Lain's Log

Hospital overload!

June 14/11

I had one wild day. Spent time in THREE different hospitals! It was actually GREAT! - Intensity Entity must have been thrilled, as there was NO shortage of ENNNNNNNNNERGGGGGGGY!!!!!!!!!!!
Push the pedal to the metal! We did.

Started off at Princess Margaret Hospital, meeting with "The Nutty Professor" around noon. Amazing man. (Dr. Eitan Amir). I only call him that because he SOUNDS so much like my hero, Jerry Lewis, as "Professor Julius Kelp" in the classic 1963 film. (which I've watched about a gazillion times!)

While waiting for the Doc, tried out the "shutter delay" function on my camera for this "lovely gown" pic! I'm lousy at it. Didn't know I had strawberries growing out of my head! Whatever.

Dr. Amir reviewed the famous $5,000 Oncotype DX test - (the one sent to Redwood City, California for results). He explained the test determines, "the expression of a panel of 21 genes in tumour tissue". The Recurrence Score is calculated from the gene expression results. The Recurrence Score range is from 0 to 100. My score is 19. Those patients who have a Recurrence Score of 19, had an average rate of DISTANT recurrence of 12 percent. (but the Doc claims, they tend to err on the side of caution, and it's really more like 9 or 10 percent). He confirmed he would NOT recommend chemo therapy with this score, saying, "The benefit of chemo in YOUR case, would be very small." (and I'm thrilled).

Read him a few notes, (attempting to explain "Intensity Entity"), and asked what he thinks is ACTUALLY happening? What's it all about? He thought for a second and then said, "Stress." He took my blood pressure. It was 122/84. Better than I thought, under the circumstances! Also asked him to do a check of "the site." He did, and told me the arm numbness MAY go away, - or, may NEVER take off, (eh?)

I then had time to kill between The Nutty Professor and the Survivorship Centre appointment. Out the front of PMH, asked a paramedic to take my pic. He did, but apparently, (having the same fabulous camera skills as me), didn't take a shot at ALL! (guess his talents rest with life-saving only, which is a GOOD thing!) No photo! Finally, sat the camera on top of a parked car and did the "automatic" thing. As I'm useless at figuring out how to set it up, - cut off the top of my head. - (I REALLY need some photography training!)

Next, off to Mount Sinai, next door. Bought flowers and a baby card at the gift shop. Sat on the floor to write a message and then, headed up to see my cousin Sacha and the new baby! I was SOOOOOOO excited about meeting the little one, but not sure if Sacha would be up for a visit. Peaked into her semi-private room. Curtains were drawn around the two new mothers inside. But then, way in the background, spotted my beloved cousin Kev - new "Grampa"), sitting in a chair. He saw me, let out a laugh and I asked, "Is it OK to come in? Is Sacha alright with a visitor?"

I was fearing the worst after her 30-hour labour and C-section the night before, but Kev waved me thru! I came in, checked behind the curtain, and saw the most beautiful sight! A tiny baby girl in the arms of my beautiful cousin, Sacha! She looked GREAT! Not in too much pain, smiling, happy to see me and very welcoming. What a lovely girl Sacha is. (as for the baby - no name yet! - sweetest, little tiny, pink, 8-pound creation you've EVER seen!)

Sacha allowed me to snap a pic of her baby, but without the flash and only if SHE wasn't included in the shot! (she's not quite "ready for her closeup" yet!" - I sure get THAT!) The little girl is absolute perfection! Sweet face, tiny little nose, darkish blonde hair, adorable cry.

Out-of-focus "Baby Staples". Wonder what her name will be??

Took a few notes during my meeting with Sacha, (who is 27). I asked how it feels and she said, "It's like I always had her. I can't remember my life before her".

Sacha then proclaimed, "She's a superstar! I'm just in love. I've been waiting for her for SO long. I'm so happy. No sob-story here!"

The baby's Dad, Mark, left the hospital room minutes before I arrived to go home for some sleep. I was sorry to miss him. From what I hear, Mark has nicknamed the baby "June Bug" or "Sponge Bob", (for now), until her REAL name is selected!

"Grampa Kev" peers in at his new baby granddaughter!" Congrats Kevan! - (and "Gramma Marilyn!")

Finally, had to leave for my NEXT appointment, this time over at Toronto General. I walked MILES today!

Nice shot! (not!) Tried to take it to replace the one NOT taken by the paramedic!

Met with Lucy, a lovely woman at the Health, Wellness & Cancer Survivorship Centre. Had to fill in a questionnaire about how I'm doing, what's happening with pain, how I'm coping (emotionally, physically), and all that. Tried to tell the truth. Coping really well in some areas. Others? Hmmmmm, not so much!

Lucy informed me about all the incredible free classes, training sessions, "think tanks" available. I had NO idea PMH has so much to offer to patients. Among the classes I'm considering - Radiation therapy, Managing your journey - balancing life with cancer, What to eat when you don't feel like eating, (since I'm down to 100 pounds) and relaxation therapy. ("I.E." won't like THAT!!) I've also been told by TWO people that I MUST MEET Dr. Buckman! This well-known Dr./author, conducts many classes called "Surviving & Thriving." Anyone can just drop in and be part of his talks. I figure I should go and at least take his photo for the blog, (if he'll let me!)

At the end of all my "hospital rounds", managed to lose my car in the parking lot (exactly like that Seinfeld episode). Took half an hour to track it down. Then, on the way home, got a call from our real estate agent, telling me there's another offer! Realized we needed milk, so pulled up on the curb outside the local convenience store, heart racing about the new "house action." Got out of the car, and heard someone shout my name, - "ELAINE!" Spun around in this crazy state, saw the most stunning looking man, (really out of context here), and all I could blurt out was, "Who's that"?? He looked at me quizzically, as if to say, "Get a grip woman!" Took a closer look, and - yikes!

LES MOLNAR!! Only the most fantastically talented guy at my old high school - (Northern Secondary). We were actually in musicals together, including "The Boyfriend"! I was in the chorus, but he was THE STAR!! He could sing, dance, act, turn women to mush, you name it. (naturally, had to grab the camera for a blog pic!) And Les, being the ever-confident pro he is, obliged me!

Les sweet-talked the lady in the convenience store at Luke's to come outside and snap this shot! - (and good job too, I might add! - much better than the paramedic "non-pic"!)

We caught up about everything (including cancer). He's still in "showbiz", recording music, not sure what, but hope to find out! After saying goodbye, I was about to head in for milk, when I saw him taking off on the motorcycle. Just ONE more shot before you go!

Les! - Thanks for helping make this a knock-it-out-of-the-park day from start to finish!

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