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

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Waiting Game

An excerpt from my first post, which needed a song…

I believe the medical profession and their patients live in alternate universes in terms of their conceptions and experiences of the passage of time. For a new cancer patient, the diagnostic process can’t ever move too fast; we want answers and we want them today, so let’s get on with it and complete all those scans etc. now. Unfortunately, for most of us it doesn’t work that way. Procedures and tests have to be scheduled in busy medical centers and insurance companies have to be contacted for authorizations. For the medical profession, the elapse of a week or so between major diagnostic events, plus a few more days before the results come in, is but a brief and inconsequential moment in time. To the scared patient (and his family) this is an eternity.

On one occasion during this time of what seemed to me to be glacial diagnostic work, I made the mistake of voicing my feelings to the clinic folks. Two rather blunt responses were elicited. One, if I thought I could get things done quicker elsewhere I was welcome to do that. Two, it won’t really matter if a few more diagnostic weeks elapse before starting treatment because it either works or it doesn’t.

I must confess to having said such things to pushy clients in the course of a busy law practice, and I now deeply regret my insensitivity.

And now for that song, The Rolling Stones’ “Waiting On A Friend”…

Watching hours go passing by
It ain't the greatest thing
I'm just hanging in this long wait
I'm just trying to break suspense
Tired of these hours go passing by
The ways docs stall, ahem!
I'm not waiting on the Pope, see?
I'm just waiting on my scans

A smile relieves a heart that grieves
Remember what I said
I'm not counting on quick victr’y
I'm just waiting on my scans
I'm just waiting on my scans

Do need the score
I sure need some news
Might need a chaplain priest
Yes I need someone I can cry to
I need some scans to detect
Faking hope and quaking hearts
It is a game of truth
But I'm not waiting to be C-free
I'm just waiting on my scans

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