This is Chiko, our Australian Terrier. Actually he belongs to Connor, the youngest, but when Connor isn’t here, Chiko makes sure I stay within sight, and he’s so cute in his devotion that sometimes I will say, “Watch this,” to whoever is close by and then dart from room to room while Chiko determinedly keeps up.
Coffee Therapy Posts
Physical therapists are amazing people, but they could easily get second jobs as sadists.
To help me recover from the bilateral mastectomy surgery, I received a prescription for p.t. from Dr. Hartley, the plastic surgeon, and after the first session I marveled at how those folks discover the exact movements that will have you saying “uncle!” within seconds.
Finally, it was time to talk about the elephant: Ten days after my bilateral mastectomy, my oncologist, John Fleagle, asked us to make an appointment “to discuss chemotherapy,” which surprised me.
Me: Discuss chemotherapy? What’s there to discuss?
This is Rachel. And yes, she’s every bit as sweet as she looks, and that didn’t stop me from hurling a few f-bombs at her when she pulled out two drains from me during my first follow-up visit at the plastic surgeon’s office after my bilateral mastectomy.
Two boys born in Traer, Iowa grew up together in that small town. They attended the same grade school, middle school and high school, becoming best friends.
These scribbles were notes made by my oncologist during a not-so-fun office visit a week after my bilateral mastectomy.
The first thing I remember as I woke up was a nurse saying, “Your lymph nodes looked good–it doesn’t look like the cancer spread.”
I remember feeling so grateful that I began to cry even before I had opened my eyes. And then I did open them and there was Matt, peering down at me, his eyes filled with tears, too. One of the nurses said, with great concern, “Oh, look at her face!” as I suppose she thought I was crying from pain. And she must’ve given me something because I slipped away again and don’t remember anything else until I was in my room later.
My oncologist was a cheerful, briskly efficient man named John Fleagle. I liked him pretty well until he told me that I was at stage two, and that it was “80 to 90 percent” likely that I would have to have chemo. When your tumor is a certain size, it bumps you into that category.
Cancer is the full-time job that no one wants but teaches you a lot.
Before Cancer, I hadn’t seen a doctor for anything but routine exams in two years. Suddenly I had four of them to see–my primary care physician, Dr. Gloria; the surgeon, Richard Fox; an oncologist, John Fleagle; and a plastic surgeon, Wynn Hartley. And there were lab visits, MRIs and a miserable time having surgical needles inserted in my lymph nodes and breast. By the time Richard Fox gave us the official results, “This is breast cancer,” Matt and I were both so shell-shocked to it all that we each just nodded calmly.