Hey Potential Cancer – Suck It!

on July 11, 2012

Not me, but my recently ex-smoking hubby, ToySir. Shortly after I penned my last entry, we found ourselves in the Emergency Room to deal with what we thought was another round of the kidney stones my spouse is so fond of biologically manufacturing. After waiting approximately 47 years on an uncomfortable cot with naught but Futurama reruns to sustain us, the scan results came back – no kidney stones.

So the blinding week-long kidney pain? We got the medical equivalent of a very expensive shrug and a “dunno”. We were packing up our various sci fi novels and putting on his shoes, when in the same tone of voice that I’d associate with, oh, I don’t know, reminding someone they need to get their parking validated, the doctor casually mentions there was a mass in his lung that showed up on the scan.

“But, you know, there’s nothing to worry about. It’s fairly common, you know, unless you’re a smoker, and this form says you aren’t, so..”

“He quit a year ago after 15 years of smoking.”

“Oh. Um. Well. Get another scan in the next 6 months. Have a good night!”

With all the grace of someone that just ruined a surprise party, he made a hasty exit through the puke-green curtain, leaving me to well up and immediately start bawling on my husband’s shoulder. The time since then has been anxious visits to the VA clinic, waiting for phone calls that never seem to come and staring worriedly at him every time he sneezes.

I hate this. I wish they’d call us for the scan appointment so a doctor can clear my husband and tell me that we still have a lifetime together, but the VA moves at the speed of continental drift because the system is so full of vets. I accept it could be nothing and I’ll feel like an ass later for fretting as much as I do, but it’s not something I can help.

I’m 29, he’s 34. This is one of those situations that always happened to other people, or decades from now, to me. It feels surreal, and I’m skittish to pipe up about the big C, as if it were Voldemort and capable of honing in on us if we talk about it. This is the closest I’ve come to talking about it so far.

Think good thoughts for us, ToyChick enthusiasts. We’ve got an uphill road ahead, even if it’s only waiting for results.


5 responses to “Hey Potential Cancer – Suck It!

  1. G. says:

    Hi There,
    Please know that I’m praying for a preventive as well recovery for your dear husband..and strength for you and the family…
    I simply believe if anything is important enough, you must research and research and research again instead of just giving in…as well get a second and maybe even a third opinion, your rights…

    I’ve been watching Dr. Robert Morse on Youtube as well so many others that are into Naturopathy, raw food, etc….
    I’ve been reading and hearing a lot on drinking fresh fruits (melons, berries, etc) also, green veggies as well spices (ginger, garlic, onions) and herbs as a preventive..
    Here are a list of a few sites that I think may be of some interests to you…


    (Disclaimer) I’m not a medical Dr, etc..I’m just sharing what I’ve researched and shared with others that are going through the very same..

    Wishing you the Best!

  2. Margaret says:

    There is a mass in his lung and the VA is making him wait 6mo?? Get in contact with a patient advocate if you need to, to get seen sooner. He (and you) deserves answers sooner than 6mo. He could (potentially) be dead in 6mo because they refused to act now. Unacceptable.

    And yes, I use the VA system, I understand how it works. Don’t let them push him to the back of the list, that’s not fair or right.

    Hugs and prayers to you.

    • Thank you so much for the idea. I think we’re going to head over there on my next day off and see about snagging ourselves an advocate – lord knows I could use a guide in navigating all this nonsense. It’s just so frustrating waiting and waiting, and there’s really no number we can call to be like “hey, what’s going on over there?” or ask any questions. We can leave a bajillion voicemails, but there’s no telling if and when they’ll even listen to them.

      I’m incredibly grateful the VA system is taking care of my husband, but I worry – if it’s this bogged down now, what is it going to look like when our vets start pouring back in from Iraq and Afghanistan? They’re going to need a lot of help, and with all the knowledge we have now about PTSD and the like that we didn’t have after other historic conflicts, not putting it to immediate and judicious use seems irresponsible.

      • Margaret says:

        If they have put in an order for a new scan, you can call the Radiology department and talk to the techs that work in that particular department (CT or MRI techs) and find out when they have him scheduled.

        I worked in Radiology for a while, and we received so many requests for scans every day. Some were complete requests, with the required blood work ordered, and some were lazy requests and we had to send them back to the doc to get a more complete reason for the scan. (For example, a head CT for headaches. While this may be legit, there needs to be more of a reason for this scan.)

        If they have put in an order for Oncology to see him, you can call there and talk to the receptionists to find out when his appointment is, or how long you have to wait to get scheduled.

        If you are waiting on an appointment with the primary doc, that is odd, since they already suspect something is going on. If primary care is jerking you around, go into Urgent Care with chest pain or something, and they’ll ensure you get a chest xray, which will lead to a CT, which will lead to an Oncology appointment soon. 🙂

        Sometimes you have to play the system.

        And yes, the system will continue to bog down, because it is so full and there’s either not enough resources, or the higher ups just don’t care about the Vets coming home. 😦

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