Introduction

The "Hotel Melanoma" moniker is a metaphor for living with my particular brand of cancer. Except for those lucky few of us deemed "cured", all we cancer survivors are guests of one of the many, many branded hotels in the "Hotel Carcinoma" chain. We can check out any time we like, but we can never leave. Meanwhile, let's be livin' it up; and please support cancer education, prevention, and treatment research.



Tutu Brothers

Sunday, April 27, 2014

So Tired

April is turning out to be a very expensive month. Not because I owed the Feds any additional imperial tribute on the 15th, but because I’ve been kidnapped by vigilant health care professionals-- despite feeling perfectly fine, dang it.

It all started when I dutifully answered the summons from my primary care doc to appear for a routine checkup before he’d continue to refill my ‘scrips for blood pressure and cholesterol meds. Next thing I know I’m having an electrocardiogram, just because the test has recently become part of their protocol for a patient with high blood pressure and cholesterol. It turns out my EKG is abnormal now and it was over ten years ago when, unbeknownst to me, an EKG was performed when I was doing hard time in the hospital for biochemotherapy treatments. Although nobody ever told me about that, perhaps just because they thought it was just a temporary effect of being infused with IL-2 in the convenient 24-hour bag. Up to then I’d thought that a “prolonged QT interval” was an extended pit stop at a QuikTrip convenience store for fuel, caffeine and unhealthy snacks to stoke a hurried road trip.

But an unexpected EKG was just a side trip on a much-longer trek down the road of preventive medical care. You see, my diligent primary care doc usually interrogates me on the subject of whether I’m seeing the ‘ologists over at the cancer center at the prescribed intervals and I made the mistake of being honest and ‘fessing up that I was coming due, but not until September, for a follow-up MRI on Mr. Schwannoma and visit with the fine folks in radiation oncology. I guess he must have made a referral because a few days later I received a phone call from a familiar voice at the nuking clinic to set it all up, at which time I had to clear up a misconception that I was a new patient of theirs.

The MRI showed Mr. Schwannoma is “unchanged”, a conclusion I could’ve reach based on unchanged tumor symptoms and without spending 45 minutes in noisy and costly confinement in one of General Electric’s finest medical imaging machines. But these happy results didn’t end the journey, because a vigilant radiation oncologist thinks it’s been much too long since I’ve been scanned for evidence of a melanoma recurrence.

So I’ll end the month on Wednesday with a precautionary chest, abdominal and pelvic CT scan, assuming the Gods of Cost Control at CIGNA deem the scan to be medically necessary for a guy who’s blessed to have spent the last decade in NEDland and presents no symptoms of a recurrence. And when the scan shows nothing of concern, which I’m sure it will, I just may declare myself cured and stage a breakout from The Hotel Melanoma. Simply because I’m tired of this drill. So tired of waiting in drab waiting and exam rooms, so tired of waiting for examinations and tests that almost never occur at the scheduled time, so tired of waiting for insurance company authorizations, and so tired of waiting for diagnostic test results.

That’s enough ranting, it’s time for rocking. For all of you at this Hotel who are equally tired of the drill and probably have far better reasons for that than me, I’ll sign off with a new twist on The Kinks’ “Tired of Waiting for You”…



I'm so tired
Tired of waiting
Tired of waiting for you

I'm so tired
Tired of waiting
Tired of waiting for you

I had some homely moles
I had tanned body till I met you
But you keep-a me waiting
All of the time
What can I do?

It's your time
And you can do what you want
Do what you like
But please don't keep-a me waiting
Please don't keep-a me waiting

'Cause I'm so tired
Tired of waiting
Tired of waiting for you

So tired
Tired of waiting
Tired of waiting for you

I was a rosy soul
I was so cocky till I met you
But you keep-a me waiting
All of the time
What can I do?

It's your time
And you can do what you want
Do what you like
But please don't keep-a me waiting
Please don't keep-a me waiting
'Cause I'm so tired
Tired of waiting
Tired of waiting for you

So tired
Tired of waiting
Tired of waiting for you
For you
For you

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