Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Having cancer is a full time job

Man. Ain't it the truth.
And I don't just mean that when you have cancer (or crohns, or heart disease, or diabetes. Any chronic illness really) that you live with it 24/7, cuz that's a given. Duh. Yea, you don't really ever get to take a vacation from cancer. Til you cut that crappy stuff out.
I mean more that it's a full time job. 9-5p monday-friday.
Cancer is usually nice enough to take weekends and most major government holidays off, how very convenient. Or not, depending on what YOU happen to do for a living.
For instance, if you work a regular 9-5 office job. It's a bit hard to make yourself 100% available for doctor visits, treatments, and procedures.
I needed a blood transfusion the other day. Now, I'm not going to argue that I should take this news with utmost seriousness. I mean, I don't wanna be running on a quarter tank as much as they don't want me to. But I had to call off the next day. Because the transfusion was going to be about 7 hours. and of course, the infusion room isn't open after 5. And it's not open on weekends.
The next day after the transfusion, was chemo day for me. So I spent another couple hours in the doctors office. But it had to be during business hours. which means no work.
When I was getting radiation, and had to drive to the hospital every day for five weeks. I had to leave work early every day during that five month period b/c the radiation center wasn't open after 5, but the very latest appointment I could get was 3:45p.
While I don't really think that any of my coworkers or friends are going "that lucky bitch. who does she think she is, always getting to leave early and call off last minute. pfff."
Cuz I would gladly trade in the need to call off in exchange for no cancer. (ugh, that was a bit of a no-brainer m'thinks).
And I'm super lucky in the sheer fact that my job is absolutely amazingly awesome at accomodating me (ah. aaalllliterations). I may not have a super high pressure job with tons of benefits and an awesome salary. But while I'm lacking in that department, being able to know my employer has my back and will work with me to get around all these treatment schedules, is incredibly reassuring.
And I realize that I sound a bit whiney. But really. In this day and age with business's and corporations having all sorts of untraditional hours of operation, etc. You'd think that having cancer wouldn't be so damned restrictive.
I am lucky that my employer is a small one, and it's very much like a family. They support me alot. But what if I had just started a new job? I'd constantly be calling off, late, or leaving early, and that sure doesn't look good on ones reputation. It's frustrating to say the very least.
A couple weeks back my surgeons nurse called while I was at work, and I didn't answer. She left a mssg at about 3p that (rather out of the blue) my surgeon wanted me to see a urological surgeon and that he's booked for next few weeks, but had one opening come up the next day.
Uumm...I wanna meet this doctor as much as you do, but I knew nothing about this idea, and had already planned on flying out to California on that day.
I know they're just trying to expedite the process, and with as much time as I spend wasting away in waiting rooms, I appreciate that. But DAMN. Consult me first before just scheduling an appointment which I'll have to cancel. I hate looking bad in someones eyes for no good reason other than false impressions.