Be prepared, even if you’re not a Scout.

Stack of four round chocolate black pepper cookies on a yellow plate

The Light the Night walk for Leukemia and Lymphoma is coming up quickly. Have you saved the date (October 15)? After weeks of stewing, I’ve finally come up with a name for my team: Annie’s Anemic Leukemics. It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? Anyone who wants to join the team can register here.

On Friday, I celebrated my fourth cancerversary with my special hematology team, led by Dr. Blood. “Has it really been four years?” Dr. Blood asked with surprise. Yes, indeed, it has. I baked, of course, chocolate black pepper cookies, which were well received. My favourite nurse practitioner, Stephanie, came by just to say hi. Then she requested the recipe. It’s always a good sign when someone asks for your recipe.

I loved being able to tell the team that I’m feeling the best I’ve felt physically since my leukemia diagnosis four years ago. Of course everyone attributed my recent improvement to my higher iron dose. And so, dear readers, I vow henceforth to embrace my iron supplements, side effects and all. Bran muffin, anyone?

After reviewing all the good news, I surprised even myself by asking Dr. Blood for antibiotics when I’m not sick. J. and I will be travelling afar in mid-October, which would be perfect timing for another bout of C. difficile. Also, I seem to have an affinity for cellulitis of late, which has raised questions about my immune functioning. So I asked the dear doctor if she might entrust me with antibiotics for both of these possible infections were I to need them while I’m away. She agreed readily. I’ve never asked for medication just in case before.

Dr. Blood appreciated how difficult it might be to seek medical intervention in a foreign country, Google Translate or not. She told me she trusts I’ll know if I need the medication. In return, I promised not to sell the pills on the black market. How much do you think antibiotics would go for on the street, anyhow? Maybe I shouldn’t have promised that.

I’ve often spoken of how deeply I trust my doctors, how grateful I am for their care, and how likely it is I’d be long dead without them. During this exchange with Dr. Blood, I realized that she has come to trust me as well. She knows that if she prescribes a medication, I will take it as directed (or not take it needlessly, in this case). If she sets an appointment, I will show up punctually (thanks to J. the Anti-Procrastinator). If she arranges for a procedure or refers me to a specialist, I’ll be there with bells on. If she tells me to go to the ER, I might whine a little but I will go, because doctor knows best. Dr. Blood can also trust that, once a year, I’ll bake something ugly but tasty for her to thank her for keeping me alive. Any good relationship, a doctor-patient relationship included, is based on trust and reciprocity.

On that note, I wonder why Dr. Blood has never baked for me all these years. But when would she possibly find the time? She’s too busy keeping me and all her other patients alive.


2 thoughts on “Be prepared, even if you’re not a Scout.

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