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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Day 94 – Goodbye Ipi?

My name is Rick and I have cancer

I just arrived home from my last (not last as in latest but last as in the LAST, finished, done) Ipi treatment.  It was a total non-event in many ways.  But the fact that it was a non-event makes it sort of an event.  Let me try to explain.  There is this huge weather event raging right now.  The forecasters are freaking out (because it is fun for them), the news media are freaking out (because they need ratings) so the people are freaking out (that’s what people do).  Meanwhile, my amazing hospital system is short staffed yet able to function just as efficiently as always.  They called me in person earlier to make sure I could make it in.  I get there and many of the traditional staff is there.  They are missing a few nurses so supervisors are filling in.  I few minor hiccups yet I am through the first parts of the typical appointment without any substantial difference.  The main concern of the day is whether the pharmacy can whip up my medications in order to be finished with the infusion by 2PM.  2PM is when the infusion facility is shutting down.  A few phone calls and I had a green light to proceed.  In the infusion area, the same level of competency as is typical.  It took a little longer to get the drug ready but other than that, pretty much the same.  As for driving, the roads were relatively quiet and there were no downed trees or anything.  At this point, it is just a serious rainstorm.  Bottom line; I left the house around 9:30 and arrived back home around 1:15. This was all a non-event which made it such a significant event.

Does getting your (hopefully) last cancer treatment during the front-end of a major weather event portend disaster?  Per the previous post, I don’t really believe in that stuff.  But, I must admit the thought did cross my mind.  The reality is that the cosmos don’t really conspire to affect me as I am too unimportant for that nonsense.  What is possible however, is a distracted or overwhelmed healthcare team unable to maintain their excellent standards during a crazy situation like this storm.  So while the storm itself has no impact on me directly, indirectly it could have impact on my care.  It is not personal in any way though.

I had my typical visit with the NP.  She went through all the usual questions.  My blood work did not show any issues.  Certainly there was nothing that might account for my being tired all the time.  She wasn’t concerned so I am not concerned.  I asked her about the scans that were performed by the radiation team.  She said that she didn’t have access to them because they were not “clinical.”  This made me wonder; do healthcare providers lie?  Is this a situation where they would lie because the scans showed nasty stuff and she didn’t want to tell me?  First I will say that healthcare providers do indeed lie.  I think it is a part of their job in the same way that political leaders feel the need to lie.  They lie to “protect” us.  In this particular case, I do not think the NP lied because I don’t think she had any information to lie about.  If there was something in the scans, she could have called the doctor in and they both could have told me.  Instead, I think she really didn’t have access to the report so there was nothing to say.  For all you reading this, there is nothing to report.

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