was picking up a passenger. I hadn't seen Bill in a number of years. But, he's another of my friends in Winchester who has volunteered to drive me to and from my treatments at the cancer center in the event the fatigue takes such a toll on me that I can't drive myself. Another serendipity for today.

And, then to top off the good news. I was notified that I was accepted for a Medicare Supplemental (Medigap) insurance policy to cover things my regular Medicare won't cover. Unfortunately, it would kick into effect until January 1st or possibly shortly thereafter. But, I'm happy that came through. It will hopefully prove to be quite helpful in the long run.

So, a very good day today. And, as a man I actually knew reasonably well many years ago, Cavett Robert said, in the quote above, just try missing any day if you think a day isn't a good one. It's all about attitude. But, gee, I think I've said that before.

Live free and be happy. EH 

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