Thursday Doc Appointment
I don't usually worry over my routine doc appointments, every 3 months. But when I headed to see my oncologist yesterday, I found myself dreading the blood pressure cuff more than the needle for lab work. I hoped the stresses of the past 8 weeks wouldn't be revealed in my blood pressure. Luckily, my worries now aren't about cancer. But they seem to be about everything else.
On Monday, I woke to the news of the wildfires in California. As Don and I watched the images of Santa Rosa on TV, our good friends waited to hear if their house would survive. We had just stayed with them in California, 3 weeks before.
Even though John and Lorrie were safe in Texas, I worried over them and California for 3 days. By the time I headed to my appointment on Thursday, the fires were still burning and their beautiful home was gone.
Floods Before Fires
One day, we stopped at a CVS and I decided to find out if the stress was affecting my blood pressure. I felt like a kid getting a bad grade back on a test. I hoped no one could see my numbers.
Yesterday, as I sat in the waiting room, I took deep breaths and focused on peaceful thoughts. But the images that came to my head were of lovely vineyards and our friends' view in California and all the heavenly scenes that had been destroyed.
But at least the TV in the waiting room was turned to HGTV and there was no remote, tempting me to change channels. At home I've had a hard time turning away from the news. There's been a steady stream of disasters between Houston's devastating floods and California's horrific fires. Even after Harvey, I was glued to the TV for updates on the hurricanes headed towards Florida and Puerto Rico. Then I was suddenly staring in shock at the images of the mass shooting in Las Vegas. Along with all of the disaster updates in the news, I've been cringing and fuming at the constant drama in the White House. This can't be healthy.
As I tried to distract myself in the waiting room, I noticed the desk staff wearing pink. "Oh it's October." I reminded myself. How could I be so unaware?
I looked around and noticed a few weary patients and wondered if they were just starting treatment... or if they had been dealing with cancer for years. I suddenly remembered why I was sitting in that room.
And then, I began to think about all those who have dealt with cancer plus tragedy in these past weeks. Chemo patients in Houston, who had their treatments and care disrupted... cancer patients in Santa Rosa who have no home to return to after a morning of chemo or a radiation... or what about all the people who received a cancer diagnosis on October 1, the day we learned of the Las Vegas mass shooting...
When I finally saw Dr. P, he asked about hurricane damage, before asking health questions. Then he studied his clipboard and rattled off a few comments in his doctorly way. "Your labs look good. Your weight is fine. Your hair's looking nice..." The comment cracked me up, because only your oncologist can offer a hair compliment with such a business tone.
After all my concern, Dr. P. didn't even mention my blood pressure. It was closer to normal. I left feeling grateful that my appointment was so dull. I drove home feeling lucky that Pink Month was not as stressful as last year. By the time I reached home, I vowed I would find a way to keep up with the news, without being addicted to it!
Less focus on TV and more focus on people. That might even put my blood pressure in the normal range!
Cancer - Covid
I started this complaining list/blog, in May 2016. I posted 200 gripes about my breast cancer and then I was done.
On March 13, 2020, I started venting all over again, when another disease (starting with a C) interfered with my life. Only this time, it was affecting more than me.
Coronavirus and Cancer! Both are evil, but neither can totally get me down... if I vent! I hope with Covid, I run out of complaints before 200!