Am thinking no one truly realizes how limited some of us are as we undergo treatment and rely on family/spouses for "everything." I believe this time last year I was more mobile; surely I was driving myself though I really do not recall my exact circumstances. Regardless, I am not driving myself this year and my husband's birthday is next week. I am hoping to feel strong enough to cook a meal for him or we will do "take-away" at one of his favorite spots. If I can or can't cook a meal for him, he has requested a favorite candy (chinese noodles with butterscotch and mini marshmallows; I call them Schnoodles) which I am hoping to create for him. My "not so simple task" is buying him a birthday card! Who'da thunk that would become so hard to manage? Yep, we go to the store together but most of the time I'm in a battery-operated buggy and the store aisle that has the cards is too narrow for me to navigate with the cart and I could not reach any of the higher cards nonetheless. We have a temporarily disabled daughter (work accident) who cannot drive or maneuver any better than I can. If I did manage to pick out a couple of cards (one from me, one from her), he checks all the groceries out and pays for them, loads them in the car. There would be not much of an element of surprise there.
The Cancer Support Center connected to where I go for treatment has offered to take me by one of their wheelchairs to the main hospital (not far from this campus) gift shop without my husband notcing. I am grateful for that.
Now all I have to do is figure out how I will get some cash. I do not carry a purse or wallet - he carries all necessary items for me cuz he pretty much has to.
The gal managing the cancer center has no idea how much this means to me.
"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does." - William James
I freely admit that I would not have gotten a screening mammogram if my daughter and then our internist had not insisted. My internist advised me that I owed it to my daughter and she was right. I got it done at an imaging center on my insurance plan and they were incompetent. They had me back for an ultrasound of one of my breasts, and then tortured me with an MRI of both breasts - yet were not able to diagnose what they saw and advised my internist that I should return in 6 months for another "screening." In the meantime, that imaging center was acquired by a well-respected local hospital with a top-notch radiologist who does nothing but women's imaging. He meticulously went through all the questionable and undiagnosed images from that imaging center. He thought he saw a malignancy in the screening pictures and started bombarding me with postcards advising me to come into the hospital's imaging center for re-screening - not mentioning any of his misgivings. I ignored them, determined that I had no risk for breast cancer (i.e., family history) and thus I couldn't be bothered going through it again. The postcards kept coming. Finally, he had his staff call me at home to plead with me to come in - without revealing his concern - and mentioning there would be "no cost" to me (well, I would hope not) but that was not the deciding factor. The deciding factor was the mere fact he had his staff contact me. I decided to go in and have it done. Much to my shock, he wanted to refer me to a surgeon at that appointment after getting more images. It turned out that breast had "pre-cancer" which was ultimately removed.
I had no symptoms. With some cancers there are vague warning signs. Why do any of us think for any reason we are not going to get cancer? I believe there is a tinge of arrogance in that. I did not bother to view the statistics of breast cancer and how 1 in 8 women HAVE NO FAMILY HISTORY who get it.
I owe my life to this persistent radiologist and have told him so, thanked him (though inadequately). I'm still facing challenges but at least am more vigilent about any health signs which need investigation.
The patient should be made to understand that he or she must take charge of his own life. Don't take your body to the doctor as if he was a repair shop. ~Quentin Regestein