I never stopped to think about how much things can change in just one month. In our day-to-day linear embrace of time it is not something we often think about. We think in terms of days, perhaps two weeks at most. A month inhabits a kind of purgatory–as close as adults will ever get to waiting what seems like years for Christmas Day or your birthday party. But a month goes by in due course and a lot can happen in thirty days.
Take my last visit to the oncologist, for instance. I almost couldn’t wait to meet her and move forward together. We all know how that turned out. Might as well have walked into a Hellmouth for all the good that visit did. Unprepared, disinterested, rude, and dismissive aren’t the kinds of words I’d attach to an oncologist. Maybe to one of my undergraduate students back in the day, but not an oncologist. I hope no one else had that experience (I’m not holding my breath).
Today I met my new new oncologist. She’s a veteran of the center and, in a word, wonderful.
Professional, informed, knowledgeable, and she walked in the room well aware of my disease history. We talked about the story known so far and how to continue moving forward. She set up recurring monthly appointments and blood work and ordered a PET scan for the end of February. She was also interested in the back pain and decided to contact the pain doc to learn more. We chatted about other things, she was interested in what I did for a living and where I lived. And we live three blocks from one another–who knew? (My dentist lives three blocks away in the other direction!)
I am happy once again. I have a partner and that is all I ever wanted. And it’s the very least that anyone deserves.