I should start off by saying I am grateful to the staff at the Mayo Clinic. They might make me crazy sometimes but they did save my life.
Going to the Mayo Clinic is not ( I repeat, it is NOT) like going to the regular doctors office. First I have to take an hour long trek to get to the Mayo Clinic. I have no idea why they think it is perfectly OK to say to a woman with two kids that do not start school until 8:45 am, Hey Mrs. Smart you have a 9 am appointment. Make sure you are there 15 min early to check in. My usual response is "???OK???". So I have to beg my parents or ask people in the neighborhood to help me out with my two so happy to be awake in the morning kids. When I arrive at the Mayo I have to drive into an underground parking lot that is dark and gets no cell reception. So as I go down to parking level 2, because parking level one is full of Cadillacs, my phone is chirping at me that it is not happy to be brought to this particular place. After parking my car I walk over to the elevators that are in the middle of the parking structure. I climb into the elevator and ride up to the Concourse level. It is from here that I exit and walk past an old lady that looks like she was born during the civil war playing the piano. I glance around and realize that I have entered an old age home. Walking with me to the set of elevators that takes me to any one of the four floors of the mayo is a little old lady with an air tank and she is pushing a wheel chair with another little old lady with an air tank. I blink in surprise, smile and turn my head think this can not be happening.
Go to any floor at the mayo and there will be a check in line set up and clusters of neatly lined chairs on either side of the the six to nine window check in counter. They smile and call me up. I tell them why I am there, who I am seeing and hand them the Schedule that they have sent me in the mail. They smile up at me, take the papers, nod, type in the computer, nod, look at my papers, nod and once more type on the computer. They then sign next to my appointment and wave me to the side of the room that they want me to sit at and wait my turn to be called back.
Turning around I notice that once again I am the youngest patient there. I smile at my fellow mayo patrons and find a place to sit. This is where the waiting begins. You read, play on the ipod, listen to the ipod, go to the bathroom, take a nap, stretch your legs, listen to the people talking on the cell phones that should not be using them as they try with little to no hope of ever hearing the person of the other end of the phone because there hearing ad just does not turn up that high.
Finally when my butt is asleep and I have finished my 230 page book that I started when I sat down my name is called. I stand up and walk over to the nurse that is holding my chart. She smiles and says "name and date of birth." To which I smile and give her the answers which is inquiring from me. We walk back to a scale, I am measured, weighed and given a blood pressure test. Now I know that this is standard for all doctors visits the height, weight and blood pressure, but I have to have it done for every doctor that I see. So if I see three doctors then I do this drill three times. One would think well there is no way that my height weight and blood pressure can change that much in one day. But I guess it can.
It is from here I am asked to follow her into a room. Where she hands me a gown and I am told that I am to change into it behind the curtain in the corner of the room. Make sure to have the opening in the from and only take everything off from the waist up. She smiles at me and I smile at her and she leaves. IT is from here that the second lets wait game plays. I talk to who ever has gone with me to this appointment or read, look at magazines that are from 2001. Then FINALLY the doctor comes takes about 30 mins to talk with us and then. IT is off to the next appointment.
I tell you this run down so you get the full understanding of the inner workings of the Mayo before we continue on the the meat of this blog.
On January 15th, I took my hour long trip into town to go to the Mayo Clinic for my Cancer screen test. It is a test that makes sure that you no longer have cancer. They take your blood check your bones and pat you on the back telling you they will get back to you with the results. So, I check in at the lower level I am asked to given them a veil of blood and then and to head over to the other side of the room for my bone scan. when that is done Jared and I leave. Having arrived at the mayo at 10am and leaving at 12pm. I now have to wait once again.
After a week long of biting my nails, pacing the floors and wondering what the doctors are going to see when they see my results, the day finally came for me to go back. So, Jared and I drove back to the mayo. We do the standard drill of waiting. waiting in the waiting room, now I see where it gets its name and then waiting it the patients room. When My Oncologist comes in he informs me that everything looks great!! He is so pleased from me. That I have the bones of a teenage. And the works that I have been Dying to hear "We found NO signs of Cancer." I swear it was like Haleigh!!Angles singing and the birds chirping.
He then talks to me about a study that they are doing. The Mayo is hoping that they have figured out a vaccine for breast cancer. I say that is so great. What does this have to do with me. He in forms me that I am a perfect match for the study. They could learn so much from me because my tumor was gone after the chemo treatment. He also tells me this study they hope will bring them one step closer to the cure. In this study once a month I will come in and they will run a bunch of blood test and scans and then I go back the next day and they put the protein that they know is found in breast cancer back into my body and hope that my body learns to attack it. He also tells me that this study will be a good way to make sure that my cancer does not come back.
So, the study last for six months. That means twelve trips to the mayo. BOY! OH BOY!!! After all the tests are done then they will check me every six months for the next two years. Which is good because that will mean that I will keep me that much closer to them until my five year mark and then I will not need to go back. I will be officially cured of my breast cancer.
There is my major part that I am doing to save second base, saving the tatas and just trying to make sure that no one else has to deal with breast cancer ever again.
Because you know what?...... cancer sucks!