A bland day. Literally, as I am on a clear-liquid diet before a couple of medical tests tomorrow, and figuratively, as being confined to home for the, ah, preparation for those tests cuts me off from the world and from my still-unsettled routine of classes and other activities. One can only read so much heavy Old Testament scholarship at a time, much to my consternation.
One of the disconcerting things about this health situation is, as any number of people who've been through it will tell you, the waiting. I'm still miffed about missing that trip to Kansas, but now it's as much about wanting to get on with whatever course of treatment is going to be necessary. Getting to that point, though, has involved a bit of pinballing.
One goes through a number of different doctors in this process, apparently. In my case, my primary care physician found anemia in the results from blood work and referred me to a gastrointestinal specialist for that colonoscopy, which revealed the cancer. That resulted in referral to an oncologist and a surgeon, which also necessitated a radiation oncologist, as well as a different gastrointestinal specialist (one with more experience with cancer) to perform tomorrow's endoscopic ultrasound. (Also tomorrow is the consultation with that radiation oncologist and a CT-PET scan ordered by the primary oncologist. I may sleep the rest of the weekend.)
That's a lot of doctors, and the interesting part is that it is awfully difficult to coordinate all of this. Trying to get three appointments scheduled tomorrow was a rather stressful business, what with the apparent need to register separately for all three, despite all three being in the same specialized facility within the same hospital. While I try to be a level-headed sort, I don't think I'm the person to be all cool and collected while trying to reconcile an unreconcilable schedule of medical events. I had to get a little hysterical to get things done, which I don't enjoy so much.
Getting tetherballed around like this pushes me towards being skeptical, to be mild, about people and their reactions in time of need. Any tendency in that direction, however, is quickly countered by how many people have stepped in to help and support us since this diagnosis. I've heard from many churches across the scattered trail of our lives pledging our prayers and support. I've had nothing but support and pledges of cooperation from my professors, and multiple classmates getting class notes for me on those days (like this one) when I have to miss class. One wonders about the difference between people in relationships and people in systems. Systems don't humanize.
In the meantime, today is a day for, ahem, staying home. Tomorrow will be bizarre. Once these tests are done, hopefully the surgeon and oncologist can get things together enough to decide and put together a course of treatment. As physically difficult as that is likely to be, it will be mentally some measure of relief. At least I'll be doing something, instead of waiting.