Yesterday, J. and I spent the day at the Cancer Centre. We first met with a very smart medical fellow–a medical fellowship kind of fellow who is, in fact, a woman. As a lowly layperson, I understand that fellows are doctors with tons of years of additional training. They’ve completed their internships and residencies, and could be working independently as specialists but they’ve chosen to pack their brains just a bit more full of information and experience. They’re the ones who I hope will care for me if for some unexpected reason I outlast the one I’m with. Yes, I fantasize about outliving my doctor’s retirement. Crazy, I know, especially since I have several years on this one.
When Dr. Fellow returned with my hematologist, she (Dr. Blood) mentioned she had offered Dr. Fellow two CML cases, a simple one and a complicated one, and Dr. Fellow chose me, Ms. Complicated. Dr. Fellow was perplexed, however, because I don’t really look so complicated at first glance. My medical complexities would have been more obvious a few years back when I almost died, but my health has been so stable lately, it’s easy to forget all that.
In fact, during our discussion, after Dr. Blood told me that I was doing well on the cancer front, I had to remind her of how she had saved my life two years ago. Maybe she was being humble–she strikes me as that kind of person–but I believe she really didn’t recall.
How could a doctor forget saving a life? Do doctors save people from dying so often that they just take it for granted? I’ve been counting the number of tomatoes I’m harvesting from a very prolific plant gifted to us by an expert gardener, and my doctor isn’t counting the lives she’s saved?
With this in mind, I took it upon myself to retell the story to Dr. Blood. I figured it wouldn’t be bad for Dr. Fellow to overhear in case she’s ever in a similar situation with some other enigma like me. But mostly I shared it because I didn’t want Dr. Blood to forget why I am so deeply indebted to her.
And then Dr. Blood graciously accepted my offering of ugly but tasty baked goods. There were enough for her to share with her medical team, which she planned to do, even before she saw how ugly they were. (She didn’t have much choice but to share since I gave them to her in Dr. Fellow’s presence.)
And she sent me off to repeat my bloodwork in two weeks. Even though my cancer is in check, my liver copacetic, and even my kidneys fairly happy, my white blood count is a wee bit high. Not unusual with blood disorders of any kind, but warranting a recheck. And just in case you were wondering, no, I don’t count blood draws. That would be obsessive.