Yesterday was a visit to the oft referenced Huntsman Cancer Hospital to meet with my Radiation/Oncologist Dr. Poppe. I was pretty antsy-in-my-pantsy about it, knowing that it was going to be more of the poking, prodding, scoot down further on the table stuff as usual. On the way back to the room, while I was getting my vitals I hear this "Heidi?" and I turn around to see Melissa, the Radiation tech that was my companion five days a week for 2 1/2 months. She comes over, beaming with recognition and I start crying immediately, which of course made her cry. My blood pressure read higher than usual from the excitement, but the nurse didn't try to take it again because I just wanted it off so we could hug. The importance of these techs is paramount. You interact with them more than the docs for quite a while and Melissa was so warm and kind; to see her again on this side of things was significant.
Then, I met the new resident which is standard fare, she was much funnier and smiled a lot more than the last one. Major Bonus. I have been having a lot of pain after eating so much discussion about possible causes with both the resident and Poppe took place before any shenanigans happened south of my border. Best 2 lines of the visit came from the resident; when referring to the pediatric speculum she had to use she said in amazement "I've never used one so small." then "Hold on, I'm just getting more lube." I started to giggle, said "I have a joke for you there..." and glanced at Dr. Poppe who had to turn his head away to hide his giggling.
Conclusion? I don't have to come back for a YEAR! Just follow up with my OB/GYN with another PAP in six months, see a Gastroenterologist for what he suspects is pain from my not having a gallbladder anymore (removed long ago, part of Ehlers) and enjoy another 4 seasons. How amazing is that? To be a Doctor in a place that can potentially announce death sentences, and yet you get to tell people they don't have to come back for a year? Poppe said that is why he comes to work everyday.
On my way out I got another hug from my first nurse Tony, and then at the front desk I saw the doc that started my whole treatment program beginning the process with another woman. She was just like me at the beginning, didn't really look sick but she was holding on to her Huntsman binder that they give you as an intro to all that is about to happen. She was holding that information next to her chest as if the closer she clutched it the more it would seep into her. After he was finished with the new patient, I thanked Dr. Gaffney, shook his hand and me, my Mom, the new patient and her husband ended up waiting for our cars together. I told her what a wonderful doctor she was getting, and she looked relieved. I touched her on the arm, wished her the best and we looked each other in the eye and the distance from her starting and my leaving wasn't so great.