Believe it or not, it has been six months since I had actually been to Dr. Hank's office near my home for a regular, ole' six month follow up appointment.
I tried to postpone it as long as humanly possible.
The greatest nurse in the world calmly, gently, actually I think the word is GLEEFULLY, reminded me that I had to see him every six months in order to keep getting my Remicade like I had been.
Which, translated between she and I, really meant:
"Heather, shut your piehole, go see the asshole, keep your mouth to a minimum, and I will get to stay in charge of your Remicade treatments and everything will still be okay. Don't go in there causing problems or the only person you are going to hurt is YOURSELF! Just do it!"
Believe me, I understood her, IMPLICITLY.
And to be honest, I didn't want to see him anyway.
In years and appointments of the past, I would go in there with notes, and internet clippings, and names of drugs in research, and.......
Now, I just go in there.
Especially since he has acknowledged that I am his albatross.
So I went.
And it was fine.
He was mildly perpelexed, hmmm, no that's not the word, I think IMPRESSED is the word, at my new medical team:
Dr. Blood and Erin the Vampire
Dr. Fairy Tale in my Dreams who may or may not be waiting in the wings for me at one of the most accomplished medical universities in the South
New medical team notwithstanding.....
He knows he is no longer in control of my medical care and decisions.
He knows that I am a lot smarter and more educated related to my illness than he had previously given me credit for.
He knows that I know. (hold on for this one).
We finished the appt.
He examined me.
He made small talk related to the pain doc, and said he was very happy to hear that the methadone was for my knees, not for my guts.
He said he was glad I stayed with the Neurontin rather than give up on it in the beginning because of the 'drunk like' side effects. I told him that had been ugly, particularly for the hubby, but we were through it and back to 'normal'.
I told him our biggest concerns now were financial, and getting insurance after the COBRA runs out in March, and finding 'work', since our reserves were GONE.
He inquired about Dr. Blood. I told him that Dr. Primary wanted him on board BEFORE I got lymphoma, not AFTER. He neither agreed nor disagreed, he just nodded his head in that oh-so-condescending-way-of-his.
Finally, we are done.
He wishes me a Merry Chirstmas.
I wish him a Happy Hannukah.
And then I say......
"So.....we proceed as we have been.......then?"
And then he says, "Unless you want to try something else."
And I know there is nothing else.
But I humor him and say, "What else?"
And he says, "Another drug that would not help you as well as the one you are on."
And I said, "Then we continue with the Remicade, as is, then, yes?"
And he sums it up better than I ever could, better than I thought he could:
........Until there is something else."
And I repeated him.
"Until there is something else."
Which was the most hopeful thing either of us could muster.
Because no matter what, we both have hope.
He, must have hope, because of his vocation, because of his practice, because of his patients.
Me, I must have hope.
I must have hope.
For my babies.
For my babies' babies.
For my siblings.
For my siblings' babies.
Yes, I must hold on to that hope.
Because hope is all there is.
Until there is something else.......