I’ve long been intrigued by those scenes on TV where people receive bad, life-altering news. Often I think, ‘gee, I would be more upset than that.’ And on Monday, November 14, 2011, I was.
Seth stopped by to drop off some shower supplies; when the nurse informed me that the doctors were on the floor (doing their daily rounds), I asked Seth to stay for a bit in case they had any new test results. I knew if my white blood cell count was down, I could go home. The first two doctors (hospital generalist and infectious diseases) had no news. White blood cell count was slightly elevated from the day before, but the generalist was going to take the lead from pulmonology regarding my next steps.
When the pulmonologist arrived and delivered his message, I cried. I kept looking at Seth while the doctor was talking, asking with my eyes, ‘is this really happening??’ The whole experience was very surreal. Suddenly I was the person on TV receiving the bad news. Some of my first questions: “Can it be fixed?”, “What kind is it?”, and “How do you spell it?” I must have also asked how I got it, to which he answered “just bad luck.” Not one to put faith in luck (good or bad), this immediately translated in my mind to “pure chance.”
The doctor answered every question I could think to ask. Then we discussed next steps (meeting with an oncologist) and discharge. I told him he could run any tests they could squeeze in the remainder of the day, but that I needed to go home. He agreed to the plan, and a few hours later I was finally home.